The acronym CPD was virtually unknown in Australia 30 years ago. Various forms of Professional Development were around between 1960’s and 1980’s in overseas countries (eg USA, UK), however the formalised systems we see today did not really evolve in Australia until the late 1990’s.

Globally respected engineering educator and reinforced concrete specialist Paul Uno recalls that when he first started his training organisation Cement and Concrete Services (CCS) for engineering personnel in 1998, the only engineers who attended these courses were those who personally wanted to learn more about specialised areas for their own benefit.

“At the time, there was no requirement by the various Engineering and Building Institutions to satisfy any form of minimum training after graduation,” Paul said.

“However, by 2013, CCS had expanded its course range of topics into other areas including Steel, Timber, Masonry, etc. so we felt it more appropriate to change our name to Engineering Training Institute Australia (ETIA) to reflect the variety of engineering courses presented,” Paul added. “By 2014, ETIA was offering over 30 topics to engineering personnel throughout Australia.”

By that time, most professional Associations across Australia had instituted requirements for CPD learning for their members.  As an example, the Institution of Engineers, Australia now requires that its members achieve at least 150 hours of training every three years in order to maintain certification. Part of this requirement is to also attend at least 8 hours of mandatory training in Accounting/Finance basics, and 10 hours in Risk Management.

“Keeping up with changing Codes, Standards, Industry practice or just refreshing the skills gained at University, were now paramount to being a “professional” in your field,” Paul said.

“At ETIA, we now have many more engineers attending our courses than in our CCS days, as they need to be able to satisfy the CPD requirements of such organisations as IE(Aust), BPEQ, IPENZ and so on,” he said.

“Indeed, even though I present many of the training courses for ETIA, I also still need to attain 150 hours of CPD every three years in order to maintain my CPEng, NER and RPEQ status,” he added.

ETIA now offers over 40 topics available to engineering personnel, including: Cement and Concrete Practice, Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Design, Timber Design, Structural Steel, Masonry Design, Accounting, Risk Management, Hydraulics, Applied Loads (eg Wind and Earthquake), Glass and Aluminium Facades, Metallurgy, Contract Law, Forensics and Repair, as well as a range of Geotechnical topics such as Pile Design, Slope Stability, Retaining Wall Design, Shallow Foundations, Industrial Floors. The full range of topics and upcoming course dates can be viewed on the ETIA website: www.etia.net.au