In my previous blogs, I’ve talked about my route to a pro construction career and my current role.  

Right from the very beginning of my job at DARA I knew I wanted to broaden my Quantity Surveying as well as improve my managerial skills. I also knew I would be suited to a structured training approach. 

An on-line search about qualified structured training programmes lead me to think about chartered membership - MCIOB. The CIOB’s friendly Membership Enquiry team suggested the Professional Development Programme (PDP) would be very helpful to me as a recent graduate. 

I had no trouble applying for the PDP as the CIOB’s PDP Officers were there to help with the application process.  In the space of an afternoon I was fully enrolled into the PDP system and allocated a personal PDP assessor.  

Since I was doing the programme from Brunei, I found it very useful to have my own assessor from within my company to check my work and evidence packages prior to uploading them (easily) to the CIOB e-portfolio, ahead of CIOB’s PDP assessor verifying my recordings. 

Vipattz Ratnarajah on his route to CIOB membership Vipattz Ratnarajah on his route to CIOB membership

At first I thought the PDP approach would be challenging and I would need to spend a lot of time on it, but once I started to explore it I found many useful videos and instructions and learned about the e-portfolio and PDP structure pretty quickly.  Once I got myself organised with the help of its instruction guide, I felt comfortable and very motivated to complete my modules swiftly. 

Several modules focus on occupational and managerial skills, which were directly relevant to my learning goals so any recent graduate like me wanting to invest the time can learn about industrial practices right away.  I was able to attend several in-house and technical meetings with the support of my employer as they knew the value of doing the PDP programme and that motivated me to learn more.  I found those meetings and talks were very useful and I even made recordings to help with my day job.  

PDP training also helped me to study more about things like Conditions of Contracts and  Procurement Selections for work packages, which are key components of Construction Management.  Thanks to the support I received from my employer and assessors I was able to complete the PDP and obtain MCIOB inside 2 years. 

Once all my modules had been verified by the PDP assessor, my e-portfolio was sent for external verification for final confirmation. I was informed through my PDP officer that I had been awarded MCIOB and invited to a Recognition of Achievement Ceremony in London.

Determined to attend, I applied for a UK Visa to attend the ceremony on 7th October 2016. I was super excited to visit London and absorb and enjoy the graduation day.  It was a great day for me and my parents, as I always wanted to obtain professional qualification outside my degree.  I was so proud about my achievement and I enjoyed every single moment at the ceremony. 

I stayed in UK for three weeks and visited many wonderful places in London as well as t some Schengen countries too.  It was a memorable trip for me in between the busy work schedule. 

The PDP provides in-depth structured training in systemized modules to learn about and get trained in Construction Management. I would recommend to any recent graduate with sound construction knowledge to go for it!