The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is considering implementing a program of continuing professional development (CPD) for building practitioners, which will include pool builders and licensed and registered plumbers.
DELWP issued a consultation paper outlining options for implementing a mandatory CPD framework and SPASA Australia responded with a detailed submission looking at the benefits and potential hurdles for the industry.
The consultation paper presented three high-level options for introducing the CPD framework in Victoria with particular focus on the possible learning content that could inform a CPD scheme.
The three high-level options provided were:
Option 1: Do not introduce mandatory CPD in Victoria – acknowledging that voluntary schemes are being utilised by some industry organisations.
Option 2: Introduce mandatory CPD for all registered building practitioners and licensed and registered plumbers and allow practitioners to select their own subjects based on self-identified learning needs.
Option 3: Introduce mandatory CPD for all registered building practitioners and licensed and registered plumbers and prescribe a mixture of compulsory and non-compulsory subjects.
SPASA Australia has advocated in its submission that if a CPD mandatory scheme was implemented, it should be accessible, flexible, user-friendly and low cost. On that basis and following feedback from members, SPASA Australia supported Option 2.
Spiros Dassakis, COO of SPASA Australia says that CPD is important because the swimming pool and spa industry is constantly evolving, and that Option 2 allows skills to be updated, refreshed and monitored in a way that allows practitioners to identify deficiencies in their skill set and undertake topics that will address their specific knowledge gaps.
“With innovations in technology, changes in regulation, and ever-increasing project scopes, CPD can help frame our industry as professional, technically up-to-date and trustworthy,” Dassakis says.
He says that CPD benefits the pool and spa industry in the following ways:
• Keeps knowledge and skills up to date
• Assists employers to meet business goals
• Fosters greater work commitment and productivity
• Encourages dedication to job functionality
• Ensures standards across an organisation are consistently high
• Decentralises knowledge allowing for the sharing of information
• Fosters an environment of support and development
• Identifies and increases employee potential and opportunities
• Boosts employee morale and lifts company culture
• Helps to groom and mentor careers
• Lowers defects and risk to business
• Increases consumer, regulator and government confidence
• Lifts professionalism so that we are attractive to new entrants
SPLASH! approached SPASA Vic for comment but at the time of writing had not received a reply.