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Trial run for new CPD process

A new model for continuing professional development (CPD) is being produced by the Institute for Learning in the hope that it will add impetus to a drive to recruit members.

The IfL, set up as a professional body for teachers and trainers in post-compulsory education, has recruited just 400 members in its first year of operation.

It is now researching the CPD needs of its members to establish a framework to support them.

Tony Prideaux, Ifl's project co-ordinator, said: "At the moment we are still very small. By setting up a CPD framework, we hope that more people working in colleges and work-based training will be encouraged to join."

He said that 350 application forms had been downloaded from the IfL website in the past month.

Some of the interest is coming from outside the FE sector. "Trainers from three police forces have expressed an interest in joining, as have some nursing trainers. Some organisations see themselves on the periphery and are feeling a bit left out."

The IfL, in conjunction with the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA), is undertaking a CPD project to investigate how FE staff can show they "remain in good standing".

The project aims to trial a process for recording CPD that members can use in appraisals, self-assessment, CV preparation, job applications, and job interviews.

Two focus groups, one in London and one in Leeds, have met this month to consider a draft CPD process and discuss how it should be implemented.

The LSDA's Jean Kelly, who co-ordinated a survey of members, said: "This sector is so diverse and complex, we need to get a feeling of what is considered viable."

First returns from the survey indicate that information technology is an important additional skill that members would like to see included in future CPD work.

Almost two-thirds of respondents identified website design, the creative use of Powerpoint, and computer-automated design techniques as extra training they require.

The potential for managing individual learning programmes and networking through IT programmes was also highlighted as an area for development.

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