Thousands yet to declare CPD with less than a month to go

4th December 2009 at 00:00
`Uncertainty factor' cited as one reason for 70,000 people struggling to hit second deadline

Around 70,000 further education teachers and trainers are still to declare their professional development records for this year with less than a month to go before the extended deadline for registration expires.

The Institute for Learning (IfL) said that some 116,000 people have now declared their continuing professional development (CPD). This is up by 6,000 on the figure announced by the institute just under a month ago.

In total, 188,000 teachers and trainers are eligible to register their mandatory 30 hours of professional development, meaning that almost 62 per cent have now declared.

The deadline for declaring CPD was August 31 but, because so many people missed it, the institute extended the deadline until the end of December. Ultimately, those who fail to declare their CPD risk losing their licence to practise as teachers in publicly funded further education.

Toni Fazaeli, chief executive of the IfL, said the institute would re- evaluate the situation after the extended deadline has passed.

"We have extended the opportunity for people to declare until the end of December. We are hoping for more activity towards the end of the year," Ms Fazaeli said.

"But we will take stock in the new year and we would not go down that route (of removing the licence to practise) until we felt that every avenue had been explored. We do not want to undermine people's professionalism."

Ms Fazaeli said that follow-up telephone calls to people still to declare their CPD revealed that they imagine the process of declaring what they have done to meet their 30 hours' development to be a bigger task than it actually is.

"There is an uncertainty factor there. But when people go through it they find it is straightforward."

In the popular IfL thread in the FE Focus online General FE forum, teachers and trainers report the relative ease of "joining" or declaring their CPD online with the IfL.

A contributor called carbon footprin said back in September: "Anyone joined yet? I did, Sunday morning - dead easy, was expecting a lot of fuss, surprised or what?" Another contributor, webfoot, said "all very straightforward".

An issue for IfL has been in convincing many in FE of its credentials as a professional membership body. Many teachers have called into question its independence given that it receives the bulk of its funding, some pound;5 million, from the Government rather than from fees collected from individual members.

Last month's skills white paper proposed an end to government subsidy and that the IfL becomes self funding within three years.

Ms Fazaeli, who has said that this could mean a significant rise in membership fees, said the institute was consulting with a number of organisations with experience of changing business models.

She said the institute was hoping to appoint appropriate advisory experts by the middle of the month.

To declare CPD, log in and complete the online forms at www.ifl.ac.uk or contact the IfL membership team on 0844 815 3202.

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