Electrical engineering professionals’ continuing professional development needs within one South African company

Muller, Jan (2015-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of the study performed in 2014 was to identify what the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) needs are of a selected group of electrical engineering professionals from one company in South Africa. The interpretivist research paradigm formed the basis for the “Interactive Qualitative Analysis” methodology used in the study. Due to limitations research was focused on only one constituency, a selected group of electrical engineering professionals in one organisation, which is close to, but have very little power over the specific phenomenon of CPD. Research activities included conducting focus group and individual interviews with participants to gain a better understanding of identified problem through the analysis and interpretation of the collected data. The phenomenon of CPD was found to lie within the spectrum of lifelong learning. Due to increasingly fast changing technological and work environments, practicing professionals take part in professional development, if it is compulsory or not, in order to stay competitive in the global arena. Research has shown that compulsory CPD for registered engineering professionals may further their professional development. From the “Possible Implications for CPD Provision for Engineering Professionals” document several issues and concerns were identified, which influence engineering professionals’ perception of the professional body. The CPD system and CPD provision facilitated by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) may be one of the key reasons why many practicing engineers choose not to register professionally. Through this study the perceived and proposed CPD needs for the selected group of electrical engineering professionals have been identified, but to identify the actual needs of practicing engineering professionals in South Africa, a more detailed study will need to be done that should include all the constituencies that practice within the engineering environment or have any influence on the CPD phenomenon. The study also identified aspects that could help to improve the CPD system and the available CPD initiatives, and enhance the leadership from the professional body. This may positively influence the perception of practicing engineering professionals. Such positive perceptions could result in more practicing engineering professionals registering with ECSA and maintaining their professional registration.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die studie uitgevoer in 2014 was om die Voortgesette Professionele Ontwikkeling (VPO) behoeftes van ‘n geselekteerde groep elektriese ingenieurs van een maatskappy in Suid-Afrika te bepaal. Die interpretatiewe navorsingsparadigma het die “Interaktiewe Kwalitatiewe Analise” metodologie wat gebruik is in die studie onderlê. Binne die studie beperkinge is gefokus op slegs een konstituensie, ‘n geselekteerde groep professionele elektriese ingenieurs binne een organisasie, wie digby die spesifieke fenomeen van VPO funksioneer, maar baie beperkte mag daaroor het. Navorsingsaktiwiteite het fokusgroeponderhoude en individuele onderhoude met deelnemers ingesluit om ‘n beter begrip van die geïdentifiseerde probleem te verkry deur analise en interpretasie van die ingesamelde data. Die fenomeen van VPO lê binne die spektrum van lewenslange leer. As gevolg van ‘n toenemend snel veranderende tegnologiese en werksomgewing, neem professionele praktisyns deel aan professionele ontwikkeling, of dit verpligtend is of nie, en bly sodoende kompeterend in die globale arena. Maar navorsing het ook bewys dat verpligte VPO vir geregistreerde ingenieurspraktisyns hul professionele ontwikkeling tot voordeel kan strek. Vanuit die “Possible Implications for CPD Provision for Engineering Professionals” dokument is verskeie kwessies en knelpunte geïdentifiseer wat professionele ingenieurs se persepsies van die professionele liggaam mag beïnvloed. Die VPO sisteem en VPO verskaffing wat deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad vir Ingenieurswese (SARI) gefasiliteer word, mag een van die kernredes wees waarom vele ingenieurspraktisyns kies om nie professioneel te registreer nie. Die perseptuele en voorgestelde VPO behoeftes van ‘n geselekteerde groep professionele elektriese ingenieurspraktisyns is geïdentifiseer in hierdie studie, maar om die werklike behoeftes van professionele ingenieurspraktisyns in die breër Suid-Afrikaanse konteks te bepaal is ‘n meer gedetailleerde studie nodig wat al die konstituensies insluit wat praktiseer binne die ingenieursomgewing of die VPO fenomeen in dié konteks beïnvloed. Die studie het ook aspekte identifiseer wat kan help om die huidige VPO sisteem en insiatiewe te verbeter, en die leierskap van die professionele liggaam tot voordeel kan strek. Dit mag ‘n positiewe invloed hê op die persepsies van professionele ingenieurspraktisyns. Diesulke positiewe persepsies kan lei tot meer professionele ingenieurspraktisyns wat registreer by SARI en hul professionele registrasie byhou.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96694
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