Good afternoon and thank you to the AUA for inviting me to give the final plenary of your conference.The sector is facing challenging times and as managers and administrators it is likely that adapting to changing job roles, or taking opportunities, perhaps unplanned, to move into new and different roles will become the norm. This presentation will consider the role of continuing professional development in preparing us for career moves in these uncertain times, by exploring the nature of CPD, our understanding of what it is and how we record it and use it.
So firstly, let’s see how CPD is defined.Wikipedia’s definition is straightforward – maintaining knowledge and skills. ( By the way, to all of you here who are on the AUA PGCert, I know I always say never use wikipedia, but then this isn’t a level 7 essay!)Health Professions Council - in summary, skills and knowledge kept up-to-date so that practice is acceptableCIPD - more of a process definition. But at least it talks about learning and growth. This is something the first two definitions do not have – reference to change or development during changing times. There is an implicit assumption, I think, of a status quo within a role or profession. In my view this presents a weakness in the definition, and perhaps even a potential weakness in the process itself. I will come back to this later.
So, what are the benefits of CPD? Why do we bother doing it? I have returned to CIPD to help me with this one.Confidence building – yes I can go for that. If I know more and have improved skills this year compared to last year, then that’s a positive isn’t it? For career progression, I might want also to be confident that I am learning the right things. How do I know this? Earn more – always a nice thought. But note, achievements implies the application of skills and knowledge. It is more than just ‘doing’ the CPD activities. Showcasing achievements is certainly going to be helpful with career progression.Thirdly, appraisal. This hints at recording your CPD to allow discussion of what you’ve learned, how you are doing and how you’re using your CPD in practice. It’s also likely to help you look forward – what can I learn that will help me in the year ahead. Again, a positive unless the year ahead is uncertain, and then how can you be sure you're doing ‘the right things. . Achieving career goals, has to be a plus. But how many of you know exactly what your career goals are? (Show of hands). Personally, I didn’t have anything explicit as a career goal, and my career choices have been made more by chance, circumstance and opportunity ,than by design. My PhD is in Biochemistry , and I’m now an Associate Director of HR. My CPD decisions have been influenced more by role than by any longer term career goal. For some of you, CPD to help you with the next promotion may provide a focus. So, CPD is good in circumstances when you know what your next step is / is likely to be. Coping with change ‘constant updating’ – yes, but you almost need to know what the changes are in order to plan the right CPD activities. Sometimes our CPD choices can be intuitive, anticipatory, knowledge or skills that ‘are bound to be helpful’ . Being ‘more productive and efficient’ -I interpret this as CPD for the status quo. But importantly it pulls in ‘reflection’ for the first time. Thinking, analysing, seeing how you might improve and taking action to address a gap. Overall, what comes out of this for me is a rather fundamental issue of choice – if you want CPD to contribute to your career progression you need to make the right choices about what you do. And in changing times, you might have to guess or anticipate. So how do we try to get the choices right?
Well, let’s step back a minute and look at the sort of CPD activities there are - the “means by which skills and knowledge are acquired”. Talk thoughKnown outcome - well defined learning outcomesUnknown outcome – not entirely sure what the learning will beAre any of these more or less likely to support career progression? Probably all have the potential too, but some more likely to be important than others. When things change or are changing , speed and flexibility likely to be really more important. Ok. So, as all good books on CPD promote personal development planning, let’s look at that first.
Do activity. You will have a found a PDP sheet on your chair. Identify one thing that you want /need to learn, and work across the page, answering the questions. 3minsNow, talk to you neighbour – two questions i) why ahve you chosen that item ? Have a discussion about the successcriteria? 3 minutes each. For me there are two key components to this. Firstly, selecting/deciding the right things to be developed (this takes me back to setting ourselves up to be able to respond to change). But also, importantly, there is the issue of evidence / success/ measurability.; we will need to be able to demonstrate to others that the skill/knowledge has been applied. Typical of CPD planning tool, and as professionals we ought to be completing something like this. We often do the first plan or major update’s to a plan ahead of appraisal meetings. If you don’t, it is probably a good time to start!
What then of those CPD activities which are not planned, and when we started the activity the nature of the learning outcomes is not clear. On some occasions might be able to answer the five questions ahead of the event/activity. Often it relies on doing reflections as you go, or sometimes afterwards. Do the activity – next slide
Talk though.Minutes to do this for yourself.And this is a very different sort of activity than the one for planning. It is more reflective.
I have mentioned a number of times the notion of “making the right choices” and this also extends to how we recognise learning in our more ad-hoc activities.Talk through the list. These are helpful, should definitely be a prelude to PDP, and some of the activities may also help you to reflect on ad-hoc or unplanned learning. However, in changing times, when you can’t anticipate what is round the corner, and you are not sure what CPD you need to do, you may want to go back to a simple question – what will make you employable? High-level qualifications (Degree, Masers, PhD) always a winner – shows a general level of capability, analytical skills, ability to think. But what about a more general thought about what makes you employable?
Not all of these will be relevant to the sort of roles you may wish to progress too. The list is broad, and some are not naturally associated with what you might call ‘traditional’ CPD activities. Resilience for example? Motivation and initiative. You might need to be looking for examples in you own working practices. Some are behaviours that you might need to show you have.
So, on to the CPD record. Remember, for employability - ‘ability to demonstrate to employers’ . If for no other reason this is why you should keep a CPD record. Talk this through. Keeping a portfolio is one way of doing this.
So we have talked through CPD, what it is, how to plan for it, how to capture more ad hoc learning, and how to record it. So let’s return to my starting question is CPD essential for career progression?The answer is an unequivocal yes, but then we knew that 40 minutes ago! What i think we have uncovered though is some BUTS.You need to have made the ‘right’ CPD choices for the new role/job. In changing times this can be tricky. But you should at least be keeping up to date with changes – SWOT and PESTLE can be particularly helpful. You need to understand the full breadth of what CPD encompasses. Planned, ad hoc, known and known learning outcomes. Your CPD record is important and it must not be just lists of activities or courses. CPD records must include reflections on your learning and how you have applied learning in practice. Career progression requires you to develop attitudes and behaviours that employers are looking for. These are often less tangible, so think hard as to how you ‘capture’ these so you can demonstrate them to others.
East Midlands Conference 2012 - Ann Hartley
Continuing ProfessionalDevelopment : Is it essential forcareer progression?Dr Ann Hartley, Associate Director Human Resources
What is CPD? Continuing professional development (CPD) is the means by which people maintain their knowledge and skills related to their professional lives. (Wikipedia) CPD is the way professionals continue to learn and develop throughout their careers so they keep their skills and knowledge up to date and are able to work safely, legally and effectively. (HPC) CPD is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth (CIPD)
CIPD – stated benefits of CPD Build confidence and credibility, you can see your progression by tracking your learning. Earn more by showcasing your achievements. A handy tool for appraisals. Achieve your career goals by focussing on your training and development. Cope positively with change by constantly updating your skill set. Be more productive and efficient by reflecting on your learning and highlighting gaps in your knowledge and experience.
CPD – what does it look like? Known outcome Unknown outcome Qualifications Projects (12 months)(12 months) Planned Planned Workshops Courses Tasks Workshops On-the-job Courses Conferences Ad-hocAd-hoc Reading (purposeful) Reading (general) Known outcome Unknown outcome
Definition of personal development planning „a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development. (Higher Education Academy)
PDP – key questions What do I want/need to learn? What should I do to achieve this? What resources or support will I need? What will my success criteria be? What are my milestones and key completion dates? How will I apply and practice what I learn?
CPD – unknown learning outcomes Ad hoc, short-term, not in „the master plan‟ Or, activity known about well in advance, but uncertain of learning outcomes May be opportunistic May be tangential, speculative May be on–the-job or off-the-job Reflection is crucial because the learning can be „lost‟
Activity Why did I choose to come to this conference? What did I hope to learn? What did I learn? What am I going to do next? How am I going to apply my learning to my practice?
How to make your CPD choices SWOT PESTLE Skills analyses Appraisal discussions Needs for explicit career development Needs for anticipated career development Professional interests Personal interests
Employability “Employability .......... being equipped with a defined range of skills, strengths and competencies and having the ability to demonstrate them to employers; enabling successful movement within the labour market and the ultimate goal of fulfilling employment” “Employability is not just about vocational and academic skills”
Employability competencies Achievement orientation Commercial awareness Creativity and innovation Customer focus Decision making Flexibility Influence and Leadership persuasiveness Oral communication Motivation and initiative Planning and Personal development organisation Problem solving and Resilience analysis Written communication Teamwork and interpersonal
Your Continuing Professional Developmentrecord Easy to keep track of your planned activities But need to add in more than those things on your PDP All activities (ad-hoc, unknown outcomes, on-the-job) Evidence-based Organised around competencies? Keeping a portfolio Include reflections on your learning
What is a CPD portfolio? Record of continuing professional development It is a systematic way of recording your learning experiences and activities Something which demonstrates reflection on your development It includes reference to on-the-job learning and development Provides concrete evidence of your development Should show not just what you did, but why you did it, what you have learned and how you have applied this to your practice
Conclusion CPD: essential for career progression? The answer is, unequivocally, yes BUT I. You need to have made the „right‟ CPD choices for the new role/job. In changing times this can be tricky. II. You need to understand the full breadth of what CPD encompasses. III. Your CPD record must not be just lists of activities or courses. CPD records must include reflections on your learning and how you have applied learning in practice. IV. Career progression requires you to develop attitudes and behaviours that employers are looking for. These are often less tangible, so think hard as to how you „capture‟ these so you can demonstrate them to others.