Keeping your Professional Development Refreshed

If you're in a professional position such as Site Management, working as a Surveyor or in a Supervisory role, you'll be well aware of the importance of being aware of your own Continuing Professional Development to make sure that you're on top of your game. Each company tackles staff development and appraisal in its own way, but sooner or later we all have to take stock of our skills and make sure we're still working safely and are aware of legislation changes, especially those of us working in an ever-evolving industry like construction.

If you're self-employed, the likelihood is that you're either a) always striving for perfection to improve your opportunities for work and increase your hourly rate, or b) far too busy keeping on top of everything, that you don't have time to stop and think about where your skills sit compared to your competitors.

If you're employed, you may well be asked to document your own strengths and weaknesses at some point, or put an action plan in place to either help you be the best possible employee, or to help you work toward a promotion.

It's not about teaching an old dog new tricks....

Training and development doesn't always mean learning something new. A lot of the time it's about enhancing the skills and experience that you already have. Whilst it's nice to have extra skills like a fork lift licence, disaster recovery training and basic first aid, it's not necessarily going to help you further your career. You could be focussing on the wrong thing and then suddenly realise that you've neglected your basic accountabilities in a role.

If you've been working on-site at management level for a while, you will probably already hold a CITB Certificate from a course like the Site Management Safety Training Scheme. Don't forget that whilst certificates do last several years, they usually have an expiry date. In the technologically advanced age we live in now, things are always changing week to week, so attending the latest training course to keep your knowledge current and is never a wasted investment of time or money.

You could be owed some free training

If you've been paying the CITB levy then you'll be eligible for a grant towards training costs. Courses like the SMSTS Refresher Training are eligible for grant funding from the CITB and only last a couple of days but are well worth the time to help you learn what the latest HSE guidance and initiatives and changes to Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP) mean for you and your site. If you can't afford to take time off work during the week to attend, it's not a problem as most courses are available on weekend dates too.

Whatever your career plans are (or your boss's plans for you) keep in mind that being professional trained and a certificate holder will always put you a step above the rest and will equip you with the knowledge and confidence that you need to do a great job.