Demonstrating professionalism is now crucial for anyone in the built environment. Mandatory CPD is part of life for many professional body members, but plenty professionals undertake voluntary CPD because they value proactively building their skills and knowledge.
CPD is vital for keeping thinking fresh, skills relevant and motivation high. It allows people to upskill their training, to adapt to changes, stay abreast of industry trends and keep employable. That much we all know.
However, CPD is also hugely beneficial for organisations and employers. Having an open attitude to learning and development is key for attracting and engaging talent and should form part of any great talent management strategy.
And when CPD takes the form of a presentation, talk or webinar the rewards to the organisation or person delivering the content are also considerable. Delivering
a CPD provides an interesting and informative platform for new and existing customers that will deliver really valuable content to a target audience. It’s a great way to build up relationships and create awareness of your brand and your products; it’s also an opportunity to let potential customers see and experience products hands on (see below).
Teach and sell
Wyatt Jozwowski, co-founder of Demio, a webinar provider says of CPD. “[It’s] truly unlike anything else; if done right, you can keep your audience engaged for hours on end. Not only that, but your audience can also ask questions and get real-time feedback on the training.
“With the right kind of content, your CPD presentation soft-sells your prospects without ever having to ‘hard close’ anybody,” Jozowski adds. “The best CPDs teach AND sell at the same time.”
Delivering something in person and being able to answer audience questions positions you as the expert in your field – not just on the day but in the future too. When they have a query around your area of expertise, who will they turn to?
With the right kind of content, your CPD presentation soft-sells your prospects without ever having to ‘hard close’ anybody”Wyatt jozwowski
New GAI model
In recognition of the increasing importance of demonstrating professionalism, the GAI has introduced a new model for the CPD of Registered Architectural Ironmongers (RegAIs) and others working in the architectural ironmongery sector.
The changes have been designed to ensure the annual CPD requirements for architectural ironmongery professionals remain in line with those for other professionals in the construction and comparable industries (see p28 for more details).
Simon Forrester GAI chief executive says: “As the construction industry continues, in the wake of the UK’s new Building Safety Act, to address the critical issue of professional competence, it is vital that we continue to set an equally high benchmark for the ongoing learning and assessment of RegAI and other registered and certified specialists in our field.
“Importantly for standards throughout our sector, we are also opening our CPD programme to non-accredited members for the first time, in order that they can build and maintain vital skills and knowledge regardless of their intention to become fully registered professionals.”
Proof is in the pudding
When Jeremy Barltop RegAI from G Johns & Son attended a GAI South East Hub CPD on locker locks last year, delivered by Codelocks, little did both parties know the big win it would result in for them both. “It’s not something we traditionally get involved with,” says Barltop. “However the Codelocks presentation was really engaging and they had a number of samples we could see and feel – which is a huge benefit.
“Six months down the line I was at a site meeting for an office block project we were working on and I noticed they were building a large gym and changing room area. I mentioned we could supply locks for all the lockers. After discussing their requirements we settled on the Codelocks KL1000 G3, we sent a sample to site for approval and a few weeks later it resulted in an order for 250 of them. Had it not been for the Codelocks CPD, I would have never even asked the question to the client… the CPD system works!”
Solution from CPD
A similar result came when Sam Thatcher, SDS London sales and marketing manager attended a CPD event also delivered by Codelocks. In 2022, having created separate websites for trade and retail customers, SDS London’s Trade Centre faced the challenge of dealing with online trade orders at the same time as maintaining its in-store customer service.
Half of SDS’s customers wanted to simply collect their online orders. The other half were looking for expert knowledge and advice to help with product selection. But a single trade counter meant these customers were mixed in the same queue, which inevitably led to longer wait times and diminished customer satisfaction. SDS London needed a solution and that turned out to be Codelocks click and collect locker system. Thatcher reached out to Codelocks on the back of her attending one of their CPD presentations.