CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL Development (CPD) could become a condition of remaining a chartered civil engineer, president Joe Dwyer told a breakfast meeting of senior northern businessmen last month.
Announcing that the Institution was to set up a working party to evaluate the benefits of compulsory CPD, Dwyer revealed: 'It is vital that engineers can demonstrate to others that they are keeping up with the relevance of the profession and I personally am in favour of making CPD mandatory.'
Addressing his 30 strong early morning audience on Teesside at the start of a presidential visit to the Northern Counties Association, Dwyer continued: 'Industry is facing a chronic shortage of professional engineers and the scope of CPD should be broadened to reflect our diversity into areas such as management, finance and information technology.'
Local businessmen generally favoured the idea although they questioned whether employers or employees should shoulder the cost and responsibility for such continuous programmes.
One leading consultant suggested that making CPD compulsory would increase company bureaucracy and cost. On these grounds it was of little worth, he argued.
Later, at the association's annual dinner in Newcastle, the president claimed that the UK economy's stable and benign state was, at last, 'good news for the construction sector'.
'I believe we are witnessing the beginning of a major programme of infrastructure renewal, ' he predicted. 'But will we be able to assemble the professional resource capable of addressing this potential workload? This is today's real challenge, ' added Dwyer, ' and CPD will become absolutely essential to future employers and clients as engineers and the ICE strive to be come more relevant to an increasingly diversified profession.'