The process of obtaining continuing education credits can be daunting. Completing classes often means time out of the office or the field which can be inconvenient and expensive. The course itself may cost to take it and there can be travel expenses as well.
Scheduling conflicts can cause a rush to find courses just before the certifications expire. To avoid having to go from classroom to classroom throughout the year to meet CEU requirements, you have two options: online education and trade shows.
Using the Internet is a very feasible option to obtain continuing education. In fact there are so many considerations with online training and CEUs that it is worth setting aside another time to devote more detail to this subject.
However, with the ISC West 2007 in Las Vegas, NV, at the end of this month, you might want to get your continuing education and training at the trade show. There are two steps in the process when turning to trade shows for your professional development. Here is your plan of attack
STEP ONE – DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET
ISC Education offers over 90 education sessions to choose from (many running concurrently). There is a registration fee of $355 for one day or $555 for two days to attend an unlimited number of sessions. Many of the educational sessions at ISC West offer NTS Accreditation, providing 0.1 CEUs for each hour of education.
If the budget is a little slim, no problem! Many manufacturers reserve one of the hundreds of rooms either in the Sands Convention Center or at the connected Venetian Hotel. These are typically for dealer training programs. While you do not need to be registered for ISC Education, you will more than likely need to register with the manufacturer for the Dealer Training Program either prior to or at the time of the training events.
Before making a final decision, keep in mind that many companies hold sessions on the Expo floor. Conducted right in their booths, these 30-60 minute sessions are very informative. It is best to check prior to the show to see if the manufacturers you work with are having these sessions and if they are approved for CEUs. Yes – these types of sessions can be approved for continuing education! (Note to training providers: Every session should be approved for CEUs – it just makes good business sense.)
STEP TWO – MAKE A LEARNING PLAN
Next, determine your educational goals. There is a purpose in continuing education. CEUs were designed to have certification holders maintain expertise, keep skills sharp and grow professionally. Since they are required anyway, make the most of them. Take courses that will contribute to your technical and intellectual advancement rather than just looking for the simplest way to get 12 or 16 hours of credit.
THE BUCK STOPS WITH...YOU!
Before spending your time and money on any training, be sure the courses will qualify. This should be done from several aspects. First, it is your responsibility to make sure your certification will recognize the course you are about to take. Second, it is your responsibility to make sure the state in which you are certified and/or licensed will accept the form of training you are trying to use.
Connie Moorhead is the President of The CMOOR Group and founder of SecurityCEU.com, Louisville, KY. CMOOR is a full-service education solution provider, custom online content development and Webinar service firm focusing exclusively on the security, manufacturing, and construction industries. SecurityCEU is an industry certification resource and online continuing education provider. Send your training questions and needs to firstname.lastname@example.org.