DPA to Offer Online Ethics Courses

I mentioned at the end of my previous column that I would discuss the development of quasi-online ethics courses. The following is an informational update concerning the status of producing those courses.

Currently, two of the ethics courses are nearing completion and moving toward being produced for distribution after editorial review for content.

  • One of the two courses nearing completion, The Grey Scale of Ethics, addresses the fact that varying circumstances can change the ethics of a decision, and it offers a method for making ethical decisions.

This presentation was offered as a short course by DPA Correlator editor Robert Shoup during the 2006 AAPG annual meeting.

  • The second course is titled The Ethics Storybooks with Tales from the Oil Patch. It is a presentation by John Gibson that was originally videotaped by the DPA.

Gibson is executive chairman and chief executive officer of Paradigm. Previously he served as president of Halliburton Energy Services, where he managed all of the company’s energy related operations. Before serving as president, Gibson was CEO of Halliburton’s Landmark Graphics Corp.

There also are two additional courses being researched and in development.

Overview of Ethics Courses/Presentations

  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) – Each ethics presentation lasts approximately one hour and will be certified by DPA to constitute 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH).

PDH units are utilized by most geology licensure/registration agencies in recording compliance with continuing education requirements.

  • Fees for courses – DPA members will be able to obtain these courses as a membership benefit. For you, they will be free.

AAPG members who are not members of the DPA will be charged an anticipated fee of $25.

For non-AAPG members the cost is anticipated to be $35.

In all cases, if a CD is requested there will be a nominal charge to cover the cost of the CD and mailing.

  • Annual ethics requirements – The offering of these ethics training presentations is a DPA function related to promoting ethical professional practice. These ethics presentations are in response to membership requests that the Division provide ethics training that would comply with continuing education requirements to maintain state licenses held.

Additionally, the online courses will aid in the maintenance of the DPA’s “Board Certified” designation, which also requires annual ethics training.

Both DPA Board Certification and several states (such as Texas) require at least one PDH each year in the area of professional ethics.

  • Taking the course – Acquisition or purchase of the ethics presentations will be through the AAPG Bookstore. They will be available for download or delivered on a CD in a format that should be accessible on all computer platforms.

Access to the course will be limited to 14 days, which should be plenty of time for the purchaser to go through the presentation at his/her own speed, eliminating the need to complete the course in one sitting.

Once completed and a short series of questions are answered a PDH certificate will be generated signifying completion of the course. This certificate can be used in reporting PDH requirements to state licensure boards or the DPA as related to the Board Certified Petroleum Geologist/Geophysicist designation.


From the Follow-Up File: I’m pleased to announce the new legislative tracking service is online and available to DPA members.

DPA members can access the service by simply:

  • Logging on to the “Members Only” section of the DPA Web site.
  • Once in the “Members Only” area click the “Legislative Activity” link.

Here you’ll find several predefined topics, i.e. geologist licensing, geophysics, mineral rights, geology, environmental geology, etc. By clicking on one of those topics you will see and be able to access all legislation that may be related to that topic.

As you explore this new service I think that you will agree this is a great addition and of value to interested DPA members.

Go take a look!

Until next time …

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Division Column-DPA Rick Ericksen
Rick L. Ericksen, of the Mississippi State Board of Registered Professional Geologists, Jackson, Mississippi, is DPA President for 2008-09.

Division Column-DPA

The Division of Professional Affairs (DPA), a division of AAPG, seeks to promote professionalism and ethical standards, provide a means for professional certification of petroleum geologists, coal geologists, and petroleum geophysicists, assist in career planning, and improve the professional well-being of AAPG members. For more information about the DPA and its activities, visit the DPA website.

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