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Civils gets tough on CPD

ENGINEERS FACE expulsion from the Institution of Civil Engineers if they refuse to take part

in a trial run of new Continuing Professional Development requirements, it was revealed this week.

A randomly selected 1% sample of members - approximately 650 engineers - will be asked to fill in and submit their new CPD record cards twice a year. Failure to do so will see engineers dragged in front of a disciplinary committee.

The new scheme was recommended by the Cawthra commission last year. CPD packs - which will include an explanation of the new scheme, guidance on CPD requirements and a set of record cards to fill in - will be sent out with all membership renewals next month. The random sample of engineers for the trial will be chosen a year later.

ICE director of professional development Richard Larcombe said the sample would be taken from across all grades of membership and confirmed that he would not be taking no for an answer.

'If someone hasn't filled in their record sheet or refuses to submit it, they would be in breach of the rules of professional conduct and the appropriate proceedings would be invoked,' he warned. 'That could involve the offender going in front of the investigating panel and the Disciplinary Committee and ultimately membership would be in jeopardy.'

But Larcombe stressed that as compulsory CPD submission is unprecedented, disciplinary steps would be slow. 'I very much hope that it won't come to that. We hope to appeal to members' better natures.'

He would also not be drawn on the exact date of the survey, but said CPD cards are expected to be sent out to the chosen few in the autumn of 1999, one year after receiving their new CPD packs.

Professional Development manager Sue Beavil-Till, who has masterminded the ICE's CPD revamp since February 1998, said that members in the sample would be given feedback about their record keeping. She hoped the trial would help to create a new CPD culture in which more detailed records - including action plans for development and the key benefits drawn from activities undertaken - would be filled out twice a year.

'We will review the records and provide feedback to individuals, to give them advice and guidance about CPD,' she said. 'But the survey will also be an exchange of views and we hope to learn much from members about how we can improve CPD.'

Damian Arnold

(See cover feature page 16)

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