Safety hat, as worn by construction workers etc.

Members are expected to maintain the highest professional standards, and the Society is here to assist them in that aim.

What is CPD?
There are many definitions of continuing professional development (CPD); however, they all have certain common themes, namely that CPD is a systematic ongoing process, by which we can broaden and deepen our skills in addition to updating them. The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has adopted a definition that was first published by the Construction Industry Council in the UK in 1986: CPD is “the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills, and the development of personal qualities necessary for execution of professional and technical duties throughout the individual’s working life”.

CPD is vital to both individual and organisational success. It is no longer possible for third-level education to provide a property and construction student with all the necessary skills and abilities required of them for the duration of their professional life. Skills and knowledge become outdated in the ever-changing environment, and professionals in today’s environment cannot expect to have learned all they need to know from their third-level qualification alone. There is an absolute need for personal development, and further education and training. Many professions undergo changes in technology and legislation; if the individual professional does not continue to learn, their skills and abilities may become defunct and they will no longer be adequately qualified to practise in that area.

CPD should be seen from a wider perspective, to include everything from job-related training to learning activities that enable individuals to participate in all aspects of their professional and personal life.

CPD acts as a tool to counteract the inevitable obsolescence of skills and knowledge. It overcomes the limitations of the initial academic qualification and its gradual obsolescence, maintains professional competence and standards of service, gives a wider view of professional concerns, aids job satisfaction, demonstrates that the professional is acting responsibly with regard to the wider community, and widens the scope of professional activities. Continuing education is an essential concomitant of a continuing career.

CPD, training and education play an important role in the regeneration of a nation. In times of recession, and indeed prosperity, priority must always be placed on up-skilling. The pace of change in this knowledge-based society is so fast that educating, up-skilling, re-skilling, and continuous training development will give us the human resources to secure future employability. Career development and career change depend on an individual being competent in their area of expertise, and having the knowledge, skill and updated qualifications, if necessary. This is why it is important for members to attain their CPD.

What can the Society do?

The Society aims to:
• provide you with a wide range of knowledge and information to meet your needs; and,
• provide you with appropriate training to ensure that you are able to meet the highest standards of competence and professionalism.

What is your CPD obligation?
It is a duty for members to adhere to the CPD obligations as detailed in the codes of ethics or bye-laws:
• members are obliged to complete 60 hours of CPD in every consecutive period of three years;
• CPD audits are conducted by the Society; and,
• members who do not comply with CPD requirements are referred to the Professional Conduct Committee. Sanctions open to the Professional Conduct Committee include censure, fines, suspension, conditions for continued registration, and removal from the register.

What qualifies as CPD?
To qualify as CPD, your activities must be related to:
(a) some part of the theory and practice of surveying as defined in the Memorandum; and/or,
(b) other technical topics related to a member’s current or potential occupation; and/or,
(c) personal or business skills designed to increase a member’s management or business efficiency.

How do you attain CPD?
Many different activities can qualify as CPD and you must decide which is the most appropriate for your needs. Members themselves are responsible for keeping a record of their CPD participation. The Society does not formally accredit CPD.

Members often mistakenly presume that CPD is restricted to formal training courses, seminars and workshops. However, you can undertake a wide variety of activity as part of your CPD programme. The table below will assist you in identifying ways to choose the best methods of CPD for you. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but is rather a list of constructive suggestions:

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CPD resources

The Society endeavours to assist you in your pursuit of valuable CPD. The following resources are available to all members:

• CPD events – the events calendar runs from September to May, providing members with an opportunity to attend evening lectures, breakfast briefings, lunchtime talks, seminars, courses and workshops. The CPD events provide information and training on topical issues, specialist areas, business skills, legislative updates, and technical and other developments affecting the property and construction industry;
• online CPD system – each member has access to the online CPD facility where you can plan, track, record and monitor your CPD. The online CPD system also allows you to book any events and view a wide range of support material;
• streamed videos – The Society’s website provides you with access to online CPD recordings, allowing you to gain CPD remotely; and,
• while attending CPD events, you will have the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals, adding their knowledge to your own, while also establishing contacts throughout Ireland.

In order to satisfy your CPD and training needs, please inform the Society of any gaps in knowledge, training needs, or areas of interest that you may have. Contact education@scsi.ie or sclancy@scsi.ie.

Zoe O'ConnorZoë O’Connor
Zoë is Director of Education and Membership for the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.