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April 14, 2020

Continuous Professional Learning: more important than ever

We acknowledge that professional planners are currently experiencing a variety of unique challenges, both professional and personal in nature as a direct result of this unprecedented global crisis.
The transition to working from home has been challenging for many and work itself may be limited as a result of office closures and physical distancing measures. Others find themselves in the unenviable position where their contracts are not being renewed, or their employment has been terminated. Planners with children are experiencing the unique challenge of balancing work responsibilities with childcare and homeschooling. All the while, our personal and family health is being threatened, and some family members may be ill, or caring for those who are.  
Of course, this is all taking place as we watch events across the globe unfold, and we deal with the stress and uncertainties associated with COVID-19. As professional planners contend with these challenges and stresses, other responsibilities and commitments such as volunteer work or research projects, may understandably become a lower priority than under normal circumstances.
Recently, OPPI issued a survey to its members asking how your Institute can support you during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most frequent responses from members concerned the Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program, and whether the requirements for 2020 will be waived. Because CPL is a national standard, it is important to note that for a waiver to be instituted, a joint decision by all Provincial and Territorial Institutes and Associations (PTIAs) is required. To that end, this issue has been shared with the PTIAs, who are expected to convene to discuss how best to move forward.
In the meantime, I would urge all of us to think about ways to learn, grow and stay connected both professionally and personally during this challenging time. Planners have a critical role to play in supporting communities during and post COVID-19; our communities need our leadership. As we think about the future, how to create resilient and sustainable communities for all, we need to continue to sharpen our skills, leverage our collective knowledge and adapt to the ever evolving needs of the public. CPL is perhaps more important now than ever.
COVID-19 has ensured that the world is a changed place and by engaging in your continuous professional learning commitments this year, you are positioning yourself to be an agent of change for the public good.
We realize this is a challenging time for everyone, and we are all experiencing this crisis in unique ways due to our own sets of circumstances, but the one thing that unites us as planners during the COVID-19 crisis is our unwavering dedication to the public we serve.

OPPI is here to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. A COVID-19 information page has been set up to give you access to important resources to enable you to better work from home, stay up to date on the latest from the Government, and much, much more. Additionally, you can stay up to date with your CPL by reading previous Planning Exchange Blog posts, Y Magazine issues, back-issues of the Ontario Planning Journal, and you can also access FREE videos and podcasts through OPPI Digital Learning if you are a member of OPPI.
OPPI is also working hard to bring you relevant and timely learning resources on a variety of digital platforms to help you meet your learning needs. Stay tuned to OPPI channels in the coming weeks for new resources.
Resources from OPPI Digital Learning, the Planning Exchange Blog and Y Magazine do indeed count towards your requirement for organized & structured learning units and you can consult the CPL Program Guide for further information, and don’t forget that if you need to create a plan for your learning journey this year, you can use OPPI’s Learning Path tool to get you started.
If you have any questions on CPL during the COVID-19 Pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact OPPI’s Education Manager, Ryan Des Roches.


The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author(s), and may not reflect the position of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute.

Post by Ryan Des Roches

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