Professional development

17th March 2014

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Skills ,
  • Training ,
  • CPD ,
  • Qualifications ,
  • Ethics


Jonathan Hall

IEMA's 2014 practitioners' survey gives an overview of practitioners professional development activities

Keeping their knowledge and competence up to date is a priority for the vast majority of IEMA practitioners. Around 90% of those taking part in the 2014 survey took part in some form of professional training in 2013. The types of professional development ranged from informal activities, such as free webinars, to more formal training, including academic or vocational courses. On average, IEMA members participated in at least three different forms of continuing professional development (CPD) during the year.

The most popular ways to keep knowledge and skills up to date are by reading key materials (53% of respondents), followed by participating in in-house training (49.1%). Taking part in IEMA webinars and attending other events, conferences or training courses are also common ways for environment professionals to hone their skills and knowledge. Attending academic or vocational courses (figure 11) are less popular CPD approaches.

As figure 12 shows, the key motivation behind undertaking professional training for environment practitioners is to develop knowledge and skills in their current role (47.2% of respondents).

For the 10% of environment practitioners who did not participate in any professional training in 2013, the three most common reasons for not doing so were a lack of time (35.9%), a lack of budget (16.4%) and an absence of opportunity (15.9%).

The poll also asked respondents if their employer provides financial support for CPD. Two respondents in three (64.8%) report that their employer paid the full cost of their CPD activities, while almost one practitioner in five (18.1%) funded their own development. Most of the remaining practitioners shared the cost of professional training with their employer in 2013.

The 2014 survey investigated the level of financial support provided by employers to practitioners for their professional activities. In the case of their IEMA membership subscription, 30.1% of employed practitioners pay their own subscription fee, while 36.1% pay the subscription and receive a full refund from their employer at a later date. In a further 31.1% of cases, the employer pays the member’s full subscription costs directly to the Institute.

Figure 13 reveals the extent to which IEMA members’ job role changed in the previous 12 months. The findings show that almost two-thirds of respondents (64.6%) remain in the same role in the same organisation, while 13.9% of practitioners are now in a more senior role in the same organisation. Just 13% of respondents moved to a different organisation during 2013, with the overwhelming majority of these individuals having switched to a more senior or equally senior role.

A high proportion of practitioners (41.7%) taking part in the survey consider themselves to be a “career changer” – that is, they began their working life in another industry or profession and subsequently switched to an environment or sustainability role. Among these 878 IEMA members, the primary motivation to change careers was a personal interest in the subject area. Another strong impetus was that the environment and/or sustainability had become vital to the development of an existing role.

The overwhelming majority of professionals who have developed a new career in the field are pleased with the outcome – three-quarters (76.8%) of this cohort are either satisfied or very satisfied with their environment career.

Read the full survey results:


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close