by Richard McPartland
The value of CPD for construction professionals can't be overestimated and RIBA's CPD Roadshows offer an ideal opportunity to take a day out of the office and keep your skills sharp with seminar presentations of RIBA-approved learning materials.
What is a RIBA CPD Roadshow?
RIBA CPD Roadshows are organised by the RIBA CPD Providers Network - an industry force of about 550 companies and advisory organisations that provide CPD to architects and other construction professionals.
The roadshows programme gives network members the chance to deliver their seminars face-to-face at 25 towns and cities across the country.
Attending a RIBA CPD Roadshow is completely free of charge and delegates can book up to five CPD sessions from a choice of 10 (20 in London) that are run in parallel across each full-day event.
As well as taking in valuable RIBA-accredited CPD attendees are also well fed and watered with refreshments across the day and a buffet lunch available - all absolutely free of charge.
Attending a RIBA CPD Roadshow is completely free of charge
What is a RIBA CPD Roadshow event like?
We caught up with roadshow team at the beginning of March as they made a stop off in Durham with an event at the Radisson Blu hotel in the heart of the historic city overlooking the River Wear.
A few weeks prior we'd made our booking online via RIBACPD.com. Here we were invited to select the seminars that were of most interest and received email confirmation of our selections and electronic ticket for the event shortly after.
On the day of the roadshow we arrived in town shortly after registration opened at 9am. The venue was easy to find and the adjoining car park offered plenty of free spaces. A quick word with reception, as advised, and parking for our whole-day stay was deemed free-of-charge and we were quickly directed to the roadshow location. Here staff from the roadshow team were on hand to welcome us and supply our first cup of tea of the day.
With time to spare before the first sessions there was plenty of opportunity to chat with some of the other attendees and scope out the exhibition stands from the day's team of seminar presenters. A virtual reality 'ride' on a platform lift courtesy of the Gartec team attracting plenty of attention.
The presentation sessions were scheduled to take place in one of two breakout rooms located right next to the main networking area.
Each session was timetabled to last for around 45 minutes with a 15 minute break between sessions and a longer gap over lunch.
Our tailored programme saw us take in five RIBA-accredited CPD presentations including:
- Playing by the Regulations: Roof Security (Marley Eternit Ltd)
- Platform Lifts: Who Needs Them? (Gartec Ltd)
- PVC- U Windows: The Past, The Present, The Future (Eurocell)
- Wall, Corner and Door Protection Systems (Inpro Corp)
- Personalised Workspace: Taking Light to Task (Dyson Lighting)
Soon it was time to begin and delegates began to filter into one of the two adjoining conference rooms according to their seminar preferences.
Those wielding laptops and hungry Twitter accounts were well catered for with free access to the hotel's wifi. Rooms were spacious and seats plentiful and the presentation screen a decent size. A great environment for learning.
For the first session of the day we'd opted for a session on roof security courtesy of Marley Eternit Ltd. This presentation served as an overview of up-to-date key industry standards and guidelines and lots of practical examples of how roofing products are influenced by British Standards and other legislation. Those with an eye on environmental effectiveness were also shown how these considerations are factored into product design. With clear objectives and lots of practical examples the session delivered exactly what was promised and it was soon time to move on to session two.
Gartec Ltd explained the pros and cons of platform lifts. In recent years platform lifts have adopted the same kinds of controls as conventional lifts making them a cost-effective solution across a wide range of applications. In this CPD presentation the team from Gartec showed the potential cash savings at design/build and across the lifespan of the lift with good consideration of suitable (and unsuitable) scenarios.
We opted for time travel in our third session (just as well we'd stocked up on snacks and apple juice in the session break) as Eurocell showed just how far we've come when it comes to the manufacture (and recycling) of PVC-U windows. Greater thermal efficiency, wider choice of finishes and incredibly durable and long-lasting PVC-U, despite initial reservations, has become almost ubiquitous on many of today's builds.
A productive morning drew to a close and the smell of hot food wafted into the networking area. Satiated we talked with fellow delegates and CPD providers and it was soon time to begin the afternoon sessions.
Protecting the edges
Maintaining aesthetics while still protecting building interiors from potentially relentless damage was the focus of our first session of the afternoon as Inpro Corp delivered their CPD presentation on Wall, Corner and Door Protection Systems. The range of wall and corner guards, panels, handrails and the like served to provide an imperative to specify the scuff-proof building!
Shedding light on the subject
Our final session of the day came courtesy of Dyson Lighting with a look at lighting and what to consider when providing solutions for rooms and key task areas. Dyson explained how they'd used heat pipe technology to cool LEDs to deliver incredibly efficient task-orientated lighting and how to assess the kind of lighting solution that is liable to work best in any given area.
Delving into such a variety of topics across the space of one day is a great way to learn... the time never seemed to drag and we left Durham with plenty to take back and consider as part of our working life. If you've not yet signed up for one of this year's RIBA CPD Roadshow events then we'd heartily recommend that you do!
How can I secure a place at a RIBA CPD Roadshow event?
Securing a place at future RIBA CPD Roadshow is a simple matter of visiting the RIBA CPD website, choosing a venue and following the instructions to book your place online.
Courses scheduled for later in the year may not be available for online booking just yet but you can register to be sent a reminder email once bookings go live.
Places are, of course, limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
If bookings for your chosen venue are live you'll be invited to supply some contact details as well as details of any special dietary or access requirements. As part of the booking process delegates are also invited to choose which seminar presentations they wish to attend by timeslot.
I'm a manufacturer or supplier - how can I present my CPD at a RIBA CPD Roadshow?
Watch our video to get a flavour for what a RIBA CPD Roadshow event is like and the opportunities our programme affords you as a manufacturer or supplier.
You can find out more about becoming a member of the RIBA CPD Providers Network.
Contact us to find out more about opportunities to present as part of the 2018 RIBA CPD roadshows programme.
Images: RIBA CPD Providers Network Roadshow events in London (January 2016) and Durham (March 2017).