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Project Management Distance Learning establishes a benchmark for Professional development

International Built Asset Consultancy invests in Project Management Development via a Distance Learning programme leading to the APMP Qualification.

The leading international Built Asset Consultancy E C Harris has embarked upon a tailored distance learning programme for its project managers in order to establish a clear route for professional development and a benchmark for understanding project management within the organisation. The learning programme is a blend of virtual classroom sessions, e-learning and traditional printed study materials and books leading to the APMP exam.

With offices across Europe, Asia and the Middle East the aim of the on-going training programme is to deliver a consistent, high-quality experience to all of its project managers wherever they are located across the globe. With the pilot scheme already completed resulting in a pass rate of over 80% for the APMP qualification and a second course nearing completion, the programme is proving to be both cost-effective and successful. A third course is currently being planned, which will incorporate modifications based on participant feedback from the previous sessions.

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Even with the training programme at these early stages, 32 project managers from across the United Kingdom, and from Hong Kong, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have benefitted from participation. With project managers based around the world in Asia, North America, Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the advantage of this type of blended distance learning is not only to offer a clear career progression for project managers within E C Harris through consistent, high-quality training but also the potential opportunity for individuals to establish valuable networks outside their own immediate locations.

The Association for Project Management (APM) is the professional Project Management institute of choice for E C Harris, who hold APM Corporate Accreditation in recognition of their commitment to professionalism in project management. As corporate members they are fully engaged in supporting and contributing to the APM agenda as it seeks to raise awareness and standards in the project management profession.

Alison Mitchell, Learning and Development Consultant at E C Harris commented

"Within my role in Professional Services I had a very clear view in mind of a well-designed, high-quality, blended learning programme. Parallel Project Training was very responsive to our vision and we have been able to work closely with them to develop the high-quality training that we wanted for our international project managers. The model of blended learning for project management that has been developed has been so successful that we plan to use it for training in other disciplines within E C Harris"

echarris-image2The courses are conducted over an 8 week period with key virtual classroom sessions timetabled into that period and the examination held at the end. Adobe Connect, a core learning technology for E C Harris, is used to facilitate the virtual classroom sessions as a live event from anywhere in the world with the trainer visible on video to all participants. It also has a whiteboard facility and real-time questioning opportunities either via voice (for which a microphone and headset are required) or via a keyboard with the interactive Chat facility which shows all questions on-screen to all participants.

Distance learning of this type offers professional APM qualifications in a productive and cost-effective manner. It has all the benefits of distance learning such as reducing the time away from the office, combining individuals from different parts of the world on one training course and offering a flexible approach that suits different learning styles. But it also has the advantages of the interaction found in traditional classroom courses through the virtual classroom elements. E C Harris has additionally made internal mentors available to the participants and a one-to-one online tutor is also at hand. The final exam leading to the APMP qualification is taken onsite under strict exam conditions at an E C Harris location convenient for the candidate. An APM examiner is in attendance at every exam irrespective of the number of candidates.

Paul Naybour Business Development Director at Parallel Project Training, who delivers the courses, remarked

"The level of interaction between the participants in the virtual classroom situations is very high. Combining these with more standard e-learning practices and the printed study material has proved to be highly successful, allowing delegates to work in a way that fits more readily around their on-going work commitments, whilst still being supported by one-to-one tutors online and gaining the opportunity for project managers from disparate locations to get to know each other and establish smaller support groups. By recording the virtual classroom sessions we also offer participants the opportunity to re-visit particular sessions at any time, if needed; they are also able to access presentations and training documents through Adobe Connect. At Parallel we have the flexibility to tailor the training programme to the specific requirements of E C Harris and can also update it rapidly to incorporate feedback from previous delegates."

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About Parallel

We give all of our clients a personal service, blending traditional and modern learning techniques to deliver a flexible training solution. We are a small and specialist project management training provider with a global reach. Our consultants are best in class and are equally at home delivering off the shelf courses or a solution tailored to your specific needs. We have designed this website to give you a flavour of what we do. If you like what you see, please do get in touch to discuss how we can support your organisation.

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