Climate Change and Infrastructure Risk – the PIEVC Protocol

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An Infrastructure Resilience Professional (IRP) Course

This course will provide participants with information about and practice with the PIEVC Protocol (Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee), a practical tool and process that supports the systematic assessment of the risks of extreme weather and future climate in relation to infrastructure.  

The Climate Risk Institute hosts Infrastructure Resilience Professional (IRP) Credential courses on an advanced training platform in collaboration with Royal Roads University. This learning platform is where you will be able to find all course material and engage in discussions and knowledge sharing with other participants and instructors. The courses are a blend of synchronous sessions (where you will join live Zoom meetings once per week) and asynchronous content where instructors have recorded lecture content and readings that you can complete on your own schedule. 


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Upcoming Course Offerings

Visit Royal Roads University for upcoming start dates. This course is offered regularly over throughout the year. Registration and payment are through our partner website at Royal Roads University. You’ll need to create a Royal Roads account if you don’t have one. 

Registration and upcoming dates!

Course Fee

$795 plus applicable taxes

Fees cover online course instruction and presentation materials in pdf format. Participants will be provided access to course materials one week prior to the beginning of the Course. This training is intended for individual instruction, not for groups under a single registration 

The course is designed to fulfill one of the knowledge requirements of the Infrastructure Resilience Professional (IRP) Credentialling Program, but it can also be taken as a stand-alone course for professional development credits. 

Course Description

This course provides practical experience with the PIEVC tool and process that supports the systematic assessment of the risks of extreme weather and future climate in relation to public infrastructure. The Protocol is a structured procedure using standard risk assessment processes to assess and fully document the vulnerability of infrastructure to the impacts of current and future climate at a screening level, and related risks. 

The Protocol has been applied to more than 50 infrastructure projects across Canada as well as in Costa Rica, Honduras, Brasil, Vietnam and the Nile River Basin. It has been applied to the design of new infrastructure as well as to existing infrastructure in need of rehabilitation or retrofitting. The results of the process inform not only engineers but also planners, managers and operators to improve their understanding and management of the impacts and risks that public infrastructure faces as the result of extreme weather events and our changing climate.  

This course will be of interest to engineers and other professionals who are involved in policy, planning, procurement, pre-design, design, operation, maintenance, management, and regulation of infrastructure and who, now and in the future, need to consider the changing climate for these activities. It is one of six courses comprising the Infrastructure Resilience Professional (IRP) credentialling program available to professional engineers. 

In taking this course, participants will develop:

  1. an increased understanding of the impacts and liabilities related to public infrastructure as a result of climate change;
  2. an increased understanding of historical climate trends, methods for projecting future climate, and approaches for acquiring and applying climate data in infrastructure assessments;
  3. basic understanding of risk assessment as applied to infrastructure responses to climate change;
  4. hands-on experience with the application of climate change risk assessment for selected infrastructure examples;
  5. increased understanding of formulating strategies and recommendations for addressing infrastructure climate vulnerabilities; and,
  6. insights related to the use of multi-disciplinary teams in assessing and addressing the impacts of climate change on infrastructure. 

This professional development course is virtual and aims to educate infrastructure professionals on policy and procurement issues and the associated implications on their practice. The course is designed to fulfill one of the knowledge requirements of the Infrastructure Resilience Professional (IRP) Credentialling Program, but it can also be taken as a stand-alone course for professional development credits. The IRP certification recognizes an individual’s additional knowledge in planning, designing and managing resilient infrastructure and building assets and their components in the face of extreme weather and our changing climate. Click here for more information about the IRP Credentialling Program.  

The course is divided into five modules: 

  • Module 1 introduces core terms and concepts in risk assessment and shows the relationships between ISO risk frameworks and the PIEVC protocol.  
  • Module 2 explores the first steps of the protocol, including scoping, defining the focus of your assessment, gathering data, and getting set up for risk analysis. 
  • Module 3 introduces important concepts of risk appetite and heat maps, developing performance response criteria, and conducting exposure and consequence analysis.  
  • Module 4 provides students with an opportunity to apply concepts and the protocol through a case study.  
  • Module 5 wraps up the case study and introduces other tools in the PIEVC family, including the High-Level Screening Guide.  

Module 0 

Module 0 – Climate Change 101 is intended to provide a foundation on the fundamentals of climate change to prepare participants for upcoming modules and support their progression in the IRP program.  This module will ensure that students can understand components of the global climate system; understand basics of climate modeling and how climate has changed in the past and present, have an understanding of climate impacts and risks, and understand relationship between climate change, climate risk and infrastructure systems. It is recommended that candidates complete this module in advance of their first course.  

Each week will follow a similar format. An introductory video will set the stage for the week ahead. Weekly readings and pre-recorded lectures introduce new concepts and information, and students are prompted to engage with and test that knowledge via discussion board questions, activities, and quizzes. The weekly modules will wrap up with a live session with the lead instructor, where learners can expect a mix of presentations, review of key concepts, case study and scenario explorations, and facilitated discussions.  

Course Assessment

The assessment framework for all IRP courses allocates 30% of final grade to each of discussion forum participation, final assignment or task, and a short multiple choice final exam. 10% of student mark is allocated to live session participation. Exams and final assignments are to be completed within a week of the final live sessions.  

The final or summative task is not designed to be long, however, we are looking for IRP candidates and all students to demonstrate application of the concepts and knowledge gained through the readings and live sessions. Students have opportunity to submit their short in their preferred format (e.g. 2-page document, or 7-10 slides).

Meet the Instructors!

Joel Nodelman, B.Sc., M.Sc., P.Eng., CRM – Instructor

Joel is an engineering and risk management specialist with over forty years of professional practice. Over his career, Joel’s primary mission was environmental responsibility and sustainable development. He promoted these strategies in the design, operation, and management of complex engineered systems and organizational structures. He brings this focus to his consulting practice, providing clients with pragmatic approaches to address climate change risk. Read more…

Norman Shippee, Ph.D – Instructor

Norman Shippee, Ph.D., is the Canadian Technical Lead for Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Senior Climate Scientist at Stantec Consulting, based in Ottawa, Ontario. Norm has over 10 years of experience in the climate and meteorology field, through teaching, research, climate analytics and projections, risk and resiliency assessments (using Engineers Canada’s PIEVC Protocol and other methodologies that conform to international ISO standards), adaptation planning, facilitating stakeholder engagement, and workshop delivery. Read more…

Kirsten MacMillan, P.Eng. – Instructor

Kirsten is a Climate Resiliency Specialist with the Climate Risk Institute. Her work focuses on both technical climate risk and resilience work and on capacity building. She has worked on climate vulnerability and risk assessments in Canada and internationally including a number of PIEVC assessments of green and grey infrastructure. She is passionate about advancing our collective understanding of climate impacts and adaptation through the development of resources, guidelines and case studies. She has developed, facilitated and delivered climate training and workshops to hundreds of participants across Canada and internationally to many audiences including engineers, environmental professionals, and federal and municipal government staff