Monday, 28 April 2014

Survey Thank You and Update

Following the September 2013 and March 2014 Professional Examination sittings, we distributed a survey to those who sat the Examinations.  The September 2013 survey went to everyone who wrote in 2013, and the March 2014 one went to those who wrote during that sitting only.

The comments we received were very helpful, and on behalf of everyone involved - the Board, the members of the Professional Education and Examination Committee (PEEC), the Examiners and the staff, I would like to extend our sincere thanks.  A number of comments have resulted in changes to the way the Examination is conducted, and we have also modified the relevant sections of the website.

As a number of you noted, this is still a work in progress, and as you raise concerns, we will be addressing them.  Our guiding documents, the Planning for the Future (PFF) reports, provided a great deal of information which we've used in structuring the Examination process.  However, the authors of those reports couldn't anticipate everything, and experience is a great teacher, so we have been making improvements and adding resources as we go.

If you have participated in a sitting of the Examination and have some comments you'd like to pass along to us, please e-mail me at davidp@psb-planningcanada.ca - we take all your input seriously, and are working to make this a useful experience for you.  We appreciate your insights into the process.

Please note there are some things we can't change, as they are mandated in the PFF documents.  The Examination is required to be a sit-down one, and it is very unlikely that we would be allowed to revert to an oral exam.  The Examination will likely always be offered twice annually, rather than being on-line and on demand.  It will always be your last step prior to PSB submitting your information to your Affiliate for certification.  Apart from that, however, we will look seriously at your suggestions.

Thank you once again for your help and thoughtful feedback!

September 2014 Professional Examination - Get Ready!

Are you thinking about sitting the Professional Examination this September?  Now is the time to begin your preparation!  If you haven't already downloaded the Examination preparation package, you should do so not - it has information on the types of questions and subjects you can expect to see, some preparation hints, a sample question and model answer, and more.  You can get it here.

Our experience with the Examination so far shows that the better prepared you are, the better you will likely do.  Candidates who begin their preparation a month or so ahead of the Examination date aren't allowing themselves enough time.

As a reminder, the Professional Examination deals with three areas:
  • Public interest
  • Professional responsibility
  • Ethics

How can you prepare?  Here are two tips from other Candidates:

  • Review your work experience and mentorship logs:  as you've progressed through your career, you've encountered situations that offered learning opportunities in the areas you'll be examined on.  A review of your work and mentorship logs allows you to think about those opportunities, what you learned at the time, and what you can add to that learning based on further experience.  Your work logs can be especially helpful regarding the public interest, but there may also be material on professional responsibility and ethical behaviour.  It might be helpful to grab a copy of the CIP Code of Professional Conduct and cross-reference it with your logs.
  • Talk with your Mentor and/or Sponsor:  this is a natural follow-up to a log review.  Were there situations you encountered that were especially challenging from a professional or ethical perspective?  Discuss them with your Mentor or Sponsor.  Ask your Mentor/Sponsor what s/he would have done.  Did your Mentor/Sponsor ever encounter a similar situation?  How did s/he handle it?  What situations taught him/her the most about professional or ethical behaviour, or about public interest?
I'm writing this in April 2014; unless you're reading it sometime after about 2017, there's not much point asking your Mentor or Sponsor about his/her experience writing the Professional Examination.  Why?  Chances are s/he qualified under the old system and didn't write this Examination, and his/her experience with the oral exam won't be very helpful.

As always, best of luck with your Examination!