The Benefits of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
As modern society continues to evolve with digital technology, the need for employers to improve the knowledge and skills of their staff also increases. Changing technologies, laws and standards can have a profound impact on industries – so being proactive towards these changes can be crucial for keeping businesses effective in their respective sectors. Many are aware of the term ‘CPD’ – or at least they know it’s something they should know more about! – but what exactly is CPD, and how could it help you and your industry improve and adapt to new changes?
Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, keeps professionals updated with the necessary training, information, skills and knowledge needed to remain effective and competent throughout the course of their professional careers. Despite existing for some time, the importance and awareness of CPD is rapidly increasing. CPD activities come in the form of seminars, workshops, e-learning programmes, conferences and individual tests or exams. This dedication to lifelong professional learning keeps individuals’ knowledge and skills up-to-date, and maintains the standards of their professional qualifications and registrations. Focussing on an individual’s professional improvement and development, this continuous learning can also improve the standards of an industry as a whole.
In an ever-advancing industry such as architecture, Allan Corfield Architects understands the importance of CPD, and have made recent efforts to bring in trusted and accredited firms to run CPD seminars for our staff. Methods of construction, as well as structural and interior design theories, continue to develop – so staying on top of these changes has allowed us to give our clients up-to-the-minute advice and guidance throughout the design stages of new Self Build projects. These monthly seminars allow a great opportunity for our staff members to broaden their knowledge of particular products, processes and costs involved in different sections of our industry. Here are some examples of the courses we have taken as part of our commitment to this continual learning process:
In April 2015, ACA were joined by Scott Kelly and Lee Ellis from Edinburgh-based Kelvin Lighting, who delivered a seminar on the importance of light design. Specifically covering the environmental and aesthetic benefits of using LED lighting for interior and exterior lighting units, Scott and Lee demonstrated a variety of cool and warm light designs. This emphasised the differences in atmosphere and colour achieved in a room, or on a building, if the proper lighting is not considered.
ACA attended a seminar with Karl Reece in May 2015, on the benefits of using Fibre Cement Weatherboard as an alternative to PVCu and Timber cladding. Available in a variety of colours and styles, this particular type of cladding is resistant to rot, very easy and quick to install, and stands up to the harshest of weather conditions. It was very interesting to learn about alternative forms of cladding, as we deal with a variety of projects with a range of budgets – so broadening our knowledge of alternative products and methods was extremely valuable to improving the services we offer.
As specialists in providing energy efficient homes to PassiveHaus standards, it is important we keep up to date with the latest developments in Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery systems. In June, Nan Stevenson from the Zehnder Group’s Greenwood Company delivered a seminar on all things MVHR, and we learned a great deal about the best practices for specifying heat recovery ventilation for domestic properties.
Cristina Campbell visited us at the beginning of September and delivered a great seminar about specifying slate, and why it’s important to do so. Slate is popular with many Self Builders, so learning more about the legal requirements in specifying slate was extremely beneficial to us. For advising on the right slates to use, and for creating unique roof designs, learning more about the fixing of roof slates and their applications was also very helpful.
At the end of September, Mark Simpson delivered a RIBA-approved CPD seminar on how Gyvlon’s flowing screed technologies can be used instead of sand cement screeds to offer a greener, more energy efficient design – as well as offering greater bay sizes, more freedom in specification, and reduced costs onsite. We are committed to designing energy efficient Self Build homes, so this CPD seminar was extremely useful for broadening our knowledge of suitably eco friendly and energy efficient construction systems.
November’s CPD session was run by Rodney Hogg, and highlighted the way natural clay roof tiles are made. With an emphasis on energy performance and efficient installation design, this seminar underlined the innovative steps being taken in the industry to ensure renewable energy systems can be integrated smoothly into architecture. Our clients have a range of energy saving requirements, so learning more about integrated photovoltaic roof tile systems was welcomed across the team.
We are looking forward to several more CPD sessions in the coming months, and ACA would like to thank our in-house CPD coordinator, John Møller Hansen, for arranging these excellent seminars. If your business offers CPD sessions for architects, we’d be interested to hear from you.
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