The purpose of the training was to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the secretarial positions within the South African Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (SAIRAC), on a centre as well as on a council level.
“SAIRAC does and must maintain a professional image to industry, locally and internationally and offer support, information, enrichment courses, professional recognition, networking opportunities, Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) points and social functions to the members,” explains Grant Laidlaw, SAIRAC president. SAIRAC offers a platform for members to become involved in industry.
At the training, back, from left: Elbrecht Oswald (Cape Town chairman); Marius la Grange (SAIRAC vice president); Celia Blignault (Port Elizabeth secretary); John Ackermann (national treasurer); Geno Demaio (Cape Town secretary); and Grant Laidlaw (SAIRAC president). Middle, from left: Marlene Gamble (national secretary); Deon Schmidt (Port Elizabeth chairman); and Taryn Ching (Durban secretary). Front, from left: Cyril Maurel (Durban chairman); Mariet Pieterse (Johannesburg secretary); Jaco Pieterse (Johannesburg chairman); and Tammy Inglis (Durban secretary).
To maintain SAIRAC’s high standards, it is necessary for all involved but in particular the secretaries to understand what is expected, the importance of standardisation across the centres, the processes and procedures to be followed and to be kept up to date with regards to progress made within each centre. In addition, when working in isolation at a centre it is difficult to see the ‘big picture’, explains Laidlaw.
“Chairman serve and move on, committee members serve and move on, the secretaries remain and bring continuity to SAIRAC. Our secretaries are SAIRAC’s unsung heroes,” says Laidlaw.
The full day training session was conducted to allow secretaries the opportunity to understand their role, understand the expectations, meet their colleagues and share experiences. Although this was a training session and not a team building exercise, some team building was achieved.
During the training problem areas where ironed out and systems explained.
Each of the secretaries and chairmen now understand and share the same ‘picture’ of what SAIRAC is and the crucial role in which they serve.
John Ackerman (who has served on SAIRAC committees for more than two decades and is a past president) conducted the session as only he can, bringing his many years of experience on council and his in-depth knowledge to the fore.
“There can be now doubt that everyone present now knows precisely what is required and what is expected of them and how to achieve that expectation,” says Laidlaw. “The training session was without doubt a success. Everybody concerned left the session with a sense of pride for being part of SAIRAC.”