Business Training at a Discount

IEEE's newest education partner is an expert on the basics of business

7 November 2008

Engineers don’t always have the basics of business down pat. While the technical aspects of the aviation, aerospace, and defense sectors may be second nature to engineers in those fields, dealing with quality, safety, and regulatory matters may be a different matter altogether. That’s where IEEE’s newest education partner, Integrated Performance Leadership Group (IPL), comes in.

The training firm, in Bokeelia, Fla., offers classroom courses, usually at the customer’s site, that deal with the fundamentals of quality control, corrective action, manufacturing, and procurement, as well as regulatory and standards compliance, in the three previously mentioned sectors. The courses are geared to those working in quality control, engineering, or procurement. IPL also offers classroom courses on topics that include leadership, organizational systems, auditing practices, and contract review.

The IEEE Education Partners Program added IPL as a partner in June to offer IEEE members classroom as well as Web-based courses at a 10 percent discount.

Three Web-based courses are available: Root Cause and Corrective Action, Introduction to Tree Diagrams, and Overview of American Standard/European Standard/Japanese Standard 9100B (AS/EN/JISQ 9100B). The latter covers a quality-system standard for suppliers to the aerospace industry.

Root Cause and Corrective Action “explains the urgency of identifying where engineering problems originate and how to fix them,” says Michael Dreikorn, an IPL instructor. The course gives engineers a business-centered way of thinking about how best to react to mistakes and get to the root of problems. The 5-hour course costs US $85.

A course on tree diagrams also deals with root causes but centers more on preventive rather than corrective action. It covers the basics of tree diagrams (variously known as cause-and-effect, fishbone, and Isikawa diagrams), which, Dreikorn notes, are the basic tools of quality-control management. The 90-minute $40 course also explains how engineers can use the diagrams to avoid costly errors.

The 10-hour AS/EN/JISQ 9100B course discusses the 9100B standard— set by the U.S.-based Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries—which specifies requirements set by the International Aerospace Quality Group for product quality and improvement as well as customer service. The course costs $145.

The Web courses feature lots of animation and narration “so students don’t just read a lot of text,” Dreikorn says.

Prices of the classroom courses are variable, depending on the instructor’s traveling expenses. The courses are usually for groups of about 20 employees.

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