Continuing my exploration of export markets I have just been on a day trip to Amsterdam to visit the NBA, the Dutch accountants' professional body.
They are keen to offer more online CPD and they like our approach to social learning. We are discussing a pilot package of programmes, maybe in Dutch, maybe in English. The best opportunity seems to be amongst their members working in business. The NBA runs a tight ship on CPD: 120 hours over 3 years and rather fiercely enforced.
Amsterdam is a joy to visit: compact, clean with a city centre built to a human scale. Most of the houses on the canals have little cranes just under the eves to shift furniture and fridges in and out as the staircases are too narrow.
The transport system is excellent with trams and buses to whisk you through the city. The train to Schiphol airport leaves Central Station every 10-15 minutes and takes 15 minutes for £6.50. Eat your heart out Heathrow Express.
Readers of my Asian blogs last year will know my enthusiasm for brisk airports. Schiphol is in the premier league: Chinese scale with European character. The departure board is a prop worthy of a Michael Gove approved geography lesson. Like Hong Kong, Schiphol was built on land-fill. The name translates as 'Ship Grave', a reference to the number of ships lost in the shallow waters of the old lake. An inspiration to tousled Boris, billowing in the North Sea breeze.