Staff must set a CPD example

8th January 2010 at 00:00

It was with great disappointment that I read you article "Thousands yet to declare CPD with less than a month to go" (December 4) and found that so many are still to declare their continuing professional development, as required by the Institute for Learning (IfL).

It is ironic that in the same issue there were articles indicating that FE staff need to learn from the Facebook age, that they may need additional training to handle larger class sizes as student numbers rise because of the recession, and how skills are essential if we are to bridge the slump - all areas that would contribute to their CPD records.

It is also ironic that the people responsible for encouraging learners from all walks of life and of all ages of the benefits of lifelong learning and recording one's progress are themselves not motivated to do so and set a good example.

I am at a loss to understand why so many in FE feel they do not have to meet requirements that most other professions have had in place for many years. Even other organisations related to FE, such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, have had requirements for their members to maintain and produce CPD records for some years.

To me, this reluctance to meet the IfL requirements smacks of arrogance and "do as I say, not as I do".

In my view, the IfL is taking too soft an approach to those failing to meet the requirements, particularly as some of the excuses being given, such as the process of declaring what they have done to meet their 30 hours' development is too big a task, are feeble. The task is no bigger for teachers and trainers in FE than it is for doctors, lawyers and so on, who I suspect are just as busy but must still meet the requirements of their professional bodies, or accept the repercussions.

Another reservation is whether the IfL can be independent, given that it receives the bulk of its funding from the Government, rather than fees collected from individual members. This is likely to change in the near future with the result of a significant rise in membership fees, something I am sure these same people will not be keen on.

Sunita Grigg, Education, management and training consultant, React Business Solutions.

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