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Accreditation Based on Experience

14 replies [Last post]
Mike Testro
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Hi Everyone.

My point is that you cannot plan anything unless you know how to build it.

If you are just transposing a Project managers method statement into the software you are not planning anything.

So the starting point for accreditaion must be:

1. Years of experience in your speciality.
2. Years of experience with planning software.

In my opinion

1. 5 years
2. 2 years - beginner.

1. 10 years
2. 4 years - experienced.

1. 45 years
2. 20 years - thats me.

So it would be relatively simple to set up a grading system based on planning experience.

That does not address the quality of the planner.

I could have been producing rubbish for the last 20 years and got away with it.

At PEO the candidate has to draw up an original thesis for review by an admissions panel.

That approach needs a lot of time from unpaid volunteers and who is going to vet the vetters.

Another approach is for full acreditation the candidate must have at least 3 personal references relating to the quality of the work produced - graded 1 - 5.

So to start with we should all ask PP to add a section in our personal details for section 1 & 2 years of experience.

Then follow on with the grading references.

When this is all in place the accreditation system will start to fall into place automatically.

I look forward to your feed back.

Best regards

Mike Testro


Ron Baird
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Hi Mike,
You are dead right it would be better to go it alone.
However to be fully credible will take a torturous path and we might become a fully certified body in couple of decades.
PEO is great and if it was certified I would join it in a flash, however it is a standalone organisation at present and I do not know if it is on the road to certification.
Perhaps we should be joining PEO to give them greater support and help in their quest for full accreditation.
I like your ideas Mike and your work but we have to look at the bigger picture and see that diverse organisations can become certified if we go down the right path.
Organisations like, Plumbers, Concrete Techology, Automotive Engineers, Cost Engineers etal.
Hopefully Planning Engineers, Planners and Schedulers as well.
Mike Testro
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Hi Ron

Thank you for your input.

All of these august institutes started out with a bunch of like minded people to set up an organisation from scratch - just as Gary France did for the PEO a few years back.

Once we have got it going and it is established worldwide then we will be recognised in our own right rather than being a rump of an established settup.

I reckon PP is big enough to go it alone.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Ron Baird
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This is a really good first step. But for future recognition we must align ourselves with an organisation that is Chartered and credible.
Because we work in broad spectrum of discipline sectors,
Engineering, Construction and IT et al, it will be difficult to become accredited by ourselves.
After due consideration we must align with a fully accredited Chartered Organisation incorporated into the Engineering Council to take full benefit in our endevours to become fully recognised.
If we go down the route of Planning Planet it will be mearly navel gazing and we can call ourselves whater we want, but in the grand scheme of things it will mean nothing.
A previous thread named certain organisations as good bed fellows but it would be more beneficial if we approached the Engineering Council and asked for their help and advice.
Using your Accreditation Prospectus as a template for admission into the EC would mean recognition of World standing.
I accept that Planners from overseas will find this a problem but there are many branches of Engineering Council affiliates all over the world.
Many Institutes are accepted into the Engineering Council and a Planning Institute would find credibility within such an Organisation.
The Institute of Project Management is a Professional Affiliate and it would be prudent to begin with IPM to see if we could find a happy home with this organisation.
Best regards for 2009,
Mike Testro
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Posts: 4402
Hi All

This is my thoughts on the way forward for accreditation by experience and peer review.

Its a bit ling but I have tried to cover all aspects.

The format doesn’t look so good as it did in word.

Best regards

Mike Testro

Accreditation Prospectus
1. Purpose.
1.1 To allow members of Planning Planet to obtain a qualification in planning that will be recognised worldwide.
1.2 To achieve this by a process of substantiation of length of experience and peer review of planning expertise.
2. Substantiation of Experience
2.1 This is in two sections for years of experience in:
1. Applicants field – these would be as the current PP list.
2. Use of software.
2.2 The first stage of qualification would be:
1. 5 Years in applicants field.
2. 2 Years in use of software.
This would entitle the applicant to an Intermediate Qualification.
2.3 The second stage of qualification would be:
1. 8 Years in applicants field.
2. 4 Years in use of software.
2.4 This would entitle the applicant to an Experienced Qualification.
2.5 A suitably experienced applicant may apply directly to stage 2.
2.6 An applicant may apply for more than one field of experience.
2.7 Each submission should be accompanied by a short CV giving
1. Dates and projects worked on.
2. Duties and responsibilities.
3. Contact details of available referees.
2.8 Upon acceptance the applicant’s grade will be listed in their PP details and he/she will be entitled to use the grading in job applications and interviews.
3. Peer Review
3.1 Upon achieving Experienced Grade PP members may apply to have their planning expertise reviewed by a peer group of planners.
3.2 Initially there will be no peer group so volunteers will need to come forward.
3.3 These volunteers have to be recognised as experienced in their fields and acknowledged planning expertise.
3.4 It may be considered that membership of the Planning Engineers Organisation would be sufficient for this purpose.
3.5 Alternatively:
1. Volunteers may put themselves forward for acceptance by the PP membership – forum activity would be the main basis.
2. PP Administration my select directly.
3. Any other suggestion.
3.6 The Peer review would take the form a written thesis showing the applicant’s approach to a problem and how planning techniques were used in addressing the situation.
3.7 It must be original work and a reasonable length.
3.8 The thesis must be on readily available software - Microsoft Word or PowerPoint – use of original planning software is discouraged – snapshots of bar charts should be embedded in the document.
3.9 If the applicant’s first language is not English then an English translation will be required.
4. Evaluation.
4.1 When a thesis is submitted to Planning Planet a Peer Group will be selected to form the reviewing committee.
4.2 Initially this will be from the volunteers but as more members are accepted the work load will be spread more evenly.
4.3 The Peer Group will be sent a copy of the thesis and they will review the work and award grades 1 – 5 in the following categories.
1. Demonstration of planning expertise.
2. Originality of topic.
3. Presentation of case.
4.4 The Peer Group may confer with each other during this process.
4.5 A series of requests for clarification may be sent to the applicant and the response reviewed.
Note: Use of an internet phone system such as Skype will allow free worldwide conference calls so a viva voce interview is a distinct possibility.
4.6 The final grades will be averaged and:
1. Above 3 Pass as Member
2. Above 4 Pass as Star Member
4.7 Members will be obliged to join Peer Groups.
5. Costs
5.1 Applicants should pay a reasonable sum for each stage of the process because:
1. It will weed out time wasters.
2. There will be costs involved in the accreditation process.
5.2 The problems in respect of payment are:
1. Who gets the cash?
2. How is it dispersed
Mike Testro
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Hi All

Up to now I have just been putting down ideas as they come in my head.

I will take some time to put down a proper prospectus that can be put to PP management and then a vote.

Be back soon.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Chris Oggham
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This is really starting to come together, and so quickly as well. Three possible routes now:
  1. Experience acquisition plus attestations from managers;

  2. Peer review and examination;

  3. Submission of a thesis;

Your refinement of having the thesis translated is much more sensible than my thought of trying to convene a panel fluent in the language the thesis is written in. Like Ferdinand I’m beginning to get excited by this, and I can see exactly where he’s coming from with his proposal to put it to a vote. At the same time, however, I don’t want us to jump the gun, so I’ve got some questions:
  1. Would it be a good idea to formulate more precisely grades of accreditation we propose to offer and the routes by which we intend to offer them before putting the proposal up for voting?

  2. Do we need to run things past PP Admin first before offering it up for voting?

  3. Do we need to get some idea of what it’s going to cost, to avoid presenting people who were initially enthusiatic with a nasty surprise?

Sorry if it looks as if I’m putting a damper on things, but if we go ahead with this, I really would like it to be a success.

Chris Oggham

Ferdinand Fincale...
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Sorry for the blank posting. My mind seem to be flying with so much stuff to do. Anyway, this is indeed a great idea. I am just wondering if there is already a move to create the initial panel and a plan when to commence such accreditation.

My comprehension on this effort is that it aims to boost the career of every planning planet member and eventually the planning profession in its road to recognition.

May I also suggest that this forum be posted in the voting section for consensus with all the PP members.

I thank you all.

Ferdinand Fincale...
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Mike Testro
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Hi Samer

Peer Accreditation is the key factor but the panel needs to be a grade higher than the applicant.

I am considering that a panel be set up in the first instance of PP members who are without doubt experienced in their field.

Then any PP mamber who has demonstrated the required years of experience may submit a thesis for consideration and review by the panel experienced in that field.

For instance panel members who are experinced in Petro Chemical will review members who have sufficient experience in that field.

I consider myself sufficiently experienced in Civils - Building - M&E but I would not try to evaluate an IT thesis.

The end result would be that the candidate would be judged by the panel and voted on a scale of 1 - 5 on the capability expressed in the thesis - average score over 3 pass - over 4 pass star.

The certificate will say something like:

PP Member xyz has been judged by peer review to be a qualified planner in the field of ABC.

Having passed the thesis test the succesful candidate is required to join the accreditation panel and spend some time passing on gained experience by judging new candidates.

After a while there will be sufficient panel members to start judging in language other than English - althoug an English translation will be required.

This will have to be done within the confines of the PP website and we will rely on the managers to set up the required sections.

This may need a full time "webmaster" that will require payment by candidates to cover costs.

Much more to discuss so keep the input coming.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Mike,

If you also consider a test of each candidate by a peer panel for 2-4 hours, it will definetly clarify what the person knows and what he does not know.


Shane Forth
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This PEO suggestion of a thesis is similar to the "Certified Cost Engineer" route within the Association of Cost Engineers.

Years of experience is an interesting subject. Whilst guidelines such as those suggested on this thread are useful, there will be different opinions.

The ACostE stance is that Determination of what constitutes a sufficient number of years experience will be at the discretion of the Certification Board and would be unlikely to be less than four years. The following activities are examples of eligible experience, but are not exhaustive.
a. Continuous employment in a cost engineering position requiring the direct application of the principles and practice of cost engineering.
b. Regular employment or direct supervision in the instruction of the techniques of cost engineering.
c. Regular employment in the management or supervision of a cost engineering function.
d. Self-employment as a cost engineering consultant.

More on the following link :
(you will need to scroll down)

I have recently started a thread called Project Control National Occupational Standards which some of you may find interesting and on which Mike has already made some comments.
Mike Testro
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Hi Chris.

We are both on the same wavelength with this and the two levels of experience leading to a thesis would work.

Going a bit further the applicants thesis could be published in a PP slot and every one at the top level could vote on accreditation on a level 1-5.

If the thesis was written in the applicants 1st Language and translated to English then the votes for the 1st language speakers would have a higher weighting.

Lets keep this rolling.

Best regards

Mike T.
Chris Oggham
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I see where you are coming from, I think, with your suggested starting point for accreditation. Using the two simple criteria you’ve outlined, it is relatively straightforward to determine the level of accreditation that any individual is eligible for. Simple and fair to everyone, however, there is the possibility of an anomaly here. If I was to answer your question quite literally, using the profile exactly as you suggest

1. Years of experience in your speciality.
2. Years of experience with planning software.

my profile would look something like:
1. 3 years
2. 12 years

This is because I started off in shipbuilding, after 12 years moved to IT and after 20 years moved to security, each time chasing more money or a new challenge.

So really my true profile should be:

1. 35 years
2. 12 years

Possibly all that is needed here is a bit of minor rewording:
1. Years of experience in your planning specialisms.
2. Years of experience with planning software.

This would then allow my profile to fit. What do you think?

However as you have pointed out, this does not address the quality issue. Personally, I think that the method used by the PEO, having the candidate produce an original thesis for consideration by an admissions panel, is more reliable as it is easy to fabricate references, any number of famous names spring to mind as having done this. I know the expense of this method could be a little off-putting, but what we would be offering is accreditation so I don’t think it unreasonable for people to put their hands in their pockets and pay to cover the expenses. This usually takes the form of a one-off administration fee to cover the costs of the admissions panel plus an annual membership fee.

Where such a system does fall down is for people who don’t have English as their first language. Presenting a thesis written in English could put them at a disadvantage when, as far as planning and its associated disciplines are concerned, they could knock the spots someone capable of producing a beautifully written, and technically competent dissertation. I suppose we could have admissions panels capable of dealing with different languages, but that would increase the expense and might not be viable anyway.

Would it be possible do you think to use a combination of the two methods? What I mean is, depending on the person’s experience profile, they could be eligible for either junior/foundation level accreditation or senior/practitioner level accreditation, we can think of what we want to call them later.

For junior level accreditation, personal references from the applicant’s current manager and one previous manager. The reason for one previous manager only is it can be possible for the applicant to have had a manager who didn’t like them, didn’t understand their work and could give them an unfavourable reference because of this. I suppose it’s quite possible that their current manager could fall into this category as well so in exceptional circumstances it might be possible to consider references from two past managers.

For someone moving from junior level accreditation to senior level accreditation, this is where the written thesis comes in. By this time people who don’t have English as their first language may well have developed their proficiency to the point where they are not at a disadvantage and will manage admirably. If there is the possibility that they could be at a disadvantage, then an admissions panel fluent in that persons own language could be convened. It might pose a few problems in the early stages, but I believe that it could work well.

To directly obtain senior accreditation the same criteria for both junior and moving to senior accreditation apply together with the same caveats.

Just a couple of thoughts to add to your original idea.

Chris Oggham
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Hello Mike,

This is a good idea.

I think I ahead of the pack since I have three former managers that may attest for my experience.

In future, I will also motivate my peers and colleague to join PP. May we attest each other’s experience, Quality wise.

Happy Planning and Scheduling