When the COVID-19 pandemic induced lockdowns, the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers realised they had to change the way they offered their training.
Electrical engineers in South Africa register their professional accreditation with the Engineering Council of South Africa and are required to maintain that registration through the CPD (continuing professional development) system.
“Every five years you have to prove that you have continued learning because the world does not sit still,” explained SAIEE acting CEO Leanetse Matutoane.
The continued learning can be in the form of attending conferences, lectures and short learning programmes, as well as work-based activities, individual activities such as publishing papers, and continued membership of the SAIEE.
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The SAIEE makes it easier by offering particular CPD-validated courses but had to quickly pivot to offering digital lessons and while they will eventually go back to offering in-person classes at their provincial centres, Matutoane says virtual learning is here to stay. Going online has helped them overcome the issue of having their training academy based in Gauteng.
“We are based in Johannesburg with nine centres around the country. We had most of the courses taking place here and at the different centres, but not everyone stays in Joburg, or Cape Town, so they had to travel. This system of online training has enabled us to include everyone. That worked really well, so even during hard lockdown, people could attend courses,” said Matutoane.
“We are definitely holding onto that. When levels ease we can go back to face-to-face but the online system will still work, so we can offer courses on a hybrid basis. Some companies want to have their own courses for their employees and we can do that physically, or online.”
CPD points from webinars is opening the concept of lifelong training
He pointed out the value offering of the SAIEE is to promote and disseminate knowledge, so attending webinars can also fall into the ambit of continued training that can be CPD (continuing professional development) validated.
“And, that’s actually a second way we have changed how we do business. During 2020 webinars became very popular, and that speaks to the demand for technical knowledge dissemination” said Matutoane.
The following sessions on the Enlit Africa digital event will be CPD validated:
8 June 2021
- Opening Keynote: The 5Ds of the energy transition
- Accelerating South Africa’s energy transition with Gas Power and Renewables (TBC if accredited – might need to remove once the validator has seen the session as it’s sponsored by GE and he’s concerned it might be ‘salesy’)
- Financing the African energy transition
- Biogas in Africa
- Training: Design principles of utility-connected PV systems
- Preparing your utility transformation roadmap
9 June 2021
- Case study: Preparing for how minigrids meet the national grid
- Business case for a circular economy
- Ensuring grid reliability, power quality and safe, secure power delivery
- Ringing renewables onto the grid: G-PST Consortium presentation
10 June 2021
- The role of Africa in the global hydrogen-generation market
- Nigeria’s metering sector – an update
- The realities of incorporating small scale embedded generation (SSEG) into your local distribution grid
- Training: Fundamentals of PV systems with energy storage
The SAIEE will confirm after 10 June how many CPD points will be awarded for the digital event and attendants will then fill in a certification request on the Enlit Africa website for uploading onto the ECSA website.