This ‘Quick Guide’ is intended to help you create professional development that offers useful learning for our members, which, in turn, serves to best position your organisation and build relationships with our members. Your commitment to working with AILA to educate our members on technical information relating to your product is very important to supporting our members with their everyday practice.
AILA is still in the process of developing our CPD guidelines for suppliers and needs to keep working together with our sponsors/suppliers to help you achieve the right focus on learning, balanced with the opportunity to present your products/services. AILA wants to help sponsors make the most of the connection with our members, which comes when members walk away feeling they have built their own knowledge and learned about products/services which help them do their job better/more easily. We are aiming to develop CPD with our partners that (1) avoids feeling more like a sales pitch and therefore risks being counter-productive for the partner and (2) makes real connections with AILA members as potential specifiers of your products or services.
So … In evaluating a presentation as Continuing Professional Development, AILA usually starts by considering the primary intent or objective of the materials: is it to build knowledge and skills of Landscape Architects or is it to promote/market a supplier and their services? As our CPD policy states, a CPD focus is reflected in stated learning objectives - which guide the emphasis of the content. A presentation where the primary focus is on providing information about your products and services and why our members should specify them - "who we are, what we do and why we have a great business for you"will most likely be received as a marketing pitch – regardless of your intent – and leave our members disappointed that their expectations of a professional development event were not met. You and your products and services can, of course, have a presence, but aim to do this in a way that complements the learning focus. For example: your products appear as examples within a particular type of useage, some research shows your type of product is superior for the job or there are some closing slides about how you can help our members put into practice some of the learning you have just shared.
Summary of core content for a CPD presentation
The sorts of attributes that should be reflected in CPD presentations include:
- there are learning objectives up front
- there is useful, practical learning about design, specification, installation and maintenance, including:
- design/installation/maintenance considerations/tips
- costs and cost comparisons
- advantages/disadvantages of products/applications/installations
- Australian Standards and legislative information/requirements
- do’s and don’t’s and/or other learning from your experience
- well structured – may include summaries for each section
- case study examples to illustrate application and/or what’s wrong and how to fix/do differently
- it has a practical/applied focus
- great visuals to illustrate applications and good/bad installation, etc
- may include research or other supporting technical information
- there is a quiz/assessment to make it formal CPD (this is not required for informal CPD)
Not every presentation would have all these attributes, but these are the sorts of things that contribute to useful learning.
CPD points are allocated on the basis of 1 point per hour of content/delivery for informal CPD and 2 points per hour for formal CPD. Q & A sessions can be included. Breaks and travel time are excluded.
Please feel free to discuss this with the AILA Chapter Manager and to seek further advice from the National CPD Committee as you start to develop your content.