The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) has opened its first in-house training centre to meet the growing demand for tuition by qualified members of and new entrants to the profession.
The EduTech Training Centre was officially opened on October 1 at the association’s head office, in Midrand.
ASAQS executive director Larry Feinberg – who spearheaded the drive to establish the new facility – says the opening of the training centre will play a vital role in boosting education in the quantity surveying (QS) profession.
“The ASAQS is passionate about education and is striving to ensure that all the educational needs of the profession are being met – from enrolment at university and the candidacy phase to meeting the educational needs of our professionally registered quantity surveyors,” he emphasises.
Feinberg notes that finding suitable venues for QS training was difficult in the past. “EduTech had to resort to using boardrooms for smaller groups or hiring larger outside venues when necessary. The new EduTech Training Centre will accommodate 30 students per course – double our previous capacity – and in fully equipped bespoke facilities.”
ASAQS intends to establish a special Information Resource Centre (IRC) at EduTech, with reference material and publications to further help established and future quantity surveyors with studies or research work.
Feinberg says the IRC will also include other research material, covering a range of topics such as self-development, professionalism, human resources and self-help.
Feinberg notes that ASAQS has been in existence for more than 100 years, during which the association obtained an incredible amount of knowledge and historical data in the form of documents. However, some of these documents are old and relatively outdated and, if they are not updated continuously they will become obsolete and unusable.
“EduTech is designed to look at all the documentation and update it in terms of the latest developments and, subsequently, make this information available to ASAQS members,” he notes.
ASAQS president Bert van den Heever states that EduTech plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining professionalism in the industry: “As a business unit within the ASAQS, EduTech not only develops essential intellectual property for the association’s members but also provides them with a platform from which to disseminate this intellectual wealth and technical support.”
EduTech director Karl Trusler adds that one of the major priorities of the centre is to provide training for existing ASAQS members to enable them to earn mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) points as stipulated by the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP).
The SACQSP had for many years used the ASAQS as its agent for the training of QS professionals in pursuit of these essential CPD points.
Trusler advises that 125 CPD training hours have to be earned over five years, as prescribed by the SACQSP, to enable quantity surveyors to keep abreast of modern QS practice, technology and maintain their professional status.
Further, QS students after graduation, are required to work under a mentor for three to four years in terms of the SACQSP Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) programme. This assessment system, in addition to workplace training, also requires extensive after-hours training through supplementary skills education modules. EduTech plans to assist this process by offering lectures on the modules in the training centre.
“The APC training incorporates up to 18 skills education modules, which are evaluated by numerous assessments, assignments and examinations,” says Trusler.
The facility would not only be used to prepare candidates, but would also be used to offer training in structured mentoring, thereby helping to speed up the APC programme and produce more registered professional quantity surveyors.
The EduTech Training Centre will serve mainly Gauteng students and will continue to provide training in selected venues in other centres of South Africa through roadshows.