No, I’m not talking a foreign language here. I am both Autodesk ACI accredited and a member of the Autodesk EE program. It’s a privilege to be involved with both of these Autodesk programs, and having been involved for many years now, I just wanted to explain what both programs are, and how honoured I am to be a part of them.
Read the blog below and all will be revealed!
Being an ACI
What is an ACI you may ask? Well, I have been one for many years. ACI stands for Autodesk Certified Instructor, and I am an ACI at the Platinum level, hence the ACI badge above.
So now you’re thinking what EXACTLY does that ACI Platinum mean? Well, it means I have been an ACI for at least nine years and have fulfilled the criteria to be an ACI at that level. Here’s a typical ACI Platinum description: –
Platinum: Earners of the Autodesk Certified Instructor – Platinum credential have instructional design and delivery skills, as well as the requisite knowledge of specific Autodesk applications required for course delivery in an instructional setting and have maintained their credentials for at least nine years.
What it also means is that I am an Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP) in my specialised Autodesk products. That means I have taken my Autodesk certification exams. These are a pre-requisite to being an ACI, on top of the required knowledge and requirements of being an ACI. I am currently an ACP in both AutoCAD and Revit, and I train and instruct on both products.
What does being an ACI mean to me?
If I am ever asked that question, there are several facets to my response. I call them the three P’s: –
The ACI status (for me) means I am a professional instructor. It means I teach to a world-class standard, making sure that anyone I train gains the necessary knowledge required in their appropriate product. For example, if I am teaching an AutoCAD Essential Training course, all learners walk away with all the necessary AutoCAD skills to start working with AutoCAD in a professional environment.
I am proud to be an ACI. It takes a lot or work to get there, but it’s worth every minute. I love to teach and help people learn. Seeing that ‘lightbulb’ moment makes it all worthwhile. Also, it puts me in an incredible peer group with my fellow ACIs. ACIs are a certain breed of instructor. Not only do we impart knowledge, but we also teach people to move forward, empowering them to build on their skillset, making sure that they can utilize current technology in their careers, and move forward. It’s this that I am proud to do, and I do the work to remain an ACI for exactly that reason.
I am a big believer in giving back, sometimes known as paying it forward. Not only do I teach commercially as an ACI in various Autodesk Authorised Training Centres (ATCs) but I also teach at Autodesk University (AU). This forms part of my ACI requirements. Not only am I a veteran AU Speaker (my first AU was AU2006), but I am also an AU Speaker Mentor, mentoring and helping first-time AU Speakers with the delivery and content of their AU classes each year. For this, I get a small honorarium and an AU Speaker pass, but all other attendance expenses are covered by myself. The annual pilgrimage to AU has been virtual the last few years, but AU2022 was (finally) a face-to-face event. It was a real pleasure to stand up and teach at AU again!
I see being an ACI as a privilege, and something you earn. The work I put into being an ACI is not easy, and it is an incredible platform to work from, with too many opportunities to mention. I have lost count of the number of friends I have made along the way. I class some of the most experienced, knowledgeable ACIs as not just colleagues, but also friends. Bumping into them at events such as AU is always a pleasure, and I can only thank the Autodesk ACI program for giving me such great friendships and opportunities.
Being an EE
EE does not refer to the well-known mobile phone network in the UK. It stands for Expert Elite. The Autodesk Expert Elite program is described as follows: –
The Expert Elite program recognizes customers around the world who contribute to the Autodesk Community by sharing their product knowledge, best practices, and expertise. By acting as leaders and being actively involved, Expert Elites help our customer community to thrive.
Autodesk go on to explain that they expect Expert Elites (EEs) to display the following qualities; advocacy, expertise, kindness, responsiveness, and leadership.
Expert Elites (known as EEs) are a group of people that have the most incredible knowledge of all the Autodesk applications. They are diverse, quirky, but most of all, they know their stuff. That’s why they are part of this incredibly valuable Autodesk program. Not only do they offer their product knowledge, but they share their best practices, expertise, and experience with all Autodesk users. This includes moderating in the Autodesk forums, answering questions in the forums, and being accessible at Autodesk events such as Autodesk University where you will find them in the Autodesk Community areas and at the Answer Bar. You will also find them out there in their respective industries working hard with their peers to build better processes and methodologies.
Being an EE is an honour and privilege. I commented above about the three P’s. Again, the EE Program fulfils my personal criteria of Professional, Personal, and Philanthropic. It is great for me at a professional and personal level to be an EE, but again, I get the opportunity to give back, making sure that newer, less experienced users can take advantage of my experience to empower themselves and move forward.
What’s does this all mean to me?
Even with thirty-four years of AutoCAD experience (showing my age now), I still can learn. My philosophy is ALWAYS BE LEARNING, and you’ll find me posting the #alwaysbelearning hashtag often.
To follow that philosophy, I am also a LinkedIn Learning [in]structor, with over eighty courses in the LinkedIn Learning library. This is another role where I can impart my knowledge and experience to others, where I can teach and instruct, and give back. This, combined with being an Autodesk Certified Instructor and Autodesk Expert Elite gives me the momentum to keep moving forward, and to do all I can to empower, teach, and assist as many people as I can along the way.
On a learning note, you might also want to check out the new AutoCAD 2023 courses I have over in the LinkedIn Learning library. You will find them here: –
Learning AutoCAD 2023 – https://linkedin-learning.pxf.io/GjJqPL
AutoCAD 2023 Essential Training – https://linkedin-learning.pxf.io/YgxzWj
And for those of you who want some of those cool AutoCAD Tips & Tricks, you will find them here: https://linkedin-learning.pxf.io/bobOk
Enjoy using AutoCAD 2023 and its new features and enhancements, and I’ll see you here again soon at Not Just CAD!
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