Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Earning Professional Development Credits


You may hear various people from ISA talking about professional development credits (PDCs) from time to time.  Mainly when you are attending an annual meeting, course, webinar or when it is time for your five year requalification.  And, you may be asking yourself, what are professional development credits and how do I earn them? Or are they are even important? The simple answer is, yes, they are very important.

WHAT ARE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CREDITS?
These are earned through participation in various educational activities.  How do you know how many PDCs you earn?  For each hour of instruction you earn one (1) professional development credit or PDC.  Why are these important? Members of ISA are required to requalify every five (5) years; one step in this process is to submit a certain number of these PDCs.  The number is dependent on your level of membership:

ISA: 50 PDCs
ISA AM: 75 PDCs
ISA CAPP: 100 PDCs

HOW TO EARN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CREDITS 
Each time that you participate in an ISA course, attend an annual conference, participate in a local ISA Chapter meeting/event, or attend a webinar, you earn PDCs. Do you attend courses or annual meetings presented by other appraisal groups?  These are also great ways to earn professional development credits.   One of the easiest ways to earn additional PDCs, without traveling and for very minimal cost, is by participating in ISA webinars.  For each educational webinar that you attend, you earn 1 PDC. It might not seem like much, but these points add up quickly. Have you created and presented a speech or seminar?  You can year PDCs for that as well, two (2) per presentation hour. There are many ways to earn professional development credits through ISA and non-ISA activities alike.

KEEPING TRACK OF PDCS
 After you participate in ISA activities (ex: course, webinar, annual meeting) you receive a “CE Form”. This document will state your name, the date and name of the activity as well as the number of PDCs that you earned.  It is important to keep these documents, even if they are emailed to you.  They serve as your “proof” of participation; which will be important to have when you submit your Requalification Packet.  It’s always easiest to start keeping track of these points early on.  How do you do that you might ask; my suggestion would be to create a log sheet or excel spreadsheet, where you can track these activities as you complete them.  It might also be a good idea to keep a hard copy file for those documents which you receive a physical copy versus an electronic copy.  For electronic copies, it is easy to create a folder on your computer desk top in which to save these items.

If you have any questions about tracking professional development credits or how many you might have earned for participation in an ISA course, please contact Michelle Stearns, Education & Credentialing Coordinator at: mstearns@thesentergroup.com.

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