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Edumine Changes

AIG members have benefited from access to a dedicated Edumine campus for the past ten years. This will change in December when Edumine rolls out a new website and service delivery model.

At the moment, access to the Edumine campus requires payment of a subscription fee that offers full access to Edumine’s catalogue of self-paced, on-line courses and discounted access to live, on-line courses. From December, AIG’s relationship with Edumine will transition to one where every AIG member will receive an automatic, significant discount on the fees for every Edumine course. AIG Campus subscribers will continue to receive the full benefit of their subscription until 31st May 2020, when the campus will be discontinued.

Both on-line content delivery and the courses themselves are being updated and revamped to improve the quality of Edumine’s services.

At the moment, access to the Edumine campus by AIG members requires payment of a subscription fee that offers full access to Edumine’s catalogue of self-paced, on-line courses and discounted access to live, on-line courses. From December, AIG’s relationship with Edumine will transition to one where every AIG member will receive an automatic, significant discount on the fees for every Edumine course. Student members have not had access to the Edumine campus previously. From December, Student members will be able to access the course discounts. AIG Campus subscribers will continue to receive the full benefit of their subscription until 31st May 2020, when the campus will be discontinued.

Edumine is a great resource for AIG members seeking to expand their knowledge and exposure to geoscientific techniques and methods relevant to exploration and mining. The self-paced on-line courses are considered to be of particular benefit to AIG’s international members, and members working commute rosters by providing training that can be completed at any time, anywhere with Internet access. Every Edumine course completed by members will receive both Edumine continuing education units (CEU) and AIG continuous professional development (CPD) hours. Selected Edumine courses may also entitle members to credit towards formal qualifications in mining offered by several universities.

The AIG website team are currently working with Edumine to provide enhanced information regarding Edumine courses for AIG members.

Watch the AIOG website for further information.

What is continued professional development and why is it a good thing?

Part II.  Continued Professional Development is expensive.  Right?

Wrong.  Continued pprofessional development (CPD) covers a broad spectrum of activities that contribute to both your development of new skills and refinement of existing ones.  CPD always requires an investment of time but it does not need to be expensive or onerous in other ways.

CPD can be considered to be an investment, by you in your own career, and in your development as a professional by your employer.  It can be both formal and informal and requires tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain as you work, beyond any initial training.  CPD records document what you experience, learn and then apply.

Some professions use the term ‘continuing professional develment‘ formally, and require a certain amount of development activity to be carried out and documented each year as a condition of maintaining your membership of, or registration with, a professional body, or a licence to operate in that field.  

In other areas, CPD is used more informally. A commitment to learning and improving is, however, generally expected of anyone in a professional capacity.

There are no formal “licence to operate” provisions affecting geologists, generally, in Australia and New Zealand, although there are specific fields where government authorities require geoscientists to be members of a recognised professional association or institute.  Requirements vary from state to state in Australia.  The situation is very different in Canada, where professional registration is required to work in most provinces and legislation to mandate this is in place.  Professional registration is also required in some U.S. states and in the European Union.  AusIMM Members must have Chartered Professional status to act as Qualified Persons reporting exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves to Canadian securities exchanges.  This is not, however, required of AusIMM Fellows, or both AIG Members and Fellows.  These arrangements are set in Canada and subject to regular review.  

What is a profession?
A profession may be considered to be any career area for which you need a professional qualification. Traditionally, the professions included law, medicine (including dentistry and other allied professions), and accountancy.  More recently, many other professions have emerged, including HR, marketing, sales and IT, all of which have recognised professional qualifications.

While CPD isn’t a requirement for geoscientists in Australia, it does demonstrate commitment to continually improving your skills, in addition to maintaining concepts of best practice through sharing learning with colleagues and peers.

Recording your development actions is essential.  An important part of continuing professional development is being able to demonstrate it.  It is important to keep a diary of all your development activities to be able to show how your skills and knowledge have developed over a period.

2 CPD Hours

AIG organised and endorsed activities have specified CPD hours.  You will have seen these logos in the AIG web site events calendar and email newsletters.

An investment in CPD is typically measured in CPD hours or CPD points, both of which are a combination of the time devoted to continued professional development and an activity weighting or multiplier.  Multipliers reflect the effort and value associated with specific activities.

The AIG’s Registered Professional Geosceintist (RPGeo) programme specifies the following weightings for various CPD activities.  Some examples of the weightings for different activities include:

ActivityWeighting
Meeting, seminar and conference attendance, including webinars.1
Formal postgraduate study, short course and workshop attendance (applied to lecture hours)2
Distance learning – higher degree and postgraduate studies (applied to lecture hours)2
“On the job” learning: e.g. mine visits (other than those associated with regular duties), working with consultants, undertaking company-sponsored research.1
Preparation and presentation of materials for geoscience courses, conferences, seminars and symposia.2
Participation in AIG and other professional society / institute committee work0.5
Receiving mentoring (mentee) from experienced MAIG or FAIG1
Providing mentoring to an early career or less experienced geoscientist0.5

Some activities are subject to additional restrictions, such as the proportion of total hours that may be provided by a single activity, to ensure that continued professional development completed by members has an element of diversity.  There are also specified hours for some activities, such as 30 hours for publication of a paper in a peer-reviewed journal.  A more detailed discussion of what constitutes CPD and relevant weightings is available here.

It’s not all about attending conferences and seminars.  It is clear from the list above that there are a wide range of activities that contribute to professional development, readily accessible by all members.  RPGeos are required to complete an average of 50 CPD hours per year, averaged over three years, which may sound onerous but is something that many members achieve without realising it, or doing anything out of the ordinary.    

The key is ensuring that CPD activities are recorded.

What do you think?  Is a requirement for all Graduates, Members and Fellows to undertake CPD, and in the process satisfying community expectations of what constitutes a professional, something that AIG should consider?  Add your thoughts to this post or join the discussion on the AIG Linkedin Group.

Part I of this article series is available here.

What is continued professional development and why is it a good thing?

Graduation from university with an Earth science degree represented a major learning milestone that enabled you to begin your geoscience career.  It also represented the start of the next phase in your professional, technical and personal development through continuing development as a professional.

Continuing professional development, or CPD, is work-related learning that should continue throughout your career.  The year in which new professionals enter the workforce is usually a period of intense, on the job learning in a diverse range of areas such as field and mapping skills, sampling, core logging, managing contractors, landowner liaison and mining title management, to name but a few.  University studies provide an essential and solid grounding in geological principles, Earth systems, scientific method and research skills, which must be supplemented by a broad spectrum of new skills that are based on elements of these fields and represent workplace essentials.

In many professions, CPD forms an integral part of a licence to practice.  More professions require a managed and verifiable commitment to CPD than not.  The dominant reason for this this is the perception of public risk associated with practice of the profession in question.  Medical professionals, for example, may be called on to make decisions that could affect someone’s life.  Engineers design and build structures and machines that could create public safety risks or have profound economic consequence if they fail.  Teachers shape the character and skills of young people who will be the backbone of our society in future years.

Geoscientists have the privilege of being self-regulating.  There is no universal requirement for professional registration and licencing of geoscientists in Australia.  This does not, however, diminish the need for, and value of CPD.  It remains one of the key mechanisms by which high standards of professional practice and the relevance and currency of qualifications and experience are maintained.

CPD is frequently described as an investment for both individuals and employers as it involves maintaining enhancing and extending your knowledge expertise and competence.  It is central to the definition of professionalism recognised by the general public, where professionals strive to become leaders, knowledgeable, sources of advice and able to reliably solve problems in their chosen fields, which sets them apart from the rest of the pack.

Formal CPD falls into three broad categories:

  1. formal CPD;
  2. informal work-related CPD; and
  3. activities external to your work that contribute to your CPD.

CPD requires an investment of time, but the cost of CPD does not need to be onerous due to the range of activities that fall into the three categories above.

Join a discussion of CPD and professionalism on the AIG Linkedin Group.

Thinking about continued professional development opportunities? Have you checked out AIG’s Edumine campus?

Edumine offers more than 200, high quality courses spanning varied aspects of geology, exploration and mining, that have been used by professional geoscientists on five continents to build their capabilities and advance their careers.

Courses are offered in several formats, including self-paced on-line study, live webcasts and face to face short courses.  Some courses may be used as credit towards a Certificate in Mining Studies qualification from:

  • Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia
  • Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, University of Arizona
  • Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia
  • Imperial College London

All courses are accredited by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training.

Have you developed a short course for geoscientists?  Consider partnering with Edumine to maximise the value and exposure of your work.  Contact Edumine for details.

AIG members can access the campus by enrolling via the AIG membership portal link on the website home page.  AIG is proud to be able to offer members a dedicated Edumine campus, in common with a number of leading professional associations, companies and mines globally.

 

AIG Purpose

The AIG Council is working to better communicate AIG’s purpose to both members and the broader community.  The images are to be used in electronic and print communications, and at conferences and seminars.

What do you think?  Is there anything that needs to be added?  Let us know by adding a comment to this page or by email.