A career in the profession: Training and development

25th March 2013

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  • CPD ,
  • Qualifications ,
  • Skills



A run down of environment professionals' professional development and training opportunities as revealed by the IEMA practitioners' survey 2013

Professional development is important for keeping knowledge and skills up to date, and for career progression. More than 90% of environment professionals participating in the 2013 survey undertook some form of professional training. On average, they took part in at least three types of professional development in 2012.

One in three respondents (33.5%) reported that some or all of their training was IEMA-approved.

Survey respondents were also asked who pays for their training. More than three respondents in four (77.2%) report that their employer provides financial assistance.
The most common way of keeping knowledge and skills up to date is to attend in-house training events (43.2% of members), although it is not certain that these employer-arranged training activities focus exclusively on environmental issues. An IEMA member’s professional development in an organisation could also involve achieving wider learning goals connected with their role, for example people management responsibilities or implementing corporate objectives.

The type of training undertaken by environment practitioners ranges from informal development activities, such as reading key materials (34.6%), to more formal events such as attending CPD workshops (29.1%) or an IEMA-approved training course (13.6%).

Survey respondents report that their main motivation for undertaking professional development in 2012 was to enhance their knowledge and skills to progress their career (41.7% of respondents).

More than a quarter (28.3%) of participants report that the training was targeted at developing their competency level in their current role.

This year’s survey also explored the extent to which IEMA members consider themselves to be a “career changer” – whether respondents had started a career in another industry or profession before moving into an environment role. Nearly half (44.7%) of respondents said they had switched to a career focused on the environment at a later stage.

Of these 1,012 environment professionals, more than a quarter (27.3%) were motivated to embark on a career in the field because of a personal interest in environmental issues. A further one in four (25.4%) made the career change because the environment had become vital to the development of an existing role.

Having made the switch to a role focused on the environment, these “career changers” were asked whether they were happy with their career path. Encouragingly, almost three respondents in four (71%) reported that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their current careers.

Read the full 2013 practitioner survey results:

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