CPD Certification and Marketing

Overview
Within the UK Construction Industry, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a mandatory requirement for over 500,000 individual members of approximately 50 construction industry professional bodies and member institutes.

In order to maintain and improve standards of professional skills and expertise, individuals are required to demonstrate their adherence to the principles of CPD, which requires them to continually improve their knowledge and their understanding of the changing practices, procedures and technology which influence their working environment.   In the field of architecture, the RIBA has summarised CPD as “the activity which maintains, enhances or increases the knowledge and skills of the member to the benefit of his or her capabilities as an architect.”

In order to maintain membership of their designated professional body, members must demonstrate that they have engaged in a set number of hours (normally a minimum of 35 or 40 hours per year) for educational activities aimed at improving their knowledge and skill.  The activities in which they engage to do this are then CPD-rated and CPD certificates, or ‘Points’, are issued for each activity.

The CPD guidelines for the construction industry were originally established under the auspices of the CIC (Construction Industry Council), with support from TOPIC (Training Organisations for Professionals in Construction), the government-funded Rethinking Construction campaign, and the Construction Best Practice Programme.

CPD and Marketing
Many manufacturers/suppliers of building products and services find that the majority of their target audiences of specifiers and other professionals are required by their professional bodies/associations to undertake CPD and are therefore compelled to research CPD-rated material and/or attend lectures, seminars and other CPD-rated events.

By the very nature of their businesses, manufacturers/suppliers possess considerable expertise in their own fields and are ideally placed to provide CPD approved material.  This enables them to develop contacts and network with their clients and potential clients who wish to learn from them.   Such material can take the form of electronic or hard copy documentation, formal seminars and conferences, roadshows, webinars or presentations given by invitation professionals in their own offices.   Unsurprisingly, professionals are increasingly accessing CPD through digital and online channels and, according to the RIBA CPD Providers Network, “75% of respondents in (their) recent survey had accessed CPD through digital media such as online videos, webinars, online forums and blogs”.

Once the material has been approved, manufacturers and suppliers will be listed on the regulators’ appropriate indexes, which are consulted by potential users when seeking CPD-rated sources of information.   (It is important to recognise that, in order to receive approval for submitted CPD material, the information on a given subject should be written or presented in a generic form.  Specific brand-related sales material cannot be submitted.)

Preparing the right format and achieving the right tone in any presentation is essential for success, and the CPD Certification Service has produced a range of guides (click on the title to go to view each guide), including:

Construction marketing specialists, Competitive Advantage, can undertake a 'CPD Health Check' during which they will undertake a review of your construction CPD material to offer advice on what is good and where there are opportunities for improvement, providing comments and observations on elements such as promotion, presentation content and delivery.

Construction CPD Channels and Support Services for Product Manufacturers, Suppliers and Service Providers:

British Institute of Interior Design CPD Providers Directory
Offers interior building product manufacturers and suppliers the opportunity to promote thier BIID approved CPDs to interior designers nationwide.

Building Academy
Offers construction industry companies the opportunity to publish CPD content on a dedicated platform.

Building Design Directory
Index of CPD training courses offered by construction product manufacturers.
 
Building Magazine CPD
Building magazine provides online and downloadable construction CPD-rated modules for industry professionals.   Manufacturers can submit product-themed data for CPD modules.

CIOB / Construction Manager CPD Zone
CPD information portal offering sponsorship opportunities.

CPD Certification Service
Independent CPD accreditation centre.

Developing a CPD programme for your Construction Product
This article on the Competitive Advantage website includes a free downloadable reference sheet titled 'Making the most of CPD' which provides an introduction to this process of developing an effective CPD programme that satisfies certification bodies, engages specifiers and delivers specification enquiries is possible.

How Architects Engage with CPD
This report from Competitive Advantage can help you with your CPD offering, presenting research findings on what Architects are looking for when choosing their CPD. Providing insight into what makes a good CPD, identifying what are the subjects of primary interest, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of different delivery channels. The report presents findings on how architect specifiers learn of CPD and which manufacturer seminars they consider above average and why.

Power CPD
Online CPD management software which allows users to create and deliver CPD courses and to manage registration for CPD events, workshops, seminars, conferences and webinars.

RIBA CPD Providers Network
Offers building product manufacturers and suppliers the opportunity to promote thier RIBA approved CPDs to architects nationwide.

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