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January 24, 2024

Bigger, Bolder, Better: OPPI 2024 Education Calendar

On International Day of Education, OPPI is excited to announce our educational calendar for 2024. As an educator and a lifelong learner, I am very proud that we have expanded our educational offerings for our members. The Education & Events department recognizes that learning is an important part of being a professional planner. We have worked alongside the Planning Knowledge Exchange (PKE) Committee of OPPI to put together several different learning opportunities for our members in multiple formats, including the Planning Exchange Blog, Y Magazine, the 2024 OPPI conference, webinars and both virtual and in-person professional development workshops. We also work with our District Leadership Teams to help them organize educational and social events for the seven OPPI Districts. At the core of our educational offerings are the workshops that we offer. This year, we are bringing back several popular workshops with increased frequency, offering them both in-person and virtually. These workshops include Planner as an Expert Witness, Plain Language Principles and Techniques for Planners, and Ethics and Professionalism for Planners.

We are excited to be launching four new workshop offerings in 2024: 

Introduction to Project Management workshop, which we soft-launched in December 2023. The workshop sold out and we are moving forward with two sessions for 2024. Nance MacLeod and Crystal-Lee Olson facilitate the “nuts and bolts of Project Management” with interactive discussions and problem-solving exercises. The workshop goes through the phases of managing a project; working through responsibilities; decisions, and challenges; skills that project managers require; and best practices using Gantt Charts and RACI charts. The objective for this workshop is to support the participant with basic Project Management tools, skills, and best practices. These skills will help attendees gain greater consistency in their work, improve communication, develop healthier risk management practices, develop resource planning, and further their ability to scale projects.

Impactful Presentations workshop is also facilitated by Nance MacLeod and Crystal-Lee Olson. An integral part of a planner’s job is presenting reports and recommendations at the public, council meetings, and elsewhere. This hands-on workshop will give attendees the tools to craft compelling presentations, with the aims to motivate others, inspire action, and enable buy-in. Attendees will gain the confidence and the skills it takes to shift the way people think, feel, and behave. The workshop will cover the five types of impactful presentations, general pitfalls to be aware of, and calming techniques. Attendees will be asked to bring a 5-7 minute presentation they want to explore in class.

Development Pro Forma Basics for Planners Workshop is taught by Dr. Steven Webber. The workshop introduces planners to pro formas as a tool to evaluate the financial feasibility of real estate investments. Attendees will learn that a static pro forma model provides the framework for a straightforward examination of revenues, costs and project performance metrics for condo and purpose-built rental scenarios. They will learn how to conduct sensitivity analysis and calculate residual land. There will be hands-on interactive exercises that offers the opportunity for attendees to work with a pro forma spreadsheet model.

On-Farm Diversification Workshop is taught by Dr. Wayne Caldwell, Dr. Pam Duesling, and Emily Sousa. The workshop will introduce attendees to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Guidelines on Permitted Uses in Ontario's Prime Agricultural Areas and specifically review how planners can create responsible On-Farm Diversified Users (OFDU). In this interactive workshop, the facilitators will share their award winning OFDU research entitled Guidelines on Permitted Uses as a Tool to Achieve Farmland Protection Farm Diversification and Economic Benefits: Assessing effectiveness and identifying best practices. The workshop will provide attendees an opportunity to review together current OFDU examples and utilize a new tool for assessing appropriate OFDUs. This workshop will provide best practices related to Official Plan policies, Zoning provisions and Site Plan Control. It will also discuss specifics related to size and scale, servicing, parking, parkland dedication, event barns, traffic, engineering, industrial uses, farming conflicts and more. Learn from the experts in the planning profession on what makes responsible OFDUs.

We hope that these new and exciting workshops, along with our other workshops offerings, will provide our members with engaging opportunities to learn and fulfill their CPL requirements. In addition to the workshops, we are working on putting together a series of webinars that are free to attend. Stay tuned for an announcement of two webinars in Spring 2024. To register for any (or all!) of our educational offerings, please go to our education calendar.

If you have any questions about educational offerings or have any suggestions for future offerings, please email
Karenza Sutton-Bennett, PhD
Senior Manager, Education & Events

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 Karenza Sutton-Bennett, PhD

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