Professional Development Program (PDP)

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PDP Audits Underway to Ensure Courses Meet Industry’s Needs

December 7, 2012

An increased effort to ensure that participants in NBAA's Professional Development Program (PDP) are receiving the proper skills to advance within the industry was the focus of a recent meeting of the PDP Review Committee.

Developed to prepare business aviation professionals for management roles at their respective Member Companies, PDP courses are available through a variety of venues, including online resources, through educational institutions and in presentations held during NBAA events.

The PDP Review committee met Dec. 3 and 4 to discuss the implementation of a new audit program to verify the PDP courses are meeting their stated objectives. "All PDP courses include a set of learning objectives that have been determined through industry consultation and surveying our Membership," explained Sarah Wolf, NBAA project manager, professional development.

"NBAA then allows universities and other entities to develop professional development courses around those objectives, and the PDP Review Committee is tasked with making sure those courses follow the stated objectives,” she added.

Five courses are to be reviewed by Committee members in FY2013, Wolf noted, with one audit already completed. Two more courses will be reviewed during the 2013 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, to be held Jan. 22 to 25, in San Antonio, TX.

According to Wolf, approximately 100 PDP courses are taught each year by NBAA personnel and outside entities such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. All will be subject to the audit program. “We want to make sure that if someone commits to a course, that it will teach him or her what it says it will,” she said.

The PDP Review Committee is also looking for additional members to assist with the audit process.

"There are currently seven members on the Review Committee; we have spots for 10," Wolf said. "In addition to participants who focus on academic development, the committee also includes professionals with real-world expertise in utilizing the skills that are taught through the PDP.

"We are well-represented academically on the committee," she continued. “We are looking for additional support from operators, though, to bring their hands-on, practical experience. Such a person could be a pilot, an FBO manager or experienced flight department member, or someone else involved in a successful business aviation flight program.”

Any person who occupies or aspires to a management position in a company involved with business aviation is a potential candidate for the Professional Development Program.

For more information on the PDP Review Committee, contact Wolf at