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ASFE's Fundamentals of Professional Practice (FOPP) is absolutely unique, often described as "boot camp for a firm's rising stars." Working with a mentor within their firm, participants engage in six months of remote study. The remote-study element of the course is designed to emulate a small project, precisely the kind of engagement that ASFE case histories show to be the most problem-prone. The course director plays the role of a no-nonsense/no-sympathy client representative who regards the "project" as a big deal. That attitude irritates some participants, especially those who regard the course (at first) as somewhat of a "put-offable" bother. "Why should I pay you to be nasty?" some participants ask. In truth, firms all too often wind up paying "unappreciative" small-project clients, due to overruns or claims.
Participants are required to read the text Practice Management for Design Professionals, and a thought-provoking book yet to be selected, and take five open-book examinations to demonstrate they have done the reading, plus a book report focused not on what the author wrote, but rather their reaction to it.. Participants also select (or create) a research project that uses either the firm or the local professional community as the focus of research, and prepare a proposal for conducting the research. They then implement the proposal and submit a draft report and, subsequently, the final report.
Many participants and firm CEOs have reported that the value derived from the research project alone has far more than paid for the cost of the course. Improved writing skills are also a common result, given that everything participants write - from e-mails and memos to the proposal and draft report - are reviewed closely and commented on extensively. (Both the course and the course director's red pen were the subject of a highly flattering article in Engineering News-Record (ENR).)
Throughout the remote-study period, participants learn that failure to meet deadlines or to promptly notify "the client" of delays can result in harsh penalties. So can failure to document oral conversations.
The program is capped off by a 2 1/2-day seminar. Participants' oral skills are tested when they present biographical information and research-report summaries. They learn about the problems that can arise when professionals forget about their duty to the public through a dramatic Kansas City Hyatt case history workshop. The FOPP Laureate – a practicing geoprofessional who is also the mayor of a substantial U.S.City - provides guidance on getting involved in one's community and the financial and other benefits that flow as a result." A role-playing session is used to focus on the need for effective dispute-resolution skills. The final session, on professional futures, has been described as one of the most powerful professional experiences ever.
FUNDAMENTALS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE begins in late August. Space is strictly limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 301/565-2733 or e-mail email@example.com to learn if space is available for the next FOPP class or to request an application.
FOPP 23 Registration will be open June 5th 2013. The class will start August 21, 2013. The seminar will be March 6 through March 8 2014
FOPP 22 Assignment Compendium