With the closing date for participation in the next course fast approaching, three alumni of Engineers Ireland’s CPD Certificate in Professional Engineering outline how the course has helped them to excel in the workplace
News

The transition from university or college life to the world of work requires substantial application and attention. The six-month CPD Certificate in Professional Engineering (NFQ Level 9, 5 ECTS) has been specifically designed in partnership with leading employers to allow recent graduates (up to 12 months out) to get to grips quicker with the professional standards expected of those working in engineering-led teams and organisations.

The second strand of the Future Professionals Series, the CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering, is aimed at engineers with between three years’ and six years’ experience who are committed to deepening their abilities as a professional.

Participants will understand what is expected of them, how they should behave and what they can do to accelerate their professional development and career prospects.
Participants will undergo a transformation in terms of their ability to make a significant contribution to their workplace as respected professionals who will shape future society.

The next CPD Certificate in Professional Engineering commences on 24 October (Dublin), 27 October (Cork) or 7 November (Limerick). The closing date for applications is 1 October. The next CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering programme commences in Dublin on 17 January, 2017.

Here, three young engineers outline how the course benefited them and fostered their ability to make a significant contribution to their workplace as respected professionals who will shape future society.

Transition from university to working world


Paul CrowleyEirGrid transmission access planning engineer Paul Crowley completed the CPD Certificate in Professional Engineering in 2014 and is now undertaking the second strand of the Future Professionals Series, which is the CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering.

“I participated in the CPD Certificate in Professional Engineering programme with Engineers Ireland in late 2013 and early 2014. It was a great course for me personally, as it gave me some key skills at a time when I was starting out in my career after university.

“It can be quite a transition from studying for oneself in university to working for a large company, where your role is to benefit the company first and foremost: to do this, it is crucial to learn new skills such as project management. As a result, I found that the ‘Introduction to Project Management’ module from the course was instrumental in helping me to actively manage my projects at work and keep on top of my own work.

“Communication is a huge part of the workplace, whether it is formal or informal communication. As someone who did not do many presentations at work, I found that the presentations day of the CPD course (part of the ‘Communications/Presentation Skills’ module) was crucial to my professional development, as I was able to review on video my delivery, body language and tone for a speech I did on the day.

“The feedback I received from the tutor was something I took on board and have kept in mind ever since, when I’m tasked with a presentation. My first role in EirGrid rarely involved a day without handling large, complex spreadsheets, so the ‘Innovations in Excel’ component of the course was of huge practical benefit to me. I picked up some simple tips on the day, which greatly minimises the time I spend on doing certain tasks at work on Excel.

“Report writing is one of the integral requirements for any engineer. I write quite a lot of reports in EirGrid and it is important to get these as correct as possible, as it can often be the only time certain people in the organisation get an insight into what I do and the work that I produce. The ‘Technical Report Writing’ workshop with Tiernan Ivory really helped me improve my report writing and how to make sure that they are concise and relevant at all times.

“Overall, I found the CPD Certificate to be of great benefit as an initial learning development for a new employee who has just graduated and has no prior experience. The learning contracts helped reinforce and develop what I learned during the programme.”

Importance of career-focused CPD


Felix FinkeFelix Finke, assistant manager – residential delivery with NAMA, completed the CPD Certificate in Professional Engineering in March 2015 and is currently enrolled in the CPD Diploma programme for 2016.

“Having completed the Certificate in Professional Engineering, I would definitely recommend it to any engineering graduates. The Certificate made me realise that an undergraduate engineering degree is just the beginning and that career-focused CPD is essential if you want to progress.

“The most important and memorable aspect from the Certificate was the approach towards work and the importance of ensuring excellence, as your work represents you as a professional. This changed my attitude towards work greatly and has been the one greatest catalyst in changing my approach to work and the dedication towards it.

“Coming from college and adapting to the work environment was probably the biggest challenge and change I experienced, but the modules in the Certificate greatly helped the transition from one to the other.

“Another essential part of the Certificate was the widening of one’s horizons. Engineering degrees can often be very single minded, with little attention given to ‘softer’ skills, such as presentation skills. These skills can often be left wanting, when stepping into a role after college. Given the variety of participants’ backgrounds, this also provided an insight into other fields of engineering.

“On a practical level, the ‘Innovations in Excel’ module was of a huge benefit and has since then actually turned into one of my weaknesses into one of my strengths.

“Overall, I think the CPD Certificate in Professional Engineering is essential for every engineer starting in the professional environment, as it lays a good foundation and broadens individuals’ minds in pursuing further CPD.”

Networking with likeminded individuals


Dave LinehanDavid Linehan, senior engineer – grid development at EirGrid, completed the CPD Certificate in 2014 and is now on the CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering programme.

“I am currently completing the Dublin Institute of Technology-accredited CPD Diploma in Professional Engineering at Engineers Ireland. What I really enjoy about the course is the opportunity to meet with likeminded individuals who are ambitious to progress in their careers.

“I am really enjoying the group project, which has provided an opportunity to develop my interpersonal and time-management skills. The challenge of working on a remote team, with colleagues scattered across the country, is an added skill I have been able to master!

“Efficient execution of projects is the backbone of any successful organisation and so the skills and knowledge I have gained from the course will afford me the opportunity to add value back to my employer. I have learnt a great deal from the training so far, particularly around project management, process improvement, contract negotiation, leadership and communication.

“The course is structured very well, with a nice balance between lecture presentations and group activity. The learning contracts and assignments which are completed after each module cement the learning from the classroom and make the learning outcomes very applicable in the workplace.

“The quality of the tutoring is also first class, with all of the modules delivered by experts from different fields.

“An intrinsic benefit of the CPD Certificate and Diploma qualifications is that they are directly tailored to meet the needs of candidates preparing for engineering chartership. As I work towards my application for chartership in the future, I believe that these courses will provide accelerated progression towards achieving that goal.

“The Future Professionals Series has made me realise that the academic education given in college is just the start of a journey, and that career-relevant continuing professional education is critical for career development. I would highly recommend it to young engineers who are ambitious for their career.”

http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CPD-Certificate-in-Professional-Engineering-1024x683.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CPD-Certificate-in-Professional-Engineering-300x300.jpgDavid O'RiordanNewsCPD,Engineers Ireland,management,project management
The transition from university or college life to the world of work requires substantial application and attention. The six-month CPD Certificate in Professional Engineering (NFQ Level 9, 5 ECTS) has been specifically designed in partnership with leading employers to allow recent graduates (up to 12 months out) to get...