The Cost of PD

Does anyone else think PD is really expensive? Most seminars usually go for about $100-ish for only an hour and a half or two hours. I just got a brochure for an interesting session, but at $750 for one day, its just too steep. So what are we to do? I understand the requirement for PD and definitely think its a good thing to keep up with current trends and advances, but sometimes it seems a little bit too much like a money-making scheme for event coordinators. The Refuel sessions are handy, and generally pretty interesting, but expensive if you’re not an Institute member. I know a few people who are getting audited this year which has seen a rush on bookings for Refuel, because most people see this as the only way to get their points. Shouldn’t there be some alternatives? Its bad enough that this always has to be done in your own time, so you’re either going after a full day of work or having to take a day off, to which you usually come back to 50 emails and of course some site-based catastrophe (its Murphys Law, if you were in the office nothing would happen!) I would like to see the Architects Board looking at a few PD opportunities, or the Government Architect, so not everything is always tied up with the Institute who are incredibly guarded and secretive if you’re not a member.

OK, rant over! Have a good weekend all!


6 thoughts on “The Cost of PD

  1. Certain types of PD may be expensive, but it can be cheap and easy (whilst still requiring time and effort – what would be the point of a system which could be accounted for otherwise) to fulfill the requirement for 10 informal points – self directed study (reading journals or practice notes) and talks, lectures or conferences (which do _not have to be formally recognised as PD), travel / study tours (write a one-page report on the gentrification of Ledge Point and diminution of the fishing shack as a paradigm for short term accommodation next long weekend) could take someone to 10 hours without costing too much. Are there graduates in your firm? Help them study for registration – mentoring students or graduates can get you up to two points per session. Even writing a blog on architectural happenings in Perth would probably count as informal CPD, although it would fall under the “cannot be the sole CPD activity undertaken for the year” category.

  2. Getting 10 formal points is a bit harder as there must be some kind of assessment, interaction or report produced. To begin with, you get 2 points for free if you are full time employed in architecture. From there, that report you wrote on your return from Ledge Point could count as formal, especially if you present it to your office (formal points for delivering a presentation), with your colleagues also getting informal points for listening. Formal points require some form of interaction, and as you note it looks like these are expensive and dominated by the Institute, but you can use the fact that the board does not accredit CPD providers to widen your search and find free online ‘courses’ by overseas providers. If it contains a multiple choice questionnaire at the end and is relevant to your work, it’s formal CPD.

  3. And if you’re worried about having to pay too much for formal points, you can get PAID if you’re the one presenting, or authoring published articles, or sessional lecturing (not sure if what we call tutoring counts) at uni.

    So there are some ideas on getting CPD for free (or cheap). Note that these are just an interpretation of the rules and until some people are audited we won’t really know how the board will interpret these things.

    I reckon they’ll go easy for the first few years until architects get the hang of it, but in the meantime it might be best to include a few ‘official’ courses like the refuel sessions or continuum online…

    • Ha! Thanks, i think i’ll be right for informal points, that’s the easy one i think. Its the formal one that bites, and I would prefer to spend my time on useful PD, rather than just going to something because I have to make up points, as I know some people have done in the past month or two upon finding out they are due to be audited. That seems a bit rude to the presenter to me, and also unfair to the people that wanted to attend but couldn’t. It just sometimes seems hard to fit everything in, especially when you just want to do non-architectural stuff after work. But if full-time work counts for 2 points, then does all the unpaid overtime count for another two? That would be handy! I don’t know if anyone else gets the US mag Architectural Record but they generally have a PD section in there, on a topic like double glazing or BIM etc. Then its informal if you just read it, or you can fill out a questionaire and it counts as formal PD. That’s a great idea that i would love to see the Institite put out, or better yet, Architectural Review.

  4. I completely agree. Not only are the PD sessions pricey but so are the visiting talks/presentations! I saw today that there’s a concrete talk coming up-which I followed up to find details..and it’s $70 for non members!! These events are totally catered for members only and snub other practitioners in Perth..not helping the cause..

    • Absolutely. I know there must be some cost / attendance ratio needed to make a profit, but does no-one run events cheaper? The good ones that i can think of where i actually learnt somethinng are PS, which is only $10, pretty good, and 3O/4U. But unfortunately no ‘formal’ PD component. Its definitely a shame. And quite frankly, sometimes the Refuel sessions are quite boring / not interesting to me personally, but i go to get my points. So i spend most of the time daydreaming cos i’m not really interested in the topic (generally not the speakers fault) but it gets me what i need. A tad ridiculous perhaps? So not to be completely negative, here’s some things i’d like to hear more about: how some of the buildings in the city got their 5 star/6 star Green Star rating? what documentation packages are people using and why? new products that have been used in perth, particularly green ones, for the first time? who has used a PPP process and how did it go? how do some firms get those magic clients who seem to let them do what they want? pitfalls and benefits of taking that jump to starting your own practice? more opportunities to benefit from individual’s experiences in Perth, with our consultants, builders and suppliers. Just general discussion type stuff, from real practitioners, maybe more forum-style rather than one person up the front of a lecture theatre. Just a thought…

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