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Why education will be the path to success in 2021

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Despite recent good news on the coronavirus front – at least in some parts of the world – 2021 is shaping up to be another tough year economically.

As we collectively contend with decreased job security and increased competition for available roles, there has never been a more important time for professionals who deliver public works services to undertake training. Those who upskill will be in a better position to adapt to whatever the future holds.

IPWEA firmly supports the idea of ongoing education for professionals in our field. We also believe that training should be results-focused, ideally providing participants with a recognised outcome or credential on completion.

We have a long history of delivering quality education programs that define best practice across a wide spectrum of public works and infrastructure related areas. And we’re not resting on our laurels. In February 2020, we launched a three-year strategic plan to develop an Education Pathway for our members. This pathway comprises a sequenced series of learning opportunities that can provide participants with a competitive advantage in the job market and help them progress their careers.

At the core of the program are two professional certificates. One of these, the Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning, has already been running for many years and is considered the industry standard for development in asset management planning. A second course, the Professional Certificate in Infrastructure Financial Management, will run for the first time in February 2021 and is set to be a game-changer for our members, joining the dots between asset management planning and long-term financial planning within organisations.

A new Asset Management Foundations course will commence in March 2021, aimed at providing a practical, contextualised introduction to asset management. Our Fleet Management Certificate, which has long been the industry benchmark for fleet professionals, has undergone a comprehensive review and will re-commence in February 2021 as a fully online course.

Like the two main certificates, the foundational programs will reference our internationally acclaimed publications, the International Infrastructure Management Manual (IIMM) and the Plant and Vehicle Management Manual (PVMM). These credible publications are used globally to define and support best practice in infrastructure asset management and fleet management.

Finally, we are developing a capstone segment that will provide those who have completed the Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning to continue their learning with a focus on Governance and Strategy, which forms a pathway to apply for a CPAM (Certified Practitioner of Asset Management) accreditation via the World Partners in Asset Management (WPiAM). Recognised internationally by employers and major organisations, CPAM accreditation is a ticket to increased career opportunity. Stay tuned in 2021 for more details about this component of the educational pathway.

Although there is reason to be optimistic about the prospects for infrastructure development in 2021 – chiefly, governments’ promises of stimuli in response to the pandemic – the floundering economy signals a rocky road ahead for those in our field. That’s why we believe now is the time for members to invest in their training and education.

By undertaking IPWEA courses, members can add tangible value to their CVs and improve their chances of success when it comes to applying for sought-after roles.

And, when international travel becomes possible again, the skills and accreditation gained will make securing international roles that much easier.

To find out more about the IPWEA Education Pathway, go to our website.