CRPA’s Professional Development Journey
The year 2020 was one of a kind. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the ways people work and interact. Online platforms supporting communication, work, learning, and teaching became important tools to replace in-person interactions.
This challenging time also kept the CRPA Professional Development (PD) Committee extremely busy, not only building the new CRPA PD program and adapting it to online delivery following the cancellation of the annual CRPA conference, but also attending countless online meetings. Our experiences over recent months indicate that online teaching and learning appear to be very suitable for a national association with members across Canada.
It’s been a rewarding journey to watch new challenges bring to light new opportunities. It is so true that a lot can be achieved, even in the most adverse circumstances, when you have a motivated and engaged group of people! I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work with my talented fellow committee members: Jeff Fleming, Trevor Beniston, Ed Waller, Joe Cortese, Sandra Vidakovic, and Sandu Sonoc.
In the last 16 months, the committee reached several major milestones that shaped the CRPA PD journey.
The secretariat, on behalf of the PD Committee, circulated a PD survey to CRPA members at the beginning of 2020. The survey results were analyzed by the committee and helped define the direction the committee took when developing the new CRPA PD program proposal. I shared the outcome of the survey and presented future possibilities for the PD program during the CRPA annual general meeting in June 2020.
PD Program Proposal
The initial draft of the PD program proposal was developed and shared with stakeholder CRPA committees and the board of directors in early fall. Based on the feedback we received, the final draft was produced and approved by the board on February 17, 2021. The CRPA PD program document provides a comprehensive description of how the program is expected to run in the months and years to come.
Virtual PD Sessions
Three virtual PD sessions were organized by the PD Committee in 2020. Two were provided free of charge in lieu of the cancelled conference in Winnipeg.
The sessions were as follows:
- Dose Calculations and Shielding Considerations with Emphasis on Photon and Neutron Exposures, presented by Ed Waller on June 11
- Radiation Protection Program Management, presented by Joe Cortese on June 12
- Nuclear Medicine Department Design and Shielding Calculations, presented by Joe Cortese on November 23
One of the recorded sessions from 2020 became available for pay-per-view access using YouTube. Future pay-per-view access of recorded PD sessions became a new focus for the PD Committee midway through 2020.
Two virtual PD sessions have already been offered in 2021:
- Root Cause Investigation, presented by Jeff Fleming on February 26
- TDG Class 7 Refresher for the Radiation Safety Officer, presented by Trevor Beniston on March 26
CRPA Thinkific Site
Jeff Fleming has been an excellent lead and key player in helping the committee and the association choose a learning management system for virtual delivery of PD sessions. Jeff put many hours of work into researching and setting up the Thinkific site for presentation to the board in November 2020.
The board approved the use of Thinkific as the platform, and Jeff continues to coordinate with the PD Committee and the secretariat to ensure an effective and user-friendly design for the CRPA Thinkific site. We expect to use Thinkific to deliver live virtual and pre-recorded PD sessions.
Check it out: https://crpa.thinkific.com.
ICRP2021 Programme Committee
As of July 2020, Ed Waller and I became members of the ICRP2021 Programme Committee. The committee’s role is to oversee the PD programming for the ICRP conference in Vancouver. As members of the committee, we will rely on advice from our colleagues on the CRPA PD Committee.
The ongoing success of the volunteer CRPA PD program will require engagement from members. We are hoping members outside of the PD committee will volunteer to present future PD sessions.
Furthermore, the financial viability of delivering the PD program virtually using Thinkific will depend on members registering for our courses. We will monitor closely to see if the impacts of the pandemic will affect interest in or financial accessibility of our courses through our new e-learning platform.
As the PD Committee chair and the PD portfolio director on the board of directors, I would like to thank the members of the committee for their ongoing engagement, support, and commitment to the PD program. It has been incredibly rewarding to work with such a wonderful and motivated group of people.
This year’s achievements would not have come to fruition without the active support of Ali Shoushtarian, CRPA president. Thank you, Ali!
We have also had great support from the board of directors, Sue Singer (secretariat), Brandon Hardy (Maintenance Subcommittee), Dave Niven (Student and Young Professionals Committee), Liz Krivonosov (Conference Committee), and Carole Savoie (Translation Committee).
Thank you, all.