Professional Development for Rising Stars


Jump-starting the careers of today's rising stars in the private practice of engineering, environmental sciences, architecture, and related professional disciplines.

Fundamentals of Professional Practice (FOPP) is a unique learning experience that immerses participants in the world of private practice, with an emphasis on professional communication, especially through the written word. The course comprises six months of mentored distance learning followed by a powerful two-and-one-half-day, course-concluding seminar. The course is conducted once per year. Course size is limited to the first 150 persons to enroll.

Here's why it's so effective:

It's grounded in reality.

FOPP helps rising stars deal with day-to-day realities because each participant acts as the professional of record for the small project FOPP mimics. Small projects are dangerous, because project risk is inversely proportional to project size and complexity. FOPP participants experience this firsthand, even from a distance, thanks to the incisive, hard-edged criticism of instructors who assume the role of no-nonsense client representatives.

We've done the research.

One of the nation’s best-known and most widely published risk-management consultants—John Philip Bachner—created the FOPP experience based largely on hundreds of firm- and insurer-provided case histories. John knows that claims commonly occur when professionals: fail to establish an effective relationship with the client representative; lack adequate communication skills; make assumptions instead of asking questions; fail to follow instructions; miss deadlines; and allow speed to trump quality when sending a deliverable—even a text message—“out the door.” Does any of this sound familiar?

FOPP guidance lasts.

FOPP participants make many of the same mistakes, but far fewer once the course is over.
  • “I learned more about being an engineering  professional in three days than I did in five years of college. I will take everything I learned here to my job.”
    —Jason Mapes, P.E.
  • “I think the FOPP program has done a great deal in improving my professional mindset. It was challenging, informative, and an overall benefit to my professional career. It also helps to know that my superiors had enough faith in me to send me through the program.
    —Tanner Hartranft
  • “I am inspired to advance my career and the profession by applying knowledge I learned through my FOPP experience...I think going through this program inspired me and it was the best professional development experience of my career.
    —Ann Winegar, P.G.

How Your Firm Will Benefit


Loss Prevention and Staff Retention

Want to Learn More about FOPP?


Contact John Bachner