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Six Actionable Steps on How to Plan a Training Program for Civil Engineers

In this article, what I will be covering is a practical step of organising and planning a training program. We are going to use a training template developed for civil engineers but other professionals can use it as reference material.

Course outline

  • Who is the professional for which the training is organised for
  • What is the mandate of the organization that is conducting the training
  • Define the problem/ need for organising the training
  • Define the target audience for the training
  • Scope of the training
  • Define the achievable goal after the training

Who is the professional for which the training is organised for

In this article, I will be considering a civil engineering professional also known as a civil engineer.

Who is a civil engineer

A civil engineer is a professional who analyses, designs and constructs civil infrastructures. Some of these civil infrastructures include buildings, dams, seaports, airports, roads, offshore platforms etc. This professional helps in planning every aspect of the project from design to maintenance and operation while protecting the public and environmental health.

Specialities within the civil engineering field

Civil engineers usually practice within such major specialities which include construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, hydraulic engineering, and environmental engineering.

For a civil engineer to determine the right design for any structure, he/she must be able to characterize the materials that will be specified in the design. This will help in understanding the properties and behaviour of such material, achieving reliable and economic structures.

It is observed that many civil engineers especially in Nigeria are not conversant with material characterization especially related to soil. This is due to their inability to analyze and interpret geotechnical lab reports, hence the need to set up a training workshop as continuous professional development that will help the engineers in their analytical skills towards analysis and data visualisation was conceived by the Nigerian building and road research institute.

The Nigeria building and road research institute, an agency saddle with the responsibility for conducting applied research and development related to buildings, roads and construction materials came up with a practical template on how to plan for training civil engineers dealing with geotechnical problems

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Define the need/problem

This section will show you how to define a problem that such training will address.

It was discovered that some engineers are faced with the problem of interpreting results given to them by laboratory technicians due to a lack of sufficient analytical skills.

It is an established practice to note that you cannot design any civil engineering structure without considering the soil properties for which that structure will be placed. The properties of soil can be determined in the laboratory for which engineersl need to interpret and use in their designs. Hence the need fto organise a training programme that will equip civil engineers with geotechnical material characterization and data analysis skill is necessary.

Define your target audience

As we have mentioned earlier, civil engineers are subdivided into five major specialities.

Since most of the civil engineering structures are built on soil, it is expected that all of them can attend, but with much emphasis on geotechnical specialization.

Scope of the training

This training will involve practical analysis using Microsoft excel with all the participants provided with a system to practically analyse the raw laboratory data

Define the achievable goal after the training

The desired objective is to bridge the knowledge gap in understanding laboratory geotechnical data and analysing the results.

Key benefits for participant include

  • Boost analytical and interpretation skills
  • A better understanding of data visualisation using Microsoft excel.


We discussed six practical steps of organizing and planning a training program for civil engineers using a template used by the Nigerian building and road research institute. These steps can be used by many organisations and professionals when planning for their continuous professional development.

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