IEMA introduce their comprehensive programme of events and webinars designed to help members' professional development
The findings of the 2013 IEMA practitioners’ survey – to be published on 25 March – reveal that almost half of members conduct their professional development activities by attending IEMA events and webinars. To ensure that those attending Institute events are getting the most valuable experience, IEMA has developed a “blended and cohesive” programme of events for 2013.
Using the IEMA environmental skills map (ESM) as a framework, this year’s events calendar will deliver the knowledge and skills crucial for environment professionals and help boost the credentials of all the members who take part.
The themes of the events cover the competencies listed on the ESM and the eight areas of environment policy and practice that IEMA is focusing on – skills and the sustainable economy; environmental governance; climate change and energy; environment management; impact assessment; resources; ecosystems and biodiversity; and pollution.
Members working at all levels of responsibility, from students to leaders, can benefit from multiple opportunities this year to update their skills and knowledge.
James Thorne, IEMA’s head of membership service delivery, says that by moving away from a focus on a traditional annual conference to offering a blend of event styles – webinars, workshops, socials and regional updates – the 2013 events programme aims to “give every member the opportunity to engage in a way and time that works best for them”.
Thorne explains: “Based on feedback about the accessibility and cost of IEMA’s previous annual events, and our aim to support all members through the skills and policy work of the Institute, we have created a series of events that members can access in different ways and at the most appropriate level of detail for their role.”
For example, IEMA’s work on the proposed revisions to ISO 14001 allows members to get involved through surveys and consultations, as well as via updates direct from IEMA’s executive director of policy, Martin Baxter, who is leading the UK response on 14001.
There will also be webinars and face-to-face workshops hosted at locations around the UK during the first half of 2013. Depending on members’ level of interest in the revision, and the demands of their role, they have the option to participate in the way that best suits their individual needs and circumstances.
IEMA’s webinars, which the Institute started delivering in 2010, have proved very popular for their ease of accessibility; low environmental impact; range of topics covered; quality of content; and expert presenters. The calendar of webinars is being extended for 2013 to feature monthly in-depth updates on key areas of interest for IEMA members.
While the content of each event is important, the professional development support offered by IEMA events does not come solely from the presentations and knowledge of the speakers. Meeting and networking with other members who have similar backgrounds, roles and responsibilities is a crucial element of attending IEMA events, giving members the chance to compare experiences and learn from each other.
Central to this ethos, and a core element of IEMA’s events programme, are the local events held throughout the UK and Ireland, which are driven by regional representatives. These members ensure that the information presented, and the networking opportunities on offer, are as relevant and convenient as possible.
The regional events, which are currently being planned for the year, also mirror the competencies of the ESM and IEMA’s policy horizons, so those attending can be sure that time spent at these events contributes to their ambitions to move up and along the skills map.
“IEMA’s events have always been a fundamental part of our membership services and we are building on those foundations to deliver support in key policy areas and professional development,” says Thorne. “During 2013, the focus is on the expansion of formats and aligning events with the environmental skills map.
“I’d really like to encourage all members – those who have previously attended events and those who have not yet got round to it – to take a look at this year’s events and book onto as many as possible. Going to an IEMA event really is one of the best ways to ignite career and professional development.”
For details of all upcoming IEMA events, visit iema.net/events.
Key IEMA events to look out for in 2013
- Essential guide to proposed changes to ISO 14001
- Monthly environment management updates
- Monthly EIA Directive updates
- Updated guidelines for visual landscape impact assessment
- 14001 revision: practitioner engagement on the latest proposals
- Proposals for the future EIA Directive: implications for local authorities
- Resource management
- Monthly workshops on upgrading IEMA membership to Full and Chartered environmentalist status
- Further resources online to support members in taking the Associate exam
Leading the way
- Quarterly events aimed at environment professionals working at director level