In my last post I reflected on how CPD is about the individual who's taking part / learning. I thought I'd expand that a little here. We discussed how key learning moments might not have been perceived as 'training' at the time. A visit to a seminar, a conversation with someone, a glance at a magazine article. How often are our professional development moments happening because we are following an interest? Not forgetting that these moments and opportunities happen outside of the work environment. What skills do you have from your hobbies that you apply at work?
We have small grants for public engagement. One of the conditions of the grant is to report on what you've learned from the project. The learning reported has often been fairly pragmatic. It wasn't until we started leaving a delay in reporting that we began to hear about the longer term benefits of the funds. In recognition that the process of reflecting can be important in surfacing the learning (and to reduce report writing), we've asked an external colleague to talk with our last fundees. This is beginning to demonstrate the longer term (professional) benefits of the work.
This table in the back of Pam Denicolo's book really struck me. It highlights when particular aspects of the Researcher Development Framework would be noticed / evidenced. See how engagement features in established academics? Yet we talk about and enable PER very early in a researcher's career.
We also talked about the role of CPD interventions in surfacing and validating existing experience and knowledge. It was also noted that this can be incremental - be careful of making this sound as if people are somehow 'not good enough.' I came away with some useful frameworks which I'll put in another post.
All of this has left me wondering how we can shape our CPD to be more reflective, more about enabling people to realise the knowledge and skills they already have, and more about the individual and their progression.