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    By Nick Harris

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    At Autodesk University in the US recently Andrew Anagnost, the Autodesk CEO, announced the launch of new role-based certifications during his keynote presentation. For some years now we have been preparing our customers, through training and support, for the Autodesk Professional Certification exams. The Professional Certification is a measure of an individual’s ability to operate a specific Autodesk design application to a high level. The exam is rigorous and the feedback from our customers is that it provides certainty when recruiting new team members with the right Autodesk technology skills.

    The new pilot program launched at AU is based on a different approach. While certification shows proficiency with certain software, these credentials demonstrate proficiency with a specific process. These processes often require several different products and the assessment will focus on the engineering outcome rather than the user’s ability to complete a set of commands. The pilot is starting with manufacturing engineering with a track for Design and Make for Machinists, Design and Make for Engineers and one for Generative Design.

    This role-based approach to learning and development reflects the changing needs of our customers. The Autodesk Collections provide a huge amount of functionality across multiple applications which can easily be connected to deliver complex workflows. Again, our customers need to recruit people who are Collection ready not just product ready. Our quick start training programmes are designed to deliver exactly that capability, product skills alongside process skills. It is great news that individuals will be able to demonstrate that they have this advanced skill set by completing a role-based certification assessment.

    Our partners at 4DTechnologies have also been making changes to their CADLearning platform to reflect this need for outcome-based learning. They provide a facility for building custom learning paths that reflect each individual’s job requirements. The learning path is designed with the outcome in mind and to develop the competencies needed to deliver that outcome. As lessons are completed and assessments undertaken in the portal, the individuals progress can be tracked and if necessary, their learning path can be adjusted to keep them on track.

    Although product knowledge is an important aspect of an individual’s toolkit, it is more important for them to understand how project data flows between multiple design applications and collaboration services. The most advanced users now know which software applications meet the needs of each step in their process and how best to develop the project data in each one.

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