Last week twenty-seven delegates from the Caribbean, including three local participants completed a comprehensive five-day course in leadership and strategic planning for disaster risk reduction at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
The Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAid) provided support to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to develop and deliver a training course to two groups of 27 senior officers within national disaster organisations of the 18 CDEMA participating states. The training delivered in the BVI represented one of those two groups.
In his remarks during the closing ceremony, HLSCC President, Dr. Karl Dawson stated, “Over the years the BVI has benefitted from the educational services provided by our brothers and sisters in the region. I am pleased that we are now in a position to offer something back, particularly in the area of disaster risk management.”
He commented on the excellent working relationship that the institution has developed with the Department of Disaster Management over the past 20 years and acknowledged the benefits that such relations have gained. He said, “Our partnership with the DDM and CDEMA has allowed for us to be able to develop and offer formal courses in Disaster Management at the Associate and Certificate levels, training in safer building and online training applications in Disaster Management.”
The leadership and strategic planning for disaster risk reduction initiative is aimed at advancing skills and providing tools to leaders of national disaster risk reduction programmes. The course includes five core units derived from the Chartered Executive Management Institute’s (CMI) Diploma in Management (Level 7) within a certificate programme to serve the needs of the CDEMA participating states. These units are leadership and risk management, managing performance, managing operations, developing project specifications, and objectives and strategic planning. In 2005 HLSCC formed a partnership with CMI that allowed for an opportunity to offer the course with professional certification.
Acting Governor, Mrs. Inez V. Archibald who also gave remarks at the closing ceremony challenged the participants to apply what they have learned. She said, “The onus is now on you to light the path of your chosen profession as you manage not only the increasing distractions, but also the growing misconceptions arising out of the increases in hazard impacts, be they geological, chemical or anthropological.” She continued by saying, “These leaders will not only command their crew toward the execution of their duties, but they can now steer the ship, in turbulent seas, through treacherous straits, safely to harbour.”
The leadership training involves the development of reflective statements by each participant, as well as group and individual assignments that are assessed and scored by the tutors. Participants are required to maintain a portfolio of all work completed throughout the duration of the course. Group management presentations are also required and developed
The successful candidates were awarded a Certificate of Completion in Leadership and Strategic Planning in Disaster Management from HLSCC and, at the completion of the written project, will receive a Level 5 Certificate in Management and Leadership from CMI.
To qualify for the HLSCC Certificate, candidates must have full attendance, present a portfolio, and display evidence of understanding of the course material through individual and group presentations.
In addition, to be eligible for the Level 5 CMI Certificate in Management, candidates must qualify for the HLSCC Certificate and complete a written project based on risk management within six weeks after the course ends.