March 30, 20121023Views

Twenty-three disaster managers from ten Caribbean countries, including three from the Virgin Islands, have completed a one-week course in leadership and strategic planning for disaster risk reduction at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College’s Centre for Applied Marine Studies, Paraquita Bay. The course was conducted from 26-30 March.

This third offering of the course brings the total number of persons trained in leadership and strategic planning so far to 78, and continues on the initiative which was started in April and May last year. The training was made possible with funding from the Comprehensive Disaster Management Harmonised Implementation Programme through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

The course, which was developed by Dean of Workforce Training at HLSCC Judith Vanterpool, includes five core units derived from the Chartered Executive Management Institute’s Level 7 Diploma in Management. It is aimed at advancing skills and providing tools to leaders of national disaster risk reduction programmes in the region. A fourth group is scheduled to undertake the training from 23-27 April.

Commenting on the course, Ms. Vanterpool said she believes that HLSCC is poised to become the leader in the region for training in disaster management. “The repeat of this course for the third time speaks volumes to that fact, and we are very excited,” she said.

Ms. Vanterpool explained that HLSCC currently has students in two online disaster management courses, and that the College has been able to encourage some of them to attend the disaster risk reduction training.

The concentrated units of study are leadership and risk management, managing performance, managing operations, developing project specifications, and objectives and strategic planning. 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.

In 2005, HLSCC formed a partnership with CMI that allowed for an opportunity to offer the course with professional certification. This has now led to 78 senior officers in disaster management at the national level in the 18 CDEMA member countries completing the training.

At the end of the course, successful candidates will receive a Certificate of Completion in Leadership and Strategic Planning in Disaster Management from HLSCC. They will also have an opportunity to receive the CMI Level 5 Certificate in Management and Leadership, pending successful completion of an assignment in Performance and Project Management. The assignment must be completed and submitted within six-weeks of course completion.

CDEMA’s representative Evangeline Inniss pointed out that interest in the CMI certification is high, saying 77 percent of those who took the course in 2011 were awarded with the CMI Level 5 Certificate in Management and Leadership.

To qualify for the HLSCC Certificate of Completion, participants must have full attendance, present a portfolio, and display evidence of understanding of the course material through daily individual and group presentations.

In addition to the Virgin Islands, the other countries represented are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos Islands.