The A-Z of CPD: Part 1

Posted by Emma Davies on 18/04/19 10:54
Emma Davies
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CPD for careers professionalsUndertaking CPD is not just about going on a course. The purpose of this article is to show you a range of different activities that you can do as part of your own continuous professional development. Depending on the way in which you learn best, some of these will suit you better than others.

However, being open to trying new ways of learning is an important skill to develop and we hope that you will try many of the CPD methods suggested below.

Taken from CPD for the Career Development Professional by Siobhan Neary and Claire Johnson.

Teacher-CPD


A

ACTION RESEARCH

What this is:

Action research is a process of self-reflection undertaken by practitioners within a social setting, their work-base for example. Its aim is to improve and develop practice. It is usually iterative, whereby change is continually reviewed as part of an ongoing process. It is a research method that is particularly useful for practitioners wanting to contribute to producing evidence-based practice.

How can this be used as CPD:

To explore areas of practice that you want to learn more about.

Useful examples/websites:

 

ASSESSMENT

What this is:

Observing practice or written work against a set of previously agreed criteria to determine if the criteria have been met and providing constructive feedback.

How can this be used as CPD:

Having your own practice or written work assessed against set criteria can be a very useful way of
determining which areas of your own practice are strong and whichmay require further development. Assessing someone else’s work or practice can be beneficial too, as you may notice things which you would like to incorporate into your own practice. It can also help you to hone your own skills on providing constructive feedback.

Useful examples/websites:


B

BLOGGING

What this is:

Blogs (truncation of the expression 'weblog') are discussions and points of information on a particular subject which are available on the internet. Blogs can be the work of individuals, whilst others may have many authors and can be professionally edited. Some blogs have a section where visitors can leave
comments and others allow communication with other visitors and the author/s of the blog.

How can this be used as CPD:

Blogs can be a useful way of keeping up to date with developments in the sector and finding out what particular people think about a given topic. Being able to communicate with the blogger can also help to develop your own thinking. Starting your own blog can be a useful way of ordering your own thinking and expressing your views. It is also a very good way to publicise yourself and what you do.

Useful examples/websites:

 

BUDDYING

What this is:

A way to enable peers to support each other by sharing experiences, offering advice and providing a sounding board for ideas and problems. Buddying is different from mentoring, which is a more formal and structured relationship where the mentor is typically in a more senior role than the mentee. The strength of buddying is that it takes the view that both partners can offer support and opportunities to learn whatever role they fulfil.

How can this be used as CPD:

Acting as a buddy provides a good developmental opportunity to improve your communication skills and share your knowledge and experience. Having a buddy provides you with someone with whom you can share ideas and knowledge, talk through issues and develop solutions. They can also introduce you to other people in their network and vice versa.



C

CAREER DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (CDI)

What this is:

The CDI is the professional body for the career development sector in the UK. Its website provides information on a wide range of training events, conferences, accredited training, communities of interest and webinars. CDI members can access a CPD Resources Area where they can find information on online
learning, publications and live events all categorised under the 17 National Occupational Standards: Career Development. Members and registrants can use a bespoke area of the website to plan, record, reflect and report upon their CPD. As a means of demonstrating that they are professionally qualified, abide by the Code of Ethics and undertake a minimum of 25 hours' CPD annually, members can join the UK Register of Career Development Professionals. Members also receive a fortnightly email with details of developments in the sector, a quarterly journal – Career Matters – and the bi-annual NICEC Journal.

How can this be used as CPD:

You can determine your own CPD needs and then look at the CDI site to see how your needs can be met. Reading CDI News via Email, Career Matters and the NICEC Journal will keep you up to date with sector developments and provide sources of information to help you to develop your professional knowledge and skills.

Useful examples/websites:

 

CASE STUDIES (REFLECTIVE)

What this is:

A written reflection on an aspect of your work. 

How can this be used as CPD:

Writing a case study can be a useful means of reflecting on a particular incident: describing what happened, why it happened, what you did, what informed this decision, what the outcome was (positive or negative) and whether or not you would act in the same way in the future. Reading case studies produced by other people can also be a useful source of information on how to deal with particular situations. You can also share your case studies as a means of disseminating effective practice in a particular area of your work.

COMMUNITIES OF INTEREST

What this is:

A Community of Interest (COI) is a gathering of people assembled around a topic of common interest. Its members take part in the community to exchange information, to obtain answers to questions or problems, to improve their understanding of a subject or to share common issues. These can take place either face-to-face or online.


How can this be used as CPD:

These are a great way to find out what is happening in a particular part of the sector, to ask and answer questions, find out what others think, network and seek solutions to issues. You can join an existing COI or set up one of your own. Sometimes a COI will work together on a particular project and develop new materials that everyone can share.

Useful examples/websites:

 

CONFERENCES, UK AND INTERNATIONAL

What this is:

These are usually events of one or more days’ duration at which a range of keynote speeches are delivered and workshops offered on specific topics.

How can this be used as CPD:

Attending a conference provides you with the opportunity to hear the latest thinking on given subjects, attend workshops and network with others from your sector. This is a great way to undertake a lot of CPD in a short space of time. It is, however, important to reflect on what you learn and think through how you will use this in your practice. It can be too easy to return to work and not put your new learning into practice. Organising conferences can be a useful way of developing planning and networking skills, as well as having the opportunity to influence what will be offered by the speakers and workshops. Delivering papers or workshops provides you with the opportunity to research the topic you will be covering and to synthesise your thoughts into a paper or a workshop plan. Feedback from your presentation or workshop and networking with delegates can also increase your own knowledge of your particular topic.

Useful examples/websites:

Topics: careers education, CEIAG

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