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It’s time for asset management to be considered a profession in its own right: IPWEA CEO David Jenkins

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Asset management has long been an area that engineers, accountants and other professionals stumble into, rather than a clearly defined vocation that young people aspire to and train for. But today, a growing number of workers are carving out careers devoted solely to asset management – and they’re finding there’s no shortage of positions to fill.

In Australia, this change has been brought about in part by infrastructure spending and population growth. Simply put, more money is being spent on local government infrastructure (much of it coming from recent state and federal stimulus programs) and a greater number of people are interfacing with each asset. Increasingly, councils are concluding they need dedicated staff to manage these assets effectively.

IPWEA can claim some credit for helping to establish asset management as a viable career choice, too. For decades, we have sought to highlight the importance of asset management and have educated stakeholders about the benefits of carrying it out properly.

Our respected International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM) has been setting benchmarks for asset management since 2000. IPWEA and global bodies such as the International Federation of Municipal Engineers and the International Organization for Standardization have effectively argued that asset management is a vital capability for any modern organisation.

The true value of asset management

Now, IPWEA is building an end-to-end training solution, known as the Education Pathway, for current and prospective asset management professionals who wish to gain a competitive advantage in this expanding field. Featuring two foundational courses, two professional certificates and a capstone segment, the pathway offers best-in-class training, underpinned by the IIMM and IPWEA’s other highly regarded publications.

Importantly, the pathway can be tailored to suit individual needs. The two introductory courses, Asset Management Foundations and the Fleet Management Certificate, outline the key concepts and theories of asset management and fleet management, respectively. Newcomers to the field can select the course that best aligns with their career goals, while established public works engineers can choose the option that suits their current career trajectory.

Next, the two professional certificates allow participants to apply their foundational knowledge and build deep capability in their chosen speciality. These certificates are fast becoming the global-standard qualifications for asset managers.

Choose between the Professional Certificate in Asset Management, which guides participants through the process of drafting a best-practice asset management plan; and the Professional Certificate in Infrastructure Financial Management, which shows participants how to manage the interplay between asset management planning and financial planning.

Finally, the as-yet-unnamed capstone segment, which IPWEA will launch in June, consolidates prior learning and develops strategic-thinking and decision-making skills, ensuring each participant is a real expert not only in the practicalities of asset management, but also in executive-level thinking. This segment will culminate in an internationally recognised designation.

IPWEA is pleased to see asset management becoming increasingly valued right around the world. As the practice develops into a profession in its own right, we believe our Education Pathway will help the most committed and ambitious asset managers stand out from the crowd.