Developing colleagues in schools and colleges has increasingly come to the forefront as a key element of improving education in schools and colleges. However, it’s often mentioned that there isn’t enough time to develop professionally or that it's SLT's responsibility to develop individuals. Continued Professional Development (CPD) is thought of by some as ‘providing/attending training to develop a skill’, but this is a misconception as effective professional development is so much more than something that is delivered.
CPD comes in a variety of forms, ranging from traditional ‘training days’ to e-learning. However, the overriding purpose remains the same: to help individuals continually improve the quality of their practice.
CPD is the process of effectively recording, reflecting, and applying information and knowledge. The process is not just tick-box attendance but has substance and impact by helping individuals to continually evaluate and manage their own development through:
How CPD is recorded is a personal choice, but whatever method is chosen needs to be an effective solution that is meaningful and helps guide an individual on their improvement journey.
Instead of professional learning being the process of SLT passing on knowledge, professional learning should be viewed as colleagues actively and collaboratively improving their own knowledge, understanding, and skills.
The delivery, participation or attendance of CPD suggests a top-down approach, which fails to empower. Most colleagues choose to work in schools and colleges for a reason and appealing to that reason will help promote CPD to enable them to be the best they can be.
Those who oversee CPD; the leads, need to acknowledge the key role they are in the process. They need to consider their colleagues' needs, based on evidence and not an assumption. Effective CPD has been shown to increase motivation, confidence, and commitment. The same rigour should be put into the planning of CPD as for teaching and learning in a classroom.
Create a ‘learning culture’ where everyone openly talks about what they are learning and improving, how it applies to improving outcomes, and where everyone feels genuinely free to take risks and ask for support. Give colleagues time for well-planned and properly structured collaboration, every week, around developing their knowledge and skills.
How can iP support CPD?
Your iP platform provides several tools to make the requesting, recording, and data analysis of professional learning slick and easy to manage:-
CPD Request (User Defined)
Any user can record CPD they have planned or have been on in their own appraisal area called ‘My Work Area’. The staff member provides simple details about the course including:-
Line Managers, CPD Leads, and iP Site Administrators can also add a course on behalf of a staff member. All of the above is collated across the organisation automatically to provide the CPD lead and others in the SLT detailed, bespoke reports at the click of a mouse.
CPD Recording (User Defined)
Any user can make a CPD request for a course or training they are interested in attending by completing very similar details as described above. The true power of a CPD Request, however, lies with the approval process. Most educational settings have 3 levels of approval similar to below. However, the settings allow an organisation to choose fewer or more lines of approval and the order can also be changed to suit.
Each person must approve the request (alerted by email) before the next. The order is bespoke to the organisation and the titles can be changed. A member of staff only has 1 Line Manager, but there can be numerous staff with the additional roles of Cover Supervisor and CPD Lead.
All of the course requests are collated across the organisation automatically to provide the CPD lead and others in the SLT with detailed, bespoke reports at the click of a mouse.
Areas for Development
Areas for Development are slightly different to the CPD area. Any user can record an Area for Development concerning minor, everyday areas such as:-
Or users can record more aspirational areas for development, e.g:-
By recording Areas for Development, a staff member is taking responsibility for their own CPD aspirations. The aspirations may have been prompted by a very short term need to a longer-term goal. They may have been raised by what is being taught next, a performance management objective, a teaching standard, a recent observation or a conversion with a colleague or Line Manager. The Areas are visible to the Line Manager and the CPD Lead.
All of the Areas for Development are collated across the organisation automatically to provide the CPD lead and others in the SLT detailed, bespoke reports at the click of a mouse. The CPD lead can then review the Areas for Development to produce a Needs Analysis and to organise appropriate CPD.
Video Technology for self-reflection, coaching and mentoring
Self-reflective practice and collaborating with others is made possible using iP with the video annotation tool. As previously discussed, many practitioners are now used to using video in their practice in one form or another. Many are now professionals at teaching over Zoom/Teams, recording teaching as it occurs or pre-recording to share with students. A staff member can upload videos from their mobile device/iPad/other device and/or pre-existing videos. In short, a user can add timestamps to indicate "good practice" and share items of interest.
Those with successful coaching programs embedded in their organisation also see the benefit of utilising video to reflect on performance, get feedback, and objectively measure progress. The tool will allow the user to:-
Click on the image below to view a short explanatory video.
If you are interested in finding out how you can embed the video annotation tool in your organisation, then please don’t hesitate to book a FREE and UNLIMITED online training session with your Account Manager here.
CPD Leader bulk ‘push out’ (CPD Controlled)
For annual CPD such as Safeguarding, the CPD lead can create the course and ‘push’ this out to all or selected staff across the organisation. This is extremely time-saving and efficient. Once the course has been created as a template, it can be used time and again. The selected staff members will then see this in their My Work Area.
Reports and analysis (impact, feedback, and cost)
As previously mentioned, information from all individual staff members CPD activity is collated across the organisation to automatically provide the CPD lead and others in the SLT detailed, bespoke reports at the click of a mouse.
Selecting CPD Activities/Courses returns a table of data of all of the CPD Activities/Courses information from all staff during the current review period.
This table of data can be manipulated in a variety of ways:-
4. Once all of the filters are set to generate the desired information, these reports can be saved as ‘Quick Buttons’ ready for the next time the same information is required.
CPD Lead/SLT reports for CPD Requests
Selecting CPD Requests returns a table of data of all of the CPD Request information from all staff during the current review period.
This table of data contains similar information to the CPD Activities/Courses table but has the additional Request Status and Request columns detailing the progress of the approval. This table of data can be manipulated in a variety of ways:-
CPD Lead/SLT reports for Areas for Development
This CPD reporting area works in a very similar way to the two previous areas discussed. The power of this table is the overview of the CPD needs of the organisation. Here, you have the ability to filter, analyse, review and suggest a CPD Activity/Course in the table.
What else can be bespoke?
As we have discovered, a CPD coordinator will benefit from a seamless process of managing CPD bookings, requests, areas for development and costing. The paper trail is removed as all requests are managed centrally on SchooliP. CPD feedback can be collated that enables the effectiveness of CPD to be assessed.
As mentioned above, there are several ways an organisation can make bespoke choices and some of these can be bespoke for the whole organisation. Logging in as an iP Site Administrator, further settings can be found by clicking on:-
Settings > Performance Management > CPD Settings
2. The CPD Type title can be edited, deleted or added.
3. The title and the order of the 3 x approval flow can be amended.
4. The CPD Request titles and colours can be edited.
5. Provider categories can be set up to make data analysis easier
6. Confirmation emails and reminders can be edited and amended