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AIP Congratulates first LIFETIME CPP in Australasia

The AIP would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the recipient of the first LIFETIME Certified Packaging Professional in Australasia, Professor Pierre Pienaar MSc FAIP, FIPSA, CPPL, Education Director, AIP.  The CPP program has been accepted as the global recognition as a packaging professional and therefore the CPP designation has now become the leading mark of excellence internationally and a must-have recognition of industry proficiency and achievement for packaging professionals. Please join us in congratulating Pierre for his outstanding achievement.

1. How long have you been in the industry? What are your areas of expertise?

Pierre: I commenced in the industry in 1984 after studying pharmacy and joining a large pharmaceutical manufacturer.  After a year of doing drug analysis an offer came up to become involved in packaging.  I jumped at the opportunity of getting out of the laboratory and venturing into the world of packaging. I was asked by the CEO to find a university somewhere in the world to do a post graduate degree in Packaging.  I found Brunel University in London where I completed a Master’s Degree in Packaging Engineering.

It is because of my undergraduate studies that I have developed an affinity for pharmaceutical packaging. I enjoy packaging problem solving in a production environment because in my early years in pharma where I spent 6 years in the manufacturing of  liquid, parentals and solids and where the packaging was diverse and there was lots to learn in packaging when it came to output on the diverse filling machines. It was during these years in production that I completed a Master’s Degree in Production from University of Hertfordshire, UK.

2. What made you originally apply for the Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) Designation?

Pierre: Whilst involved in the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) as VP education I wanted the WPO to have an international recognised accreditation because we had no idea of the various qualifications of the wide variety of people involved in the WPO. The then WPO President Tom Schnieder tasked me to find such a reputable accreditation that would fit with the needs of the WPO and was internationally recognised. At the same time the AIP was also in discussions with IoPP to also launch the program into Australasia. 

The WPO used the AIP development of the program as a test case for how it could work for the rest of the world. The WPO program was borne out of the AIP program.

At this early stage the AIP became involved and they became first association to offer the CPP outside of the USA. I attained my CPP through the AIP and I became the first person to become a CPP in Australasia. The AIP had the tenacity to become  the first association to offer the program for Australasia and they now have many CPP's in the region.

3. Why was it so important for you to attaining the CPP designation?

Pierre: It is important that when the global packaging community comes together we can easily recognise other professionals that are equally qualified in the various disciplines in packaging. The CPP designation gives us all a sense of belonging to a bigger global community.

Recognition however must go to the AIP for all of their hard work in becoming the first association outside of the IoPP to offer the program and for taking the lead in the WPO Members. The AIP supports the WPO CPP program and works with many people around the world today to help guide them to attain the designation. In fact the General Secretary of the WPO undertook his CPP through the AIP.

4. How important is the CPP designation for the greater recognition of people in the packaging industry?

Pierre: It is the ultimate and only method of ensuring that you are recognised internationally in the packaging industry, through this CPP accreditation program. The CPP is also recognised in over 64 WPO Member countries which will help you to look for jobs overseas. Just knowing this is so encouraging and inspiring.

5.Were there any new learnings or takeaways that you gained from the experience?

Pierre: It has reminded me just how diverse packaging really is, all encompassing, where the left and right brain is required to solve the myriad of options and opportunities. It is a field where on-going studying and learning, be that in conferences, classroom, reading, discussions, webinars, seminars are all truly necessary, so as to stay abreast of developments.

6. What does it feel like to be the first Lifetime CPP in Australasia?

Pierre: If it inspires others to gain their CPP in packaging, then it has been worthwhile. Like anything there always has to be a first, I just happened to be in the right place and at the right time and nudged at the beginning by Nerida Kelton to attain the CPP designation.

7. What advice would you offer anyone in the industry looking to become a Certified Packaging Professional?

Pierre: What has driven me is to ensure that growth in education persists, it is encouraging to witness this enhancement and growth of the packaging industry over these ensuing years.

This highly regarded Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) program is really gaining momentum across all nations in the packaging professional space. 

The AIP is very intentional about education and ensuring that it remains current giving the industry the advantage of access to cutting-edge packaging developments globally, and the CPP program is part of that education.

If your intention is to remain in the packaging industry, and you are wanting to ensure on-going learning, then the CPP program is for you. It certainly gives you a sense of belonging and a great personal sense of achievement.

Attaining the CPP designation is an excellent investment in your professional development and the credential defines the packaging professional and allows organisations to seek out and hire the right professional based on verified knowledge, skills and industry contributions. Using the CPP program to assess and evaluate one’s professional competency validates you as internationally proficient as a packaging professional; a cut above your peers. 

The AIP are the exclusive provider of the Certified Packaging Professional program in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.


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