Delivery of industry best practice training in spotlight at latest FIDIC webinar

15 Nov 2022

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The latest event in FIDIC’s webinar series took place on 15 November 2022 and was a special event organised by FIDIC’s membership committee and directors and secretaries’ advisory council which looked at how FIDIC members - and also their member firms - can benefit from FIDIC’s best practice training services and the difference those make to the industry, nationally and internationally.

The Developing global best practice skills in the industry event was chaired by Chris Campbell, chair of the FIDIC directors and secretaries’ advisory council and CEO of Consulting Engineers South Africa. Speakers at the webinar were Enni Soetanto from Indonesia, chair of the FIDIC membership committee and a senior advisor at Mott MacDonald, João Recena, vice president of ABCE, FIDIC’s member association in Brazil, LaToya Ouna, a member of the FIDIC Future Leaders Advisory Council from Kenya and Michael Broadley, the general manager of the FIDIC Academy, based in Switzerland.

Introducing the webinar, FIDIC president Tony Barry said that he was grateful to FIDIC’s membership committee and the directors and secretaries’ advisory council for organising the event. “Both of these important bodies have a key liaison role with FIDIC’s member associations around the world and these member associations play a crucial role in representing the interests of the consulting engineering industry on a global scale,” said Barry.

As the global representative body for these national member associations of consulting engineers, representing over one million engineering professionals and 40,000 firms in more than 100 countries worldwide, FIDIC and its member associations play an increasingly influential role on the world scale.

Opening the event, Chris Campbell, chair of the FIDIC directors and secretaries’ advisory council and CEO of Consulting Engineers South Africa, urged attendees to avail themselves of the services that FIDIC member associations (MAs) offer, especially in the important area of training and development.

The first speaker Enni Soetanto, chair of the FIDIC membership committee, touched on how FIDIC’s member associations had supported their members during the pandemic and how the experience of those times had affected the way that MA member firms were now working. She also highlighted the important role of the FIDIC Academy and the key training support it provides, especially in the area of contracts. Soetanto said that consultancy firms were reliant on receiving the latest updates, information and best practice on industry issues and FIDIC and its MAs needed to provide a key role in providing that information and crucially in ensuring it takes account of the latest industry and business developments.

João Recena, vice president of FIDIC’s Brazilian member association ABCE, said that he believed that his association should be taking greater advantage of the services, including the lobbying activity, that FIDIC provides. Recena said that this was particularly relevant in the area od sustainability and he mentioned the current COP27 event taking place in Egypt and the issues emanating from that conference. “In Brazil and Latin America, we have challenges on sustainability and net zero issues and it would be of great benefit if FIDIC organised training in this area,” he said.

Recena also made the point that he had benefited from attending FIDIC sustainability webinars in the recent period and was also pleased to see the agreements that FIDIC has signed with organisations like the World Bank to use its standard contracts. He also highlighted the importance of having FIDIC support to provide training and publications on best practices in the languages spoken in Latin America.

LaToya Ouna, a member of the FIDIC Future Leaders Advisory Council, offered her perspective from the young professionals in the industry and highlighted some of the issues that were included in the recently published FIDIC Future Leaders Booklet which was launched at the recent Global Infrastructure Conference in Geneva. She urged attendees to read publication, which was available for download from the FIDIC website. Ouna also took the opportunity to promote the FIDIC Future Leaders Management Course, FIDIC’s engaging online business management education and training course for consulting engineers, which was now taking registrations for its 2023 intake.

Michael Broadley, general manager of the FIDIC Academy, spoke about the Academy and its work and presented some of the emerging findings from a survey that was recently conducted to better understand the needs of FIDIC’s members regarding training on best business practices. The Academy was an integral part of FIDIC and adhered to the organisation’s key values, especially in the area of quality, he said. “Every day is a school day,” said Broadley and this maxim informed his approach to training and development. Training was also crucial in retaining people in the industry and to recruitment, underlining its importance to FIDIC and its member associations.

He also said that FIDIC was looking to build the FIDIC Academy brand by the use of massive open online courses (MOOCs), online training courses available for anyone to enrol on and would be especially attractive in the area of best practice. MOOCs also provided an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, said Broadley and together with work around accreditation would really enable FIDIC to increase the attractiveness of its training offer in the market.

There were some comments and questions during the discussion around the cost of FIDIC training events and the location where they were being delivered and Broadley said that the use of MOOCs for business best practice courses had the potential to offer training at a more attractive price point. He also said that user feedback in this area – both on price and location – would be taken on board as part of the ongoing review of FIDIC’s training future training offer.

Inevitably, the issue of FIDIC contracts and their usage was raised by some attendees in the chat. FIDIC president Tony Barry said that the contracts were genuinely international and therefore attractive to the global industry because they were geared to different territories and legal systems and took into account the needs of all players in the industry.

The next event in FIDIC’s 2022 webinar series is a webinar organised by the FIDIC integrity management committee to launch the latest State of the World report focusing on corrupting. Appropriately, the event takes place on the UN’s International Anti-Corruption Day on Friday 9 December 2022. Working together to combat corruption in the global construction industry takes place on Friday 9 December 2022 at 12 noon CET.

Click here to book a place at this free webinar.

The full webinar recording is available below.

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