CEO Update | January 2018 | Professional learning
Welcome back from the holiday season, which we hope you have found to be festive, relaxing and re-energising. Resolution Institute staff are looking forward to a fulfilling 2018 responding to and creating opportunities to provide an enriched service offering to our members and expand our reach to significant stakeholder groups within the DR landscape. We are sure that many of our members, in developing their business plans for the year, are doing similarly for their clients. We wish you well in all your professional efforts for 2018.
Over the first few weeks of January, Resolution institute has noticed a larger than usual number of applications for renewal of accreditation or grading. We wonder whether the holiday break has provided welcome downtime for many of our members to get ahead (or catch up!) on some of the “administrative” tasks that are part and parcel of being a professional. From Resolution Institute’s perspective, responding to initial and renewal accreditation and grading applications with rigorous attention to the relevant scheme requirements is an important way of showing leadership in evolving standards in dispute resolution. We know that at times, Resolution Institute’s strict adherence to the requirements of the various accreditation and grading schemes can seem like a disruption to individual members being able to “get on with business”. And yet as a collective whole, attention to standards helps to grow confidence in the sector as a whole. Consumers value the quality assurance that professionals they employ have achieved and continue to maintain recognised qualifications.
Members doing two things in particular seems to streamline the process of applying for and renewing accreditation or grading. First, make sure that you are familiar with the requirements of the relevant scheme upfront. Second, especially with regard to renewing, try to track your progress in meeting the requirements over the two or three year period that applies. If you consider that meeting the practice or CPD requirements is not on track for you, ring the Wellington or Sydney office ahead of time (say, up to 6 months ahead) to discuss what options there may be to get the hours you need.
With regard to CPD hours, Resolution Institute staff are likely to point in the direction of Resolution Institute CPD offerings. We are very grateful to the initiatives and efforts of our members in organising networking and CPD events. From NZ, building on the value of the Wellington practice group, we are trialling a practice group online. Practice groups, led by members for members, give the chance to explore issues and challenges with colleagues. In Australia, locally elected chapter and special interest group committees keep “their ears to the ground” to identify stimulating topics and presenters for local face to face events. Resolution Institute staff take pride in finalising and distributing communications about these events and in taking registrations and recording attendees for maintaining CPD records. Attending local events provides members with professional learning in a collegial environment and the opportunity to build professional networking and mentoring relationships over shared refreshments. The social and professional connections that local (and online) practice group and chapter events provide are incredibly important for so many of our members who deliver DR services often in isolation from other DR providers.
To add to local or member-run events, Resolution Institute will continue to offer a program of webinars. Resolution Institute staff keep their eye on trends and emerging areas of interest to identify topics that complement those offered at member-run events. Feedback from members is that webinars have been high quality in both content and delivery. While member-run events provide learning and networking in a collegial environment, webinars augment this offering by providing members with professional learning in their own office or home at the scheduled time or at another time that suits their work or personal circumstances. (People who have registered for a webinar can download the webinar recording and watch it later.)
In 2018, Resolution Institute has settled on a national pricing structure that is consistent for CPD offerings provided as local Chapter events, as practice groups or as webinars. The price is based on an assessment of the resources needed to provide these offerings and to contribute to sustaining a leading professional DR membership organisation of stature. While the introduction of a CPD fee will be new to a small group of members, appropriate pricing of CPD events makes CPD accessible to all our members no matter where they are located and releases other funds for actioning the strategy, to which the Board has committed, to raise Resolution Institute’s profile. On behalf of our more than 3000 members, Resolution Institute has a responsibility to be at the forefront of discussion that shapes the dispute resolution landscape, to lead in developing the vision for the future of DR, to provide cutting edge services to members and to champion high standards of DR practice.
We look forward to your continued commitment to professional learning within the DR sector and to connecting with you through face to face and on-line events.
Best wishes for 2018,
25 January 2018