1.1 There are over 200 general Further Education Colleges (FE) in the UK. Each one is unique in its own way but all are united by one common factor, the staff. The staff team to be found in an FE college is incredibly varied, from Human Resources to Counselling and from Lecturers to Maintenance. Each member of this staff team will bring their own individual experiences and qualifications but they all require one thing, Continuing Professional Development or CPD. We define CPD as:
‘A commitment to structured skills enhancement and personal or professional competence’.
Regardless of industry or sector, everyone is now required to undertake CPD. As we predominantly work in knowledge and service economies with fast moving technologies, the updating of skills and knowledge is critical in keeping abreast of industry changes, maintaining professional competence and ensuring that qualifications do not become obsolete. (http://www.cpduk.co.uk) Accessed 06/05/2013 – 14:00
One such FE College is West Suffolk College (WSC). WSC can be found in Bury Saint Edmunds, Suffolk. With over 500 members of staff the CPD process at WSC is vast. The CPD programme affects staff members in different ways and can have both a positive and negative effect on staff and the impact of such training needs to be controlled.. I have undertaken this research project to evaluate how the impact of CPD at WSC can be minimised.
Aim: To critically evaluate how the impacts of the CPD process utilised at West Suffolk College could be minimised.
* To evaluate the historical development of CPD within and organisational context * To critically discuss the process of CPD within an organisational context * To analyse the role of CPD within FE Colleges * To establish how the CPD process within West Suffolk College could be improved
1.2 It can be argued that a strategic approach to CPD at the highest levels is essential for the core business – the improvement of teaching and learning. A strategic approach does not simply mean a CPD policy that has been signed off by the senior management team, but an actual, actively managed strategy that is used to drive improvements in performance. Villeneuve-Smith, F., West, C and Bhinder, B. (2009) Rethinking continuing professional development in further education, Learning and Skills Network.
Dr Jean Kelly tells us, ‘You may think that continuing professional development (CPD) is the bane of many teachers’ lives, and you may even have overheard it being described as one of the most boring