The team identified opportunities for growth in the UK market and understood that CPD provided an ideal format to showcase their ideas, innovations, and product solutions to specifiers in a valuable and informative way.
We had a chat with Sarah Jefferson, UK Technical Advisor at Vandersanden, to discuss the process behind joining the RIBA CPD Providers Network.
“We already had a wealth of educational content across the business, so the first task was to tailor it to UK markets,” Sarah said.
“We then produced new material specific to the UK. All of this content is now part of our CPD programme available in many formats: from face-to-face through to webinars, podcasts, events which also includes practice specific online seminars.”
Repurposing and creating content for RIBA approvalHowever, not all content is suited to CPD. Providers must submit their materials for RIBA approval, which might seem like a daunting task but, as Vandersanden found, is a simple and supportive process.
"The process of getting our material RIBA-approved was very straightforward. The RIBA team was excellent and provided clear guidance whilst remaining supportive at every stage."
Vandersanden’s existing content resources were already high quality, so the business simply had to adapt them to match RIBA assessment guidelines and criteria. These criteria also helped with the creation of new materials.
“The RIBA provided guidance early in the content development process, which made getting the necessary approvals straightforward and efficient. We’d recommend that CPD providers talk to the RIBA early on, sharing your outline and draft content as soon as it’s available so the RIBA team can help you.”
CPD-specific content is often delivered online, presenting new opportunities for manufacturers with more traditional training programmes. Adapting was simple for Vandersanden, which already had a strong online presence.
“We had already developed our own CPD delivery framework within recognised CPD delivery formats. However, we found that the RIBA CPD Providers Network and its support has enhanced our approach. Crucially, specifiers can engage with the training in their own time and on their own terms.
Initiate discussion and valuable debate with CPD
"We’ve found that compelling and unique CPD content does initiate discussion and sometimes even debate - which has led to a level of engagement that is highly beneficial both to the specification community and our industry as a whole."
By creating materials that help UK architects and specifiers gain new insight, Vandersanden has positioned itself at the forefront of specification decisions.
Commenting on the benefits of being part of the RIBA CPD network, Sarah said:
“There’s a real sense of recognition and gravitas that is unique to the RIBA in the UK and in global markets."
The active community of specifiers are well engaged, and we have recognised lots of value in the direct connection CPD gives us between decision-making architects and our team.”
The level of access you can benefit from when joining the providers network makes it beneficial not just from a reputational standpoint, but from a profitability one too:
“The ROI generated from RIBA CPD is tracked as a KPI in our business strategy. We constantly monitor and refine our CPD approach, looking for new ways to innovate on and deliver our content. The RIBA CPD Providers Network plays an important role in helping us achieve our CPD goals and targets.
"The RIBA Providers Network provides a direct connection between us and specifiers."
"The RIBA assessment of our CPD material is invaluable to us. The approval process ensures our content is up-to-date and composed of high-quality educational material, which architects look for when selecting CPD material. Through the network, we reach a wide range of architects and specifiers to share our technical knowledge with.”
Vandersanden’s experience illustrates the network’s unique advantages - helping manufacturers to create engaging, educational content that showcases their products and sector knowledge to architects and specifiers who are actively engaged in learning about them. RIBA CPD helps drive our industry forward by providing a crucial connection between decision-making specifiers and product-expert manufacturers.