We caught up with Alex Bryne to see how education and CPD days have helped to achieve high standards and member engagement for the Landscape Institute.
The education of landscape professionals is one of the Landscape Institute's key functions under its Royal Charter, with the aim of supporting the profession in achieving the highest standards.
All members of the Landscape Institute (LI) are required to maintain their professional competence through a wide range of activities, which must be of a minimum of 25 hours of development per year. While the LI does not prescribe the areas to be covered by CPD, there is an expectation that members will maintain their knowledge in areas relevant to their work as well as current regulations and legislation and broader contexts. The LI's offers its members templates for CPD recording and further guidance via the Member's Section on their website.
We caught up with Alex Byrne, Head of Professional Development at the LI, to hear about how their events and CPD Days have been a great success. Their main focus is on offering three to four 'CPD Days' each year in various cities across the UK - for 2013 they'll be in London, Manchester, Newcastle and at the Eden Project. The CPD Days focus on technical skills, updates and practical tools, and sharing knowledge that delegates can take away and apply in their professional lives.
"The CPD Days have proved to be really popular with our members and we regularly get 100% positive feedback about them. We move them from region to region around the country and can cover up to 20 different topics in the course of one day. We put the topics into a timetable with 4 sessions running simultaneously in each of 5 time slots. When someone books to attend they book places on their choice of sessions at the same time. It means members can get CPD on 5 different topics while their employer only needs to pay for one training event. That is a big selling point for these members when they put in training requests. We have also kept the cost under £100 to ensure they are an option for sole practitioners. These events have given us a chance to strengthen relationships with our stakeholder organisations, such as Natural England or Scottish Natural Heritage, who often provide speakers and with industry suppliers like Marshall's or NBS who often sponsor these events as well as speaking at them."
The Landscape Institute are currently running 4 events a year for a membership of just under 6,000. They get an average of 140 attendees to each event but that rose to 250 in London in January. They plan to continue these events, which is seen as a great opportunity for their members to see what their Professional Body is doing to support their career.
You can see the timetable and details for the June event here: