Part 1: Expanding the value and reach of IChemE’s professional development offers
BUILDING on the IChemE Qualifications Review that took place from 2009–2012, in 2013 Council approved a proposal to establish a Qualifications Commission, under the leadership of Colin Webb, the (then) VP for qualifications. The so-called Webb Commission has since made major progress in the qualifications area and is set to conclude by the end of 2017. In this and the next few issues of The Chemical Engineer we outline some of the work undertaken.
As a professional body awarding qualifications, IChemE relies heavily on its members and their time as volunteers. With the impressive growth in membership from 23,000 in 2005 to 38,000 in 2013 and with ambitious plans for further growth, the demands on qualifications-related activities and associated staff and volunteer time were beginning to look unsustainable prior to the launch of the Commission. The main focus of the Commission was, therefore, to build sustainability with two key purposes: to assure the long-term sustainability of IChemE’s peer-led qualifications processes; and to expand the value and reach of IChemE’s professional development offers.
The main focus was...to assure the long-term sustainability of IChemE’s peer-led qualifications processes; and to expand the value and reach of IChemE’s professional development offers
In order to safeguard IChemE’s position as a recognised international leader in regard to professional qualifications and CPD for chemical engineers, it would be necessary to maintain strong and vibrant volunteer pools, well equipped and effectively supported. It would also be necessary to build new CPD resources by introducing an enhanced suite of CPD products and services, particularly focused on the new Professional Process Safety Engineer qualification. A further aspect would be to enhance our online processes and services. To help implement the Commission’s recommendations, Neil Atkinson (then director of qualifications and international development) and Libby Steele (head of education affairs) were responsible for guiding the work, while two new staff members, myself and Yee-Li Lee – both chemical engineers – were recruited to assist in developing and delivering the project plan.