Recent CPCA Corners

CPCA Training Initiative: The Imperative of Investing in Your Exclusive Asset: Your Team!

Ryan Kershaw
Author: Ryan Kershaw
Published: May 2021

How do you keep your employees up to date? Actually, do you keep your employees up to date? I mean like up to date with proper training. Many companies run internal training sessions, but how often do you expose your employees to external, professionally run training? Why not? Too expensive? Too time consuming? Can’t find anything relevant? Unsure about making an investment?

The interesting thing is all of us in the instrumentation, automation and process control community make decisions about investments on a daily basis. Aside from regulatory and safety topics, most of the decisions that we make involve a voluntary decision to improve something. Thermocouple not giving enough accuracy for the process? Put in an RTD. Operators overworked? Prioritize and classify the alarms. Tim the technician doesn’t know his PIDs from his P&IDs, or Sue in sales couldn’t sell a solar powered freezer in the Sahara? Give them time, they’ll figure it out.

We seem to take a different approach when it comes to investing in our people than we do our systems or procedures. So, why is this? With many technical or operational issues, there is usually a fairly concise answer which has been reviewed by at least a few people. In the case of the TC vs. RTD question, there’s probably a half dozen entities from ASTM to NIST that have poured over that data, and in the case of alarm management, ISA18.2 is usually a good place to start.

As with any investment, ROI is always critical, and again, this is more straightforward in the technical or operational side of things. We have a pretty good idea what the impact of making certain changes will be. For instance, reduce electricity usage, and save a certain $/kWh. With training, the returns can be less tangible and therefore may be undervalued. Further, equipment and processes are less likely than people to leave the company for a competitor, so investments made in those areas may be seen as safer.

The CPCA recognizes that all of these items represent significant challenges to our members, but we also recognize the potential opportunity of a better-trained workforce. With this in mind, the association has actively sought out and vetted a number of education partners, looking for well respected organizations that could provide industry rlevant training. We also looked at courses that could be taken in manageable time periods, either self-directed, or in a micro-credential format. Finally, we worked to reduce the upfront cost through a series of partnerships, helping to balance the investment equation.

With that in mind, we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with the Canadian Professional Sales Association CPSA), the International Society of Automation (ISA), and McMaster University on select courses that have allowed the CPCA to build three learning streams. These learning streams: Sales, Leadership, & Technical, address high priority areas where training can have an immediate impact. The result of the courses in all of these streams is a series of certifications that allow both employers and employees a measure of achievement as courses are completed.

The CPCA believes that this program will help their members stay current and competitive. For more information visit:

CPCA: Where manufacturers and distributors of Process Automation Technology come together for Canadian market insights.

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“Who is the CPCA for?”

Manufacturers, Distributors, Academia, Certification Bodies
Benefits: Market Insight – Publicity – Industry Voice to Government and Regulatory Bodies – Professional Development – Networking

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Temperature Data by Year Based on Member Input

The Statistics Committee was active and published both the 2016 Year End Product and Industry Reports, as well as the 2017 Quarterly Booking Reports and Quarterly CEO Business Conditions Reports. These reports are the only ones in Canada for process control that are based on actual sales data and provide a real road map for companies to determine areas of growth as well as those that are declining.

CPCA also published the annual forecast which provides specific details on 12 product lines and end user industries regionally across the country. All reports are provided free to participating members.

In an effort to improve the process of getting Canadian Registration Numbers on new products and technologies, CPCA has joined with 3 other Associations and drafted a White Paper that outlines all our concerns with the current process and opportunities for improvement. This White Paper has been submitted to the approval bodies and we are now working with TSSA and ABSA on a mutually beneficial solution to save both time and money. If the improvements are implemented, the process industry will benefit by having new technologies enter the Canadian market in a shorter time frame.

The Academic Committee is continuing to work with colleges to provide guidance on instrumentation and automation programs and to offer scholarships to the most deserving students in these programs. We will also be working with these colleges to ensure our members get access to the best and the brightest through industry specific job fairs.

Our upcoming Annual General Meeting is scheduled for May 31 – June 2 at the Sherwood Inn in Muskoka, Ontario. It is an incredible opportunity to participate in the activities of the Association, hear from some keynote speakers and network at the social gatherings. This should be a great event and we hope to see everyone there!