Last November, the PIA council and its members gathered in Melbourne for the association’s annual general meeting and dinner. Attendees were updated on the association’s activities and achievements over 2018, as well as its plans for 2019 and beyond.
The PIA reported it had been a busy year, with the council working on a number of projects to further standards in the industry, improve knowledge and skills training, and industry collaborations.
A lot of work was undertaken on standards in 2018, with AS/ISO 9906:2018 Pump Performance Acceptance Test Standard replacing AS 2941 last February. The PIA is also leading a proposal to adopt ISO/ASME 14414:2015 Pump System Energy Assessment as an Australian Standard, and will be voting for the acceptance of the draft AS 2304 Water Storage Tanks for Fire Protection Systems.
The PIA also collaborated with a number of external stakeholders throughout the year with activities including:
- Collaboration with AMCA to provide support for the new Centre of Excellence being developed at Holmesglen TAFE in Victoria, with work already underway
- Collaboration with the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) on adoption of a AS 2941 fire equipment certifier’s checklist, see page [pg no] for more details
- Discussions with Standards Australia to be an “International Participant” so PIA can have direct input to the ISO committee in Europe for pump standards
- Chairing the Department of Energy and Environment subcommittee on Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards (MEPS) for pumps regulations
Training and seminars
The PIA said a number of training courses and seminars had been successfully held, with the year kicking off with a Technical Meeting held at Regal Beloit in Melbourne in March.
In May, a one-day efficiency seminar was held in Melbourne looking at energy efficiency and savings in pumping systems. Around 30 pump professionals attended the event to hear presentations from ten industry experts and government personnel. Attendees heard about the latest developments on the impacts of pumping systems on energy and the environment, energy efficiency policies and planned legislation, and technical and commercial advances made in the application and penetration of energy-efficient pumping systems.
The seminar was well-received by attendees, so two half-day energy efficiency seminars were held in September in Brisbane and Sydney.
Further Technical Meetings were held throughout the year in Brisbane and Adelaide in July and September, and an Installation and Commissioning Course was held at KSB in Brisbane with eight certified pump professionals graduating.
Looking towards the year ahead
The council announced the PIA is looking towards the future, with activities in 2019 set to further the reach of the association, and provide more opportunities for members and non-members to further their skills and learn about changes to the industry.
A key objective of the council moving forward is to increase membership, with plans now underway and upcoming to achieve this, including:
- Introduce digitalisation, such as live streaming of AGM, e-learning, LinkedIn, Facebook, and email signatures for current members
- Include Pool (Domestic and Commercial), Irrigation, Rural and Domestic Sectors to the PIA
- Better use of website for communication, payments
The PIA is also looking to continue providing opportunities for training and seminars on topics of interest to the industry, as well as improvements to qualifications. Plans include:
Formalisation of Selection, Sales and Installation qualifications, such as generic VET qualifications, which will be transferable to all employees at all levels. Has acceptance with IAL, ABCB, Master Plumbers and industry
- Continue energy efficiency seminars
- Organise additional meetings on changes to standards
- Organise and identify potential speakers who will be of interest and benefit to members
- Continue to hold regular meetings in capital cities for members
- Continue to organise seminars and workshops in capital cities on technical topics such as energy efficiency, fire pump installations, general pump technology and to increase industry awareness of Australian capabilities for pump equipment
- Organise training programs to service the needs of members, including the new PIA Installation and Commissioning course, and promotion of the BPMA and HI training programs
There will also be some changes to the PIA moving forward, with key council positions being updated and expressions of interest sought, and portfolios will be allocated to each councillor.
Along with upcoming changes, the council will continue liaising with industry organisations and government departments to promote cooperation between industries, and improve standards.
Listening to the needs of the members
The PIA aims to help its members grow and operate successful, sustainable businesses through representation, promotion, information and research. In order to do this, it needs feedback from members so it can provide them with the information and knowledge they want and require.
In late 2018, an anonymous online survey was conducted which will help shape activities in the year ahead, in particular training and seminars. The council strongly encourages all members to take part in such surveys in the future or to email feedback or suggestions for topics and speakers to the council directly, to ensure you are getting the most benefit from the association.