Tips on using this forum..

(1) Explain your problem, don't simply post "This isn't working". What were you doing when you faced the problem? What have you tried to resolve - did you look for a solution using "Search" ? Has it happened just once or several times?

(2) It's also good to get feedback when a solution is found, return to the original post to explain how it was resolved so that more people can also use the results.

What competences/skills should be recognised?

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Dave Crosby
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(3) Irrespective of how such certification or accreditation is carried out, what Core Competences / Skills should be recognised and how could we grade such skills?

As a personal note: should experience be recognised?

Replies

Gary Whitehead
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Nestor’s list of competencies seemed to me to be quite useful. I would also add for consideration:
a) Claims analysis
b) Resourcing & leveling
c) EVA and other productivity measures
d) Contracts
e) Risk
f) Change control

These competencies should be proven either via peer assesment, and/or a written exam.

Education and experience are also important. I would suggest for full membership a minimum of say 10 years expereince, 4 of which could be substituted for a relevant degree. Experience can be proved by providing details of past employment to be checked, degree by a copy of the certificate.

Such a system is going to take a lot of manhours to setup, and a lot to maintain. Which is one of the main reasons I feel partering with an existing body with all the beauracracy, governance, legal support, etc already in place is a far better route to sucess than going it alone.

With reference to the suggestion that we use PP profiles (# posts, years of active membership, etc) to assess accreditation, that is not the way to get recruiters to take us seriously. all your PP profile deomostrates is your ability to use a discussion forum.
Dieter Wambach
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Querida Carmen

Too much of "lisonjero" honour! But you are missing many others as Raf Dua, Ron Winter, Paul Harris, Wladimir Liberzon, Carmen Arape, Raviraj Bhedase, Patricia LaClainche, or Andrew Flowerdew, or .... From all I learnt a lot.

It is a great discussion, thanks to Christian Schellander to start this chapter. A discussion full of humour, the best I found by Charly: "Firstly, It is not possible to limit only to engineering since PP got housewives, labourers, keyboard jockeys as members and part of the accrediation." Nice categorization of persons: Engineers, housewives, labourers, keyboard jockeys.

Do we really require one more accreditation? There are plenty already. In my humble opinion: The strength of this community is: Different persons from different countries with different professional background and experience discuss from their point of view on items related to planning and scheduling. That’s why I like it. We need both, young with good ideas from education and experienced. We shouldn’t charge ourselves with all the bureaucratic staff required to establish something equivalent to PMI, AACE or others. We would need it because otherwise our accreditation wouldn’t be recognized by employers.

Required competences: The best idea (for my opinion) was given by Andrew:
"1.Produce a realistic programme that is of use in managing the project
2.Update that programme to reflect actual progress, change, etc so that it remains a useful tool and gives realistic information for managing the project
3.Communicate that information to those who need it"
No criterion to add.

Which criteria used for an application interview - my opinion?
1. Good understanding of our technical terms, e.g. critical path, ...
2. Good technical background on the required area, but you’ll never find an expert for all aspects. Specialists to my opinion are too focussed onto their special area
3. Ability to structurize complex items
4. Ability to communicate
5. Ability to use a pm software
6. Strong, but able to be assistant - to the pm.

A happy and prosperous new year with a good health to all!

Dieter



Charleston-Joseph...
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Dear Nestor,

Your idea is well taken by me.

I’m willing to lead pp members in this accreditation, but, but,

since there is BUT, BUT,

There are limitations. Time is not in my side. Also, we have to understand what comeptences/skills must someone have to be able to lead. What knowledge must someone possess to lead.

If I’m to lead, I will make it so simple this accreditation criteria to be set up and approve within/by PP community.

Regards,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Nestor Principe
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Dear All,

I will not have any doubt, from the forum, on the expertise of the mentioned names. Are those persons, can we say, willing to lead the pp members in this endeavor.

Cheers.
Carmen Arape
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To All,

Normally when you mention experts you do not include yourself, but following Charlie’s post about the experts, here they are:

Carmen
Charlie
Clive Randall
Chris Oggham
Andrew Flowerdew
Dieter Wambach
Anoon Iimos

People mentioned above have more than 18 years experience.

Cheers,


Nestor Principe
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what is imporatant is whoever will be chosen to take the intiative, they are didicated for they need to spend time and effort organizing this thing. would they be happy to do the job for free. those senior and active member of the forum, respected members, please speak up your position.

how it is going to be organized must be agreed.

cheers.
Raviraj Bhedase
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Where r v leading to??

What if person with three years in PP and within top 20 active member, has limited skills. There are few members like that who keep on posting some useless stuff and even their IDENTITY IS FAKE.

Thread is about what COMPETENCIES / SKILLS should be recognised and NOT about active members
Charleston-Joseph...
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And that will make only 6 expert here in PP.

Charlie
Clive - I missed his post
Philip - I missed his post
Chris
Marcio
Andrew - I missed his post

What do you think????

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Charleston-Joseph...
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Because the other criteria in addition to the top five active forum

is

should be a member in PP for at least three years.

and that makes only one expert.

And so it is not fair.

We could used the top 20 forum contributors and should be at least a member of PP for at least three years.

That will inspire others to actively get involved in PP forum to become an accredited expert in PP.

cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Raviraj Bhedase
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Why first five active members?? Why not to consider four??

:-)

By the way, hav u ever been to DEAD INDIAN PASS, in wyoming in ur very famous US of A??

Charleston-Joseph...
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WE can establish a creteris that the fisrt five active member in the forum will be considered ?????????

Expert in PP ??????????????

WOW that will be a simple "INDIA PASS" for me to be accredited member of PP.

by the way the term "INDIAN PASS" is mean to be the final rite of passage for a neophyte in joining a fraternity during my college days. It was very physical and too much violence, the way we used to do it.

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Charleston-Joseph...
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So this will create a situation on what standard is this accreditation will pursue.

Is it not possible that being a PP member is itself an accreditation?????

Why can’t we just accredited ourserlves????

Cheers,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Nestor Principe
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Charles,

We cannot standardized the software, there will be hundred of ETC.

It’s next to impossible.

Unless we get support by many, this task will not go forward.

Cheers..
Charleston-Joseph...
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We can start competences/skills

firstly with planning software

But then WHAT SOFTWARE

that we can say a member will be accredited because he/she is competent in ?????

Primavera What version????? P3, P3.1, P5, P6

Are we going to discriminate those that were not able to migrate and got stuck up in P3 or P3.1 for the simple reason that their companies did not migrate to higher version.

Microsoft Project Again What version??????

Spider

ETC? ETC? ETC?

Regards,
Happy Planning and Scheduling
Nestor Principe
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BIM, so far, I find it good only for presentation, the client will appreciate it more than the traditional barcharts and curves.

Re competence and skills, this thread will not move unless supported by many or maybe we should shift the focus first on the extent of benifits the body can offer to the members.

Cheers
Charleston-Joseph...
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Carmen,

My BMI is in the area of 30, still obese.

What happen to this thread????

We are supposed to discussed competences/skill.

Remember if the word is competencies/skill, then, IT SHOULD BE SKILLS IN THE USE OF PLANNING SOFTWARE, IT SHOULD BE COMPETENCES IN THE USE OF PLANNING SOFTWARE.

It is very easy to measure competences/skills in the use of planning software.

Carmen Arape
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Charlie,

cross the box as 1 star post BMI meaning.

just Qrious about your BMI???

William,

thanks for your explanation

Cheers,
Anoon Iimos
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I supposed "BIM" (its functionality) is dependent on the availability of data (i.e. drawings/details), same with the Planning/Scheduling tools/software. The more data you got, the more it (Plan) becomes realistic.

May I add one basic skill an aspiring Planner must have - an ability to quantify elements mathematically ( quantity estimating/surveying or quantity take-off). How can you do a Plan if you cannot quantify anyway?!!!
William Burrows
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Carmin,

BIM (Building Information Model)

I can understand how you have confused it with B M I, obviously you haven’t been invloved with 5D.

My appoligies for assuming otherwise.

I will try to explain some of the fundamentals:-

It can be desribed as a shared digital representation of a construction project & that the information contained in the model is interoperable.
That is, it will allow computer to computer exchanges.
Further, that the exchange is based on open standards and is cabable of defining in contract language.

Put simply, (3D) CAD files are supplemented with a temperal dimension (4D) and further costed aginst the estimate (5D).

When the model has been developed (and during it’s devlopment) progress, changes, analysis of constuctability, projections and much more can be generated in real time.

Further explanations would be impractical in this forum, however I hope this is sufficient to clarify my original question.

Regards,
William.

Charleston-Joseph...
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Carmen,

BMI means

Body Mass Index.

How come, in planning we encounter BMI for Body Mass Index????

Cheers
Charlie
Carmen Arape
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William,

Sorry but BMI , mean ????

carmen
William Burrows
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All,

As planners become more involved with BIMs the skill measurements will change accordingly, how will we address the grading of competence against a multidimensional environment such as we use in BIMs?

Regards,
William.
Nestor Principe
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Shall we say joining member/apprentice member must demonstrate competency in the following as the minimum requirement.

1) critical path analysis
2) project management tools of their choice
3) writing programme narrative
4) updating/statusing programme (comparison with baseline)
5) writing status report
6) preparation and updating of dash board
7) ...
8) ...

and will become full member on proof he/she has actual experience on the above core task.

planning planet will establish the standards.

membership will be upgraded on proof he has hands-on experience on claim assessment, project control, etc.

again, pp will establish standards.

STRUCTURE:

1) Europe
2) USA
3) Australia
4) Asia pacific
5) Middle East
6) ...
7) ...

each region will elect officer and will send representative to central body.

thanks to modern tech. I dont need to fly to London to talk face to face to a person.

how about that. it’s to start. now you change/propose what ever you want.

cheers...

Carmen Arape
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Andrew,

Fully agree with you about the competences/skills for a good planner.

Starting with “good communication skills”: many planners in the market with poor speaking and writing skills in his/her native language. The situation gets worst using a second language as English.

From Company to Company planners are asked to do different taks: Indeed, but the more the better. Getting involved in many things will add value to the most important task which is “good quality of project prediction to completeness”.

Cheers,

Dave Crosby
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I agree that the important thing is too know sound principals. I think any decent project scheduling software tool will do for accreditation. I think it would be wrong to define a specific list of software. The aim is to be recognised as a profession not just some users of XYZ software.
Nestor Principe
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In design, although there are many design softwares available, analysis is very important to come up with a good design. You must have a good understanding of the theories.

How about, understanding of the critical path’s manual calculation. In my opnion, CPM is the foundation of planning.

And what project management software tools?

Dave Crosby
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Personally I think the ability to create and update a Gantt Chart which shows the critical path is a core competency.

The ability to show the critical path implies the Gantt Chart has certain characteristics which are fundamental to planning. IMHO.

In this day and age, it is perhaps a skills requirement that this be created and updated in a project management software tool.
Nestor Principe
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All,

Excellent ideas from everyone, now, what competences/skilss should be recognised?

Cheers..
Andrew Flowerdew
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All

I was trying to draw the thread back to it’s title:

What competences/skills should be recognised?

Anoon - Planning is a part of management, a very important part. You don’t have to be a ’manager’ to be a planner, but you do need a good level of communication skills.

I was concentrating on CORE skills. Planners may be asked to look after lots of things. I’ve known planners that have been asked to get involved in procurement, (other than telling people what is needed and when), hiring labour, cashflow predictions... I could fill many pages up with tasks that planners are asked to do.

The tasks and expectations of a planner, (or job description), varies from company to company and even, job to job within a company, often depending on what resources are available or what the individual project manager thinks a planner should do.

But all these other tasks are not the CORE task of a planner. The CORE task revolves around managing the programme - yes, I used the word managing, because that’s exactly what a planner should be doing.

I don’t mean trying to be clever and using the programme to set up claims, I mean the setting up, monitoring and maintaining of a tool that will be an invaluable aid in the effective management of the project.

For that to happen the programme has to start it’s life as a realistic plan and then it has to be maintained as a realistic plan.

For the latter to happen, it will only be realistic if it is continually updated to reflect everything that is known at the time, (or as close as possible at the time as not every site has a full time planner). I’ve been known to update a programme several times in one day! Any "planner" who thinks updating the programme is something that is done once a month for the progress report needs to have a serious rethink of what the core purpose of his job is!

(The response to that statement should be interesting, I wonder how many people on this site I’ve just upset and what the excuses will be as to why when something new is known, the programme can’t be updated straight away - haven’t got the time, too many new things at once ......). By the way, I’ll support all the excuses, people not doing what I’ve just described keeps me in work.

Until the project is complete, the programme will always be a best guess prediction. It is the quality of that prediction, (which is ongoing until the project is built), that separates the keyboard jockey from the planner.
Anoon Iimos
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Andrew,

It may really sound or look simple but in reality it (not one) never is (points 1,2,3). And I supposed you summarized it into one word which is "Management", do you mean Planning is Management? (I’m always inclined to believe that it is).

But if you just pick one (as a Planner) out of the three (core competences), is it possible that you can specialize with one of it and let the upper levels (say Project Manager) organize the three?

Or, is it always necessary for one to have management skills in order to become an effective Planner?

Carmen,

I believe it happens because the Plan is not always prepared in a collective manner (maybe only the Planner has conceptualized it), and when it comes to review by others (which doesn’t always happen as well), a lot of problems will arise, now everyone wants to be a Planner.

Nestor,

I supposed Construction Team doesn’t always review the Plan before implementation (they never have spare time, according to them). They just have plenty of time to criticize the Plan.

cheers!
Carmen Arape
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Judging a schedule as unrealistic can be for two reasons:

- Estimated durations out of reality

- Schedule logic out of reality : the logic is reflecting the work process or sequence of work.

At developing the schedule, the crystal ball is the best input of the whole TEAM and planner expertise .

Monitoring the schedule, the crystal ball is the best judge of the Planner at gathering work performance and forecasting completion dates. During this process the sequence of work might change to reflect the reality.

At this moment is when the team starts talking about unrealistic schedule because they do not want to talk about inefficiencies. Start the phase "Search for the Guilty".

Cheers,


Nestor Principe
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In my opinion, programme is unrealistic when you want to plaster the block wall before laying the blocks.

A programme prepared by an experienced planner, reviewed by the construction team, is realistic until it become obsolete. It is the construction team’s call, for a reason, to deviate from the programme. The planner is a member of the construction team though.

Cheers..
Andrew Flowerdew
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Carmen,

There’s always a lot of unknowns, unforeseen events, hence the importance of no 2 on my list.

No person has a crystal ball, you can’t plan such events but many do nothing to update the programme when the "unknowns" become "knowns". Hence the programme becomes out of date, doesn’t reflect the known reality, is giving results that are meaningless and then the problems start.
Carmen Arape
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Andrew,

The statement “realistic programme” is misused and abused by project team members at the moment of assessing project failure.

If is the perfect expression for pointing fingers to planners.

Let’s accept that we do not have realistic schedules during engineering and procurement phase , next question would be WHY ??

Here some reasons:

1.- Because I can not plan rework associated to “End quality problems” associated a key deliverables in the basic Engineering and detailed engineering. Status such as: AFD needs to be understood for the project team.

2.- I can not plan rework associated to documents with status AFC but the construction subcontractor rejects to build with them due the same problem “End quality problems”.

3.- I can not plan rework or delays associated to inexcusable actions during the vendor drawings review cycle.

Just to mention few reasons,

Cheers
Andrew Flowerdew
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Anoon,

The CORE competencies of a planner are quite simple. Forgetting all the other things a planner may be asked to do, it’s his/her job to:

1.Produce a realistic programme that is of use in managing the project
2.Update that programme to reflect actual progress, change, etc so that it remains a useful tool and gives realistic information for managing the project
3.Communicate that information to those who need it

Each can be subdivided, yes there are a million and one other tasks a planner may be asked to do, but first and foremost planning is about managing the project effectively by implementing 1 to 3 above.
Andrew Flowerdew
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Carmen

When doing my degree I also learnt how to calculate a critical path manually, the theory behind critical path analysis and about risk, (degree course content doesn’t seem to have changed much in 25 years!!!), also how to write / read bar chart and time/chainage programmes using a pencil and drawing board!!!!

But, it was the experience after leaving college that really taught me the nuts and bolts of PLANNING and like you, I was lucky enough to receive some excellent training from an experienced planner.

The question therefore is how much weight do you give to a qualification as opposed to experience. Personally I think both should be a requirement but how do you properly verify and assess on a consistent basis someone’s experience who may be on the other side of the world.
Anoon Iimos
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May I repeat the question here, "What competences / skills should be recognized?" I too has a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering (never mind where it came from but sure is legitimate in our place). Do you think I can practise as an Engineer in the UK or in the US? or any first world country considering that I’m coming from the third world?

Coming from the third world, doesn’t and I supposed will never give me freedom to choose.

So if one of the objectives of PP is to go global, then I supposed the standards to be established is meant to be accepted globally as well.
R. Catalan
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All,

Education will provide you the foundation of your choosen field.

I have come across planners who are present in the meeting that can’t grasp the discussion of construction related issues due to lack of proper education. At school, we were taught about the basic materials, it’s functions, and some methodology in construction. For some reasons it’s not that important to planning issues, but acquiring knowledge at college degree level is essential to produce results.

Some has excellent education but lacks planning experience. Again they can’t converse on actual site issues and reduce themselves to silence. This leads to pre-mature approval of EOT, etc.

Regards,

Carmen Arape
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Andrew,

I can imagine that a degree in civil engineering does not give you any planning skill. But a degree in Industrial Engineering gives you an excellent background to understand key concepts in planning such as;
Critical path: I have calculated critical path manually. Of course no more than 50 activities.

Identifying risk: two statistics courses gave the ability to understand the concept of risk measurement.

Forecasting man-hours and cost: one course of microeconomy gave me the concept of understanding opportunity cost.

As a junior planner, my first steps into planning were guided by experienced planners. I am proud to have learnt with them.

Fully agree with you regarding that working on construction contractor side gives you the clear perspective towards planning and most important resources planning and control.

Looking back my academic time and first ten years of experience makes me feel privileged for two reasons: good academic education and excellent Senior planners and Project managers.

Looking at the present : no comments

Tick a box as compliment for these words: Listening to all sides and making your own choice is what life is about

Cheers,


Andrew Flowerdew
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It’s a difficult one, both experience and education are important, together they should give an indication of ability but take me:

I have a degree in civil engineering (M.Eng) and another one (MSc) in construction law and dispute resolution. I’m also a chartered engineer (C.Eng) - but when I think of the planning content in any of them, it was small.

I learnt nearly all my planning skills after leaving college - mainly whilst on the job working for a contractor. Luckily the contractor I worked for had a policy of putting young graduates through six months of planning training, (tender and live projects), under the supervision of an experienced planner. Therefore I was lucky and learnt a lot about planning very early on in my career and could go on to apply it.

But looking back my academic education didn’t teach me much about planning, it was a contractor who recognised the value of planning and then self teaching through experience, etc.

I’m sure there are academic courses today that include more planning than mine did but academic qualifications alone aren’t going to mean much when trying to assess someone’s planning ability.
Raviraj Bhedase
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U were writing so well in this thread so far but what happened to you now??

Also, if I can recall correctly (from his previous threads), ur so called Mr. CJO has done B Sc in civil engineering from Spain.

Education really matters a lot. Especially since u r working in middle east, u can easily figure out difference between Educated (& experienced) guy and Experienced guy.

Even here (in middle east), u can find carpenters, divers and fitters to be project managers who dont have any clue about gantt charts and wordings like Total Float still gives them too many options, but still client accept their CV’s and recruit them on board.

For me, still Experience and Education shud be the main keys for accreditation.

Cheers,
Anoon Iimos
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Andrew,

Thanks for the recognition, but somehow I came to realize (after making such comment) that there’s no really such thing as "the freedom to choose", at these times, I supposed the question is, can anybody really afford to choose? And naturally human beings did’nt really chose to be one (like a baby, I got a new baby boy by the way).

Further, as you go mature, maybe you can really work hard for choosing a life that you want, but it never really turned-out as you wanted it, and you just settle for whatever came to you.

Here, I really admire the practical mind of Mr. CJO (Charlie).

So maybe (we) can only settle for "Ability and Experience"? and disregard Education (specific) as the main keys?

cheers!

Nestor Principe
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Let’s be reminded that a Bachelor Degree obtain from one country may not be honored in another country. As the case in HK, I can only join HKIE thru mature route where I must complete the required years of experience to qualify.


Cheers..
R. Catalan
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all,

i follow the lead of anoon that education and experience should be the key issue in providing the needed accreditation.... and shall be awarded only to planners who meet and maintain the standards set by the awarding body.

they can add also categories of accreditation (ie., expert in buildings, infras, etc.).

then the institution should be very bold in marketing their members to improve industry recognition, respect, that in turn will benefit the members in terms of salary grade.

thanks


Charleston-Joseph...
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Andrew,
You are my idol.  I have so much respect of your opinion.
Well, having said what you had said, I will change.

For the best.

What happened is really more on like Rod Stewart’s song

"... I was only joking my dear, TRYING TO HIDE MY FEAR".

Basically, I have inferiority complex and the PP gave me an oppotunity to rise from my present emotional state and got the feeling of superiority.

But of course, as time change, I’ve been in this planet for four years now, the rant becomes boring, lunatic and irrelevant

so now I’ve made a choice

and you will notice in my future post.

Cheers,
happy planning and scheduling

Andrew Flowerdew
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Anoon,

You’re not biased, accreditation should always be based solely on ability. Skin colour, birth place, etc, etc , should never defeat ability. But, there’s got to be an internationally respected way of assessing someone’s ability, what that is very open to debate.

Charlie on the other hand is biased and does have a distorted view of the world, especially when it comes to the UK. He’s very well known on this site for his rather unique views. As much as I’d like to say his views are misguided, I often don’t agree with them, but he’s entitled to say whatever he thinks.

Listening to all sides and making your own choice is what life is about.
Anoon Iimos
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Charlie,

One has to choose a career (or a specialty), and you had chosen one, right? You may not be recognized as an Engineer in the UK or in US, but I believe that you have all the right to be where you are now as you have chosen it (or is it not?).

Of course there should always be discrimination, but I supposed there will also be categorization (or leveling, like the schedule you are making). If they will impose racial discrimination, then there’s no reason of going global. Let them contain it in the UK, and maybe call themselves PP accredited UK Planners (elite and most expensive) and let the middle easterns and asians think of hiring them.

And what competences and skills should be recognised? I stand with my post below. The keys are education and experience. The latter might be misleading that’s why it needs to be proven.

Am I bias?

cheers!
Charleston-Joseph...
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Anoon,

With due respect,

In our quest for accreditation, we have to bring along the planning brand, the unique way of planning in planning planet.

Firstly, It is not possible to limit only to engineering since PP got housewives, labourers, keyboard jockeys as members and part of the accrediation. take note that we have planners, this are the non engineering graduate or non engineering educated but practicing planners, very common to find in British influence but negligible in US of A influence countries

so this approch is discriminatory to those with lesser skills and understanding but highly paid because of the color of their skin or it is their GOD given rights.

Cheers,
happy planning and scheduling
Anoon Iimos
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Dave

What comes first in my mind (i just thought i had one), is that, it all comes down to Planning. And what are the skills/competences needed?

1. Education - Engineering or any related course (this one was chosen by the individual), and I think it is not appropriate for a Doctor (Medicine) to be recognised as a Planning Engineer.

2. Experience? - Yes (I believe a must), but how can it be proven (considering global coverage)? I suggest thru written examination / essay (done in private, secret and random).

3. All of the above!

Anoon Iimos
Jobless and Not Recognised