July 2021 From the Executive’s Desk: Career Advancement Through Continuing Education

For the plumbing design professional, or for someone aspiring to be one, we just can’t put a price on the value provided through continuing education relative to the career advancement that can be brought about by taking advantage of learning opportunities.

My March 2021 column was called “Where Do You Place Your Value?” It focused on how valuable being an ASPE member can be to the individual and their professional advancement through the multitude of educational and certification tools and resources ASPE provides to our members. Continuing education doesn’t just advance you as an individual in your career; it also makes you more valuable to your company or firm.

Considering that ASPE’s core purpose is to continually enhance, promote, and advance the plumbing engineering profession while also ensuring the public’s health, welfare, and safety, by achieving our purpose ASPE brings about the following components that offer individual value to our members and the industry. It would be a tremendous challenge to find a more well-equipped association than ASPE to bring so much value in one place. ASPE is a great place to one-stop-shop for your professional education and certification needs.

In my most recent column, called “It’s Your Membership. Make the Most of It,” I provided an overview of how to best make the most from your decision to be and remain an ASPE member. What your membership in ASPE can do for your personal and professional goals is limited only by your decisions and efforts for continued advancement, so let’s make the most of every opportunity.

With that said, in this column I want to begin focusing on individual components or benefits provided to each member through their participation as an ASPE member, specifically the continuing education tools and certification opportunities that are available.

Continuing Education Programs

When we refer to the continuing education benefits of ASPE, the focus should be on expanding your knowledge and earning CEUs to assist in gaining or maintaining a certification.

Where should you begin? That’s a great question. ASPE has an extensive catalogue of on-demand courses and articles to further your education or refresh your knowledge on a variety of topics. ASPE hosts webinars and workshops and publishes monthly Read, Learn, Earn articles to help you earn valuable CEUs.

Where can you find all of these great tools and benefits? Simply go to ASPE.org and hover over the Education & Credentialing tab in the main menu. Click on Continuing Education, and you will be taken to ASPE Education. Once you are logged in, you will be able to access everything available to ASPE members.

As mentioned, ASPE produces webinars for members to expand their knowledge of plumbing systems and design. Being an ASPE member has a financial benefit as well, as members pay about half the price for webinars as nonmembers, and if the webinar is sponsored, members can participate for free. This is a great member benefit. You can access current webinars as well as every webinar ASPE has ever held. Don’t forget to recommend these to your colleagues and clients.

Another one of the member benefits of continuing education is through our Read, Learn, Earn program. Through RLE you can easily accumulate the CEUs required for maintaining your CPD or CPDT credential or other regulatory agency CEU programs. This program is free to members and $35 for nonmembers.

Tracking Your CEUs

Now, once you get really involved in continuing education, gaining CEUs through these programs, it’s extremely important to track these CEUs for future certification or recertification requirements. Due to this importance, an extraordinary new process is now provided by ASPE, which is another big benefit for our members. This new process allows our members to track their CEUs on ASPE Education. To help you better understand the process, just follow these steps:

  1. Visit the site and log in.
  2. Click on “My Education” in the main menu.
  3. Click on “Transcript/Achievements.”

All of your ASPE-sponsored CEUs will already be populated, but you can also add CEUs from other sources. Simply click on “Add Additional Credits/Experience” to add the session information and upload a certificate.

This member benefit is invaluable in keeping your CEUs current, and it’s only offered to members. Don’t get caught empty-handed when the eventual audit for your credential comes around.

ASPE Certification Programs

When focusing on advancing your career through continuing education, it’s important to be able to add letters after your name, which can be shown on electronic signatures, digital badges, or even old-fashioned business cards that we can now begin handing out again as the pandemic continues to allow for our industry to reopen and more travel opportunities come about. We all market ourselves every day with everything we do, and ASPE can help with programs that can add letters to your name.

ASPE is the premier organization to provide credentials to help you showcase your expertise in plumbing engineering and design. Under the Education & Credentialing tab on ASPE.org you’ll find more information about our two certification programs, Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) and Certified Plumbing Design Technician (CPDT), and our certificate program, Green Plumbing Design (GPD). These programs will help others instantly recognize your leadership and expertise in the plumbing design industry.

Certified in Plumbing Design

Our premier and flagship certification program is the Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) credential. The CPD program is the only international certification program for plumbing engineers, and it provides the profession, the plumbing industry, and the general public with a single, comprehensive qualification of professional competence for engineers and designers of plumbing systems. The CPD designation is designed to:

  • Establish specific standards for professional competence in the field.
  • Identify and recognize those individuals who successfully demonstrate their acquired knowledge and abilities.
  • Encourage plumbing engineers to participate in a continuing program of professional development.
  • Enhance the status of plumbing engineering as a unique discipline.

Certified Plumbing Design Technician

Our Certified Plumbing Design Technician (CPDT) credential program was developed as a precursor to the CPD credential and allows individuals early in their careers the ability to highlight their achievements and dedication to the plumbing design industry. The Certified Plumbing Design Technician program has four primary objectives:

  1. Provide a standard of professional competence in the practice of plumbing design at the technician level.
  2. Identify and recognize those individuals who successfully complete the certification examination, thereby demonstrating their acquired knowledge and abilities in the field of plumbing design.
  3. Encourage plumbing designers to become lifelong learners and participate in a continuing program of professional development and reach CPD certification.
  4. Provide a standard for educational programs in plumbing design and encourage implementation of such programs.

Green Plumbing Design

The Green Plumbing Design (GPD) certificate program is for engineers and designers with advanced skills in sustainable plumbing system design and consulting. Available only for engineers and designers who hold either the CPD certification or a Professional Engineer (PE) license, the GPD certificate denotes professionals with a high level of experience and training in sustainable practices. The GPD designation signifies professionals who are dedicated to ensuring the efficient use of our precious water resources via water-conserving plumbing system designs for commercial and residential applications.

I hope you’ve learned more about the value of continuing education and how that can help advance you as an ASPE member both individually and professionally.

So, as an ASPE member or a prospective member, I hope you will plan to continue your respective growth in the Society, the industry, and your company or firm by gaining crucial education that is most important to sustaining the industry.

Thanks for allowing me the time to visit with you today through my column “From the Executive’s Desk” on ASPE Pipeline. Thanks for your willingness to give your time and talents to our great Society.

Stay healthy and safe!

Carry on…

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