The next Advanced Concrete Technology (ACT) diploma course by The Concrete Institute is set to take place at the beginning of 2018. Potential candidates for the upcoming course, or even the following one in 2020, should immediately start their preparations for this formidable but highly respected concrete training.

That is the advice of John Roxburgh, lecturer at The Concrete Institute’s School of Concrete Technology (SCT), which presents the course under the auspices of the Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT) in London every two years.

“The Advanced Concrete Technology diploma is the highest level of concrete technology training in Africa. It was originally proposed as a means of formally recognising persons that have been active in the concrete and related industries for many years – and have substantial concrete technology knowledge and practical skills – for their experience in the form of a diploma,” says John.

Such in-depth experience in the industry remains a prerequisite to acceptance for ACT studies and consequently the SCT has charted a route for potential, younger and less experienced students to follow towards qualifying for ACT enrolment.

“South Africa urgently needs more qualified concrete technologists but be warned: there are no short cuts to gaining this ultimate diploma of competence. To be successful requires a slow and steady maturation of concrete technology knowledge and hands-on practice over a number of years,” John cautions.

The SCT therefore recommends – and offers – a progressive approach to ACT training through selected courses that are of increasing technological content, along with a more detailed study of various fields in concrete. Practical application of concrete technology is an essential component in concrete technology education. The SCT recommends a prospective ACT candidate ensures that substantial time between courses is given for onsite application of the technology taught in the courses.

“The School therefore encourages students to enrol at the SCT to complete the ICT’s Stage 2 (Concrete technology and construction: General principles) and Stage 3 (Concrete technology and construction: Practical applications). This will then ensure that students have sufficient theoretical knowledge plus practical on-site experience before considering enrolling for the formidable ACT programme,” John adds.

To obtain the ACT diploma, passing two three-hour examinations, along with the acceptance of a satisfactory research project, must be achieved. Over the past 26 years, 79 candidates have successfully obtained an ACT diploma through the education provided by the SCT. For these graduates, the ACT diploma has opened up many doors within the concrete and concrete related industries and many now occupy top leadership positions.

“Those interested in studying for an ACT diploma should contact the School of Concrete Technology as soon as possible to discuss an appropriate approach, based on individual needs and experience, towards successfully enrolling for and obtaining this prestigious diploma,” concludes John.

For more information, contact The Concrete Institute on Tel: +27 (11) 315 0300 or via www.theconcreteinstitute.org.za.