Lifelong Learning through PLD©PD – get the point(s)!
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.
And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Jim Rohn (1930 – 2009).
What is lifelong learning and why should professional lighting designers regard this as an integral part of their professionalism?
Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. It not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also competitiveness and employability.
We are currently creating a PLD©PD programme site where you can check out what educational activities are planned around the world that you can take part in. The website will also feature a get-the-point system to enable you to archive your ongoing continuing professional development. Random checks may be made to assess the progress made. Those achieving the recommended number of points per year will be acknowledged and documented for that year as Lifelong Learners. See also Support and guidance in your lifelong learning goals.
As “creators of opportunities”, and through a range of educational media and events, the VIA Group have created a framework of lifelong learning activities to support you in your efforts to pursue continuing professional education and consistently build on your competencies. These activities will include VIA events and programmes, but also seminars, conferences, practical workshops, discussion workshops, technical demonstrations and recommended reading from other sources.
Once an official CPD structure is in place under the auspices of an independent, non-profit body, your documented progress can be transferred to the officially acknowledged system.
Professional quality depends on what you know and how you apply it. It is now possible to study Lighting Design and gain an academic qualification. Good programmes will include a significant amount of practical experience (workshops, experimental installations) and an internship period (market experience), but a newly qualified lighting designer (Bachelor / Master graduate) seldom sets up his/her own design practice immediately on graduating. Experience in the field is a must, and guidance may be required on many levels.
One of the key requirements for gaining political (official) recognition for a profession is CPD (Continuing Professional Development). Alongside a Scope of Work document, a Code of Ethics and a Grievance Procedure, CPD helps ensure that the designer does indeed fulfil the criteria required to be classified as a professional.
CPD and lifelong learning are very much steered by the individual. It is up to you to decide in which areas you need to expand your skills and knowledge. You may be an expert in the field of lighting controls, but you find it difficult leading your team, negotiating with clients, or presenting a paper at a conference.
Lifelong learning can make a huge difference to your confidence, success and reputation as a professional lighting designer. A positive approach to continuing professional education will benefit you in more ways than one.
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune”.
Jim Rohn (1930 – 2009),
author and motivational speaker.