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Third time lucky – or three strikes and out?

  • Friday December 16, 2022

This Southern Branch faced a dilemma this  year over its annual seminar. The seminar has been running for 29 years and although COVID gave us a two-year break, because of its long-standing popularity it was decided the branch would restart the  programme. Well, COVID is still making its presence felt in a variety of ways. Many have taken the opportunity to work virtually and while this has swelled numbers of attendees for short technical presentations for CPD it cannot and should not replace the whole day seminar and the benefits of meeting face to face.

Seminars not only enlarge on a theme but help members meet fellow colleagues and exchange experiences and knowledge. Above all, they provide a whole day of CPD for members whose Professional Registration hangs on a satisfactory record.

After two postponements of this year’s seminar due to poor uptake of attendees, the branch committee had to make the decision to  run (or not) in 2022. By a narrow margin and after much debate the vote to run with it was agreed. We had a reservation booked with this year’s venue, Beechdown Park in Basingstoke, who were extremely sensitive to our plight and were patient with our dilemma. When the decision came through at the eleventh hour they pulled out all the stops to make the event a success. Finally, we had 50 plus attendees to hear our seven speakers deliver the topic ‘Highway Engineers – Passing the Message’ which explored communication between engineers and highway users. There are huge developments in this field at present and members should be aware of this. A good engineer should know everything about something (the day job) and something about everything (how their job affects and is affected by the peripheries). This will engender a joined-up approach. The day was well received, and feedback has been positive, with the chair for the day, Steve McGilchrist from WJ, praising it and hoping that we will continue in 2023. It is to be hoped therefore that we have started to swing the pendulum back from virtual training to a balanced position of using it in conjunction with face to face. The right combination can reap great rewards.

The Branch Committee thanks all of those from IHE HQ, the presenters, the staff of Beechdown Park and attendees for making this a success and hopes to see you in 2023. 

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