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2020 / 2021 Edition

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CPD Best Practice from IQ

First published in the March 2021 issue of Quarry Management 

With lifelong learning at the heart of the Institute of Quarrying, members are encouraged to actively participate in continuing professional development and utilize the tools developed to make recording easier

The Institute of Quarrying (IQ) has supported the professional development of people working within the mineral products sector for more than 100 years. Lifelong learning is at the heart of IQ, which is why, like many professional organizations, it encourages members to actively participate in continuing professional development (CPD).

Undertaking CPD is a step in the right direction towards enhancing learning and development skills that can be incorporated to fit into an individual’s schedule. To maintain IQ membership, Technical Members (TMIQ), Members (MIQ) and Fellows (FIQ) are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours CPD a year, a figure that can be broken down to just 45 minutes a week.

James Thorne, chief executive officer at IQ, says: ‘The principle of ‘lifelong learning’ is increasingly becoming the foundation of many organizations’ learning and development strategies. With longer career spans and the impact on working practices of increasing digitization, the shelf life of many business competencies has drastically reduced.

‘Such is the pace of change in the modern workplace that what we know and do now will not be what we need to know in five years’ time. It is becoming increasingly critical that any study undertaken as part of working life needs to be continually updated over time in order to remain relevant.  

‘For more than a century, IQ has supported members’ career development. The Institute’s own history is built on the community of its members coming together at branch technical evenings to share best practice and learn from one another. The people we work with and the meetings and events we attend, as well as the training programmes we offer right through to the courses available as a result of our partnership with the University of Derby Centre for Mineral Products, are all rich sources of information and learning that contribute towards valuable CPD activity.’

CPD recording made easier

Launched in 2020, the IQ Connect app brings together learning materials and practical guidance on best practice. It enables members to connect digitally with valuable online educational resources during self-isolation and social distancing.

A new and improved feature of the IQ Connect app is its ability to automatically record CPD. Sarah Fry, head of membership and marketing at IQ, explains: ‘The IQ Connect app is a great step forward in helping our members meet their CPD requirements for membership. It has been developed alongside a new event booking system that will benefit members with a streamlined booking process linked to their CPD record, which we hope will encourage more members to attend live virtual branch events.’

The automatic recording feature will apply to events scheduled through the new events system. By logging into the member portal or by accessing events via IQ Connect, members will have a one-click registration for events they wish to attend. When they attend the virtual event live, this is recorded in the system and automatically updated to their CPD record.

Sarah continues: ‘The pandemic has brought new ways of working for everyone and the branches have worked hard to adapt their technical events to an online format. This new system recognizes that those who attend live events are able to interact with others, ask questions and gain valuable learning.

‘Whilst branch events will continue to be recorded and distributed to all members, the system can only recognize those who have attended live. Those that watch the event at a later date can still claim the time as CPD but will have to add this manually to their CPD record.’

FAQs about CPD

With members of the Institute of Quarrying currently submitting CPD records for audit as part of the quality-assurance process, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions received by the membership team. 

What is CPD and why does it matter?

CPD is a method of recording your knowledge, skills, behaviours and abilities that contribute to your day-to-day work. It is used to enhance your learning and development whilst maintaining competence. It is the process of continual improvement and personal development, building on existing qualifications and knowledge gained during your working life.

Participating in CPD demonstrates your commitment to maintaining professional competence and provides a permanent testimony of your commitment to remain up to date with advances in legislation, technology, materials, systems etc that relate to your job role within the industry. 

Recording CPD provides evidence to regulators, inspectors of the HSE, clients or customers and employers. 

What counts as CPD? 

Many members have been anxious that due to the impact of the pandemic, they have not had access to formal CPD learning, so are looking for help to meet their 30-hour requirement.

As a general rule, anything that updates or provides you with further knowledge that is pertinent to your job role can be classed as CPD. 

Activities that count towards your CPD include watching webinars, attending virtual events, reading technical articles and online learning. The topics do not just have to relate to the technical elements of your job; you may have undertaken personal development activities such as improving your leadership or communication skills, which is equally important as part of your overall professional development.

How do I record my CPD?

IQ members can easily record their CPD electronically, either via the IQ Connect app or through the IQ online portal. If you do not have access to an electronic device or computer, a manual CPD record, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, can be kept. Remember to include the date, title of activity, what was learnt, and hours claimed in 15-minute increments.

How do I access the IQ Connect app?

The IQ Connect app is available through both the Apple and Google Play stores, and can be found by searching for ‘IQ Connect’. It provides a simple, yet intuitive way to easily record CPD and submit your activity.

For additional support and information, there is an IQ CPD Handbook for members that can be downloaded from the IQ CPD website page (www.quarrying.org/members/iq-cpd) and a webinar guide on CPD is available on IQ’s YouTube channel. Both of these resources are also directly accessible from the IQ Connect app. 

Anyone looking for advice about their CPD can contact Debbie White, IQ’s membership officer, on tel: 0115 972 9995; or via email at: [email protected]

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