By Jean Feroldi, Assoc. AIA
Specialist, Continuing Education Review
When architects look for resources and learning opportunities, AIA CES Providers have a greater advantage in gaining recognition amongst the profession and fulfilling AIA member needs. As an AIA Provider, developing content and organizing courses that will appeal to AIA member’s interests is important in growing your programs and making them effective. Incorporating survey results and implementing new research into the course development process to improve content or instructional design will give you an edge in maintaining quality continuing education programs for architects.
Headquartered in Newton Massachusetts, PSMJ Resources is dedicated to providing architects with guidance and expertise on firm management through a variety of seminars, materials, and other tools. Their content is developed by conducting research on emerging industry topics and methods in addition to selecting knowledgeable and engaging instructors. Michael Ford of PSMJ Resources gave AIA CES detailed insight into PSMJ Resources’ approach to developing continuing education resources and programs for architects. Their contribution to AIA CES is helping us achieve our mission in providing quality education for AIA members and the architectural profession.
In what ways does PSMJ Resources contribute to continuing education and the AIA CES Provider network?
PSMJ runs many seminars a year throughout the United States, just for A/E professionals. We provide live seminars, webinars, and, just recently introduced an online learning portal where AIA members can earn credits right at their desks. We produce 3 monthly newsletters, 2 of which provide 1 LU credit per month. We also conduct a yearly tradeshow, METALCON International, which provides two days of live seminars for professionals to learn how to incorporate metal into the design, build, construction and roofing process. Attendees also learn about Green Building and are able to earn HSW and Sustainability credits.
Does PSMJ Resources focus education courses on specific architecture topics?
We focus on several different topics that are specific to Architects, from firm leaders to project architects. We offer seminars on financial management, business development and marketing, ownership transition, human resources, mergers and acquisitions, public works regulations, project management, and leadership issues. Our top sellers are the Project Management Bootcamp and Principals Bootcamp.
What techniques do you employ when teaching a class to adult learners?
All of our seminars conducted by an instructor that has worked several years in the industry (including a few who still work as Principals and firm leaders). We are able to provide up-to-date tools and real-life examples based on actual current design firm experiences. We encourage interaction between the attendees and the presenter. We have our speaker conduct a survey to the room and ask each attendee why they came to the seminar, and what they want to learn. The answers allow the presenter to gear the seminar to the attendees needs. We consistently score an average of 4.85 out of 5 for information provided and presenter knowledge.
Does PSMJ Resources offer a variety of course formats to appeal to different learning styles?
We offer online learning through our monthly webinar membership, along with our online learning portal which is based on the PSMJ Ultimate Project Management Manual. In addition, we produce books, manuals, whitepapers, and newsletters on various topics and firm issues.
What are your practices with course development? How do you refine/change your courses based on new research or technology?
Course development is based on experience and the knowledge of our presenters. Since they are continuously working in and around Architectural firms all over the world, they have to stay ahead of new research and technology. We also conduct quarterly surveys about the current trends (both economic and management wise) - these results are included in the two-day seminar presentations so the attendees can ask personalized questions based on the most up-to-date information facing them. We are constantly updating our presentation to offer our attendees the latest information on software available to them, as well as the current data that relates to their industry.
What are the techniques or tools you use to market courses to AIA members as well as other practicing architects?
We market our events, products, and knowledge to the various firm leaders and staff we have collected in our database over the past 30 years in business. We send our brochure out to targeted audiences via email, direct mail, and various social media avenues. We also post information on upcoming course events on association on-line bulletin boards, and rely on our corporate partners and sponsors to help us get the word out to new attendees.
For over 35 years, PSMJ Resources has been helping A/E/C firms all across the globe achieve business success. With offices in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Australia, PSMJ offers over 150 titles in book, audio, and video format. In addition, the company publishes several monthly periodicals and delivers dozens of seminars, roundtables, conferences, webinars, and in-house training sessions every year for A/E/C professionals around the world. PSMJ’s sought after consulting expertise covers a range of critical business areas, such as strategic planning, project management, valuation, succession planning, and mergers & acquisitions.
Thank you to PSMJ Resources’ Michael Ford for contributing to this piece.