GeoEd is our solution in Canada. GeoEd is a collaborative program that seeks to include all provincial and federal surveying associations in Canada to promote accessible continuing professional development. The initiative was conceived and developed by the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS: the licensing body for surveying on Canada Lands*) and Professional Surveyors Canada (PSC: the national advocacy body) when the need for a national forum for continuing professional development was recognized. ACLS continues to maintain the portal in what will, we hope, become a cooperative effort to share resources and expertise towards the development of national learning.
The ACLS began implementing mandatory continuing professional development on January 1, 2011. With this initiative, we were faced with the following challenges: a membership spanning an enormous territory across six time zones and many of its members located in remote areas without ready access to seminars.
To meet the challenges, the ACLS revisited an MOU with a Canadian sister association (via the Canadian Council of Land Surveyors, CCLS, now PSC) in 2009 that promised to develop a distance learning portal. Although CCLS conceived of the initiative, ACLS took charge of what became the GeoEd learning portal, available to all surveyors.
GeoEd exists to help surveyors succeed. It is mainly used as an online system for course delivery for surveyors wherever they may be. Courses on a wide variety of topics are available at a surveyor’s fingertips. These courses consist of live interactive webinars or are self-study with recorded video and other digital materials. Surveyors are able to sign up for any course and complete it at their leisure.
GeoEd can be used by surveyors to keep up to date on the subjects that are most relevant to them.
One recent addition is an Expert Witness course. Developed in collaboration with Four Point Learning, this e-learning course explores all aspects surrounding the preparation of the professional land surveyor in Canada to assist the decision maker in a legal proceeding. This course is of particular interest to land surveyors or other professionals who want to be better prepared in their role of expert witness or any other type of event where a professional is asked to issue an opinion in a public forum.
Another course is Understanding Indigenous Issues and Building Respectful Relationships with First Nations (How to Approach First Nations for Research and Business). This course will be presented in early 2014 and will cover topics such as:
- How we know what we know about Indigenous issues: Media representations past and present.
- Cross cultural issues and building mutual respect with Indigenous peoples and nations: General principles.
- Employment, hiring and retention, human resources, and building a supportive environment for Indigenous employees.
GeoEd does not advocate online courses only; part of this initiative is a forum where surveyors can search by jurisdiction to find face-to-face seminars that are happening near them, as well as post upcoming ones for others to find. Surveyors across Canada can chat about seminars they have attended and what sort of seminars they would like to see in the future. Using the forum insures that every person can have a voice in the evolution of continuing professional development.
GeoEd is the tool that surveyors will use to make educational opportunities as easy, accessible, and relevent as possible. Check it out at www.geoed.ca.
*Canada Lands includes aboriginal reserves, federal parks, the three territories, and the part of the offshore that is not under provincial jurisdiction. – See more at: http://archives.profsurv.com/magazine/article.aspx?i=71454#sthash.o05VwH4V.dpuf