Continual Professional Development Policy

1.      Policy Statement

Vision Training (North East) Limited believe that highly skilled and motivated trainers and assessors are crucial in taking forward talented skills sectors to make effective learning and success for learners a reality. This can only happen if our company and its employees make the planning of continual professional learning and development a priority.

With the ever increasing priority of meeting the needs of employers, the growth of new industries, raising skills in the workplace and preparing young people and adults for work, the role of assessors and trainers in boosting the national skills and expertise for these industries has become crucial, especially in times of recession, when enhancing skills for employment and enterprise is even more essential.

Vision Training (North East) Limited recognises the CIPD’s key principles of CPD which are:

  • Professional development is a continuous process that applies throughout a practitioner’s working life
  • Individuals are responsible for controlling and managing their own development
  • Individuals should decide for themselves their learning needs and how to fulfil them
  • Learning targets should be clearly articulated and should reflect the needs of employers and clients as well as the practitioner’s individual goals
  • Learning is most effective when it is acknowledged as an integral part of all work activity rather than an additional burden.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is one of the means by which our training centre is able to motivate and develop its Employees. This development takes place at a number of levels:

  • Individual
  • Team
  • Whole Centre
  • Through partnership working.

Vision Training (North East) Limited considers that:

  • A carefully planned programme of CPD improves standards, raises morale and assists with recruitment, retention and succession planning.
  • All employees, trainees and volunteers shall have an entitlement to equality of access to high-quality induction and continuing development.
  • Effective measures to audit the professional and personal needs of employees that link to performance management is vital.
  • The focus of CPD should be on improving standards and the quality of teaching and learning and in updating of skills and knowledge.

2.      Purpose

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a process by which individuals take control of their own learning and development, by engaging in an on-going process of reflection and action. This process is empowering and exciting and can stimulate people to achieve their aspirations and move towards their dreams.

CPD provides the opportunity to look at career progress from a wider perspective. It challenges professionals to make time for regular personal reflection and review and reminds everyone that we have the responsibility for developing ourselves rather than pushing the onus on to our manager or others in the organisation.

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance and support for our employees to enable and provide opportunities for continual professional development, promote self-directed CPD and to reiterate the requirement for our assessors and trainers to continually develop themselves and keep a record of that development.

3.      Scope

All assessors and trainers and managers are required to continually develop their professional skills and knowledge in (as appropriate to their role):

  • Teaching, assessing and training skills
  • Education sector legislation, codes of practice and awarding body requirements
  • The sector(s) for which they teach, train, assess and support allocated learners.  E.g. keep abreast of best and general practice, legal requirements and requirements of the sector(s) skills agency.

All forms of professional development will be based on the following principles, all employees will:

  • Be encouraged to develop their knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes to enhance their professional work.
  • Have regular opportunities to discuss their development needs and professional aspirations.
  • Have a responsibility to participate in the Centres CPD activities and personal career development.

4.      Roles and Responsibilities

4.1       The Head of Centre

The head of the centre is responsible for

  • Ensuring the co-ordination of all employees’ proof of Continual Professional Development
  • Reviewing this policy.

4.2       The Operations Director

The operations director has responsibility for:

  • Sourcing and organising training for the company’s employees
  • Recording company training
  • Manages the Appraisal process that links into CPD.

4.3       The Development Manager

The development manager is responsible for

  • Writing policies and procedures including this policy
  • Developing and organising development in-house development activities

4.4       All Employees

All employees are responsible for:

  • Their own Continual Professional Development
  • Recording and updating their proof of CPD
  • Providing the head of centre with up to date copies of their proof of CPD on request.
  • Taking part in CPD activities organised by the company

5.      Policy Implementation – Procedures

5.1       The company will:

  • Provide opportunities for formal and informal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for assessors, teachers and trainers, individually and in teams.
  • Encourage managers to support CPD opportunities through mentoring meetings, appraisals and reviews, 121 meetings and team meetings.
  • Develop opportunities for peer support, lesson observations as a basis for discussion, and coaching and mentoring, within the company and outside (high impact CPD)
  • Develop a culture where assessors, teachers and trainers are empowered to take responsibility for their own development.
  • Encourage Assessors, trainers and teachers to maintain their occupational or subject knowledge and be real experts in their own area.
  • Develop and maintain a network of industry contacts that can provide opportunities for Assessors, teachers, trainers and learners to attain workplace experience through:
  1. Work shadow placements
  2. Fellowships to enable Assessors, teachers and trainers to spend time in industry.
  3. Structured visits.
  4. Employers coming in to talk to learners.
  5. Observation of peers and learners.
  6. Subject specific mentors.
  7. Employer partnerships
  • Provide opportunities for Assessors, teachers and trainers to record, share, learn and reflect on the workplace experience for implications for teaching practice and measuring impact.
  • Ensure that our organisation is alert to the implications of social, political and economic changes to the teaching and learning strategy.  Consider the impact of these changes on the Assessors, teachers and trainers and what this might mean to them and their learners experience.
  • Provide opportunities for open discussion and debate about the teaching, training and learning implications of any changes.
  • Develop and build the company’s understanding and teaching expertise around specific target groups of learners, for example:
  1. Hard to reach learners.
  2. 14 to 19year olds and adults.
  3. Apprentices.
  • Ensure that all Assessors, teachers and trainers are up to date on the requirements for safeguarding in the context of teaching and practice and technology.
  • Provide opportunities for Assessors, teachers and trainers to share, learn and discuss the implications of change.
  • Establish an organisational wide strategy to enhance Assessors, teachers and trainer’s access to and use of technology.
  • Identify advocates in using ICT and encourage them to develop their skills and shared practice.
  • Encourage ICT advocates to develop with learner’s new ways of using technology for brilliant Assessment, teaching and training and share this with colleagues.
  • Establish strong links between ICT and Assessment, teaching and training teams to investigate the use of emerging technologies and understand appropriate support needs.
  • Provide opportunities for a structured programme for e-CPD professional development.

5.2      Assessors, trainers and business support will:

  • Take responsibility to drive their development and build confidence in their professional judgement.
  • Develop a plan and vision for how they want their career to develop and what CPD is most effective for them at each stage.
  • Set aside regular time for reflection and learning and to critically analyse their own objectives.
  • Develop their understanding and experience of ‘learning to learn” self-assessment and active learning approaches.
  • Extend the breadth of their CPD activities by exploring opportunities for peer observation. Coaching and mentoring.
  • Identify opportunities for curriculum development and tailoring the learner experience.
  • Take advantage of television and the Internet for up to date information about their vocational or subject area.
  • Identify opportunities to experiment, trial and review teaching and learning methods.
  • Identify their naturally occurring CPD activities.
  • Exploit the wider environment, social networks and your professional body (Institute for Learning)
  • Set aside regular time to share practice with colleagues and explore new ways of working together.
  • Find ways to disseminate learning from small projects to ensure larger scale learning.
  • Identify opportunities to collaborate in action research.
  • Focus on assessing the impact of their teaching and training approaches on learners.
  • Recognise the significant impact they have on learners through:

 

  • Their style and enthusiasm in teaching & assessment.
  • The extent to which learners feel they are heard.
  • Their degree of professionalism.
  • The level of commitment to their progress.
  • Actively look at effective ways to capture and demonstrate improvements in their own learning practice.
  • Enable learners to monitor their own progress and understand where and what they need to do to improve.
  • Establish links with their professional body and other sources of expertise through:
  1. Joining subject networks
  2. Attending events
  3. Reading papers and research
  • Identify new ways to assess learner progress in a vocational context.
  • Involve learners in designing their own assessments.
  • Use a multi-disciplinary skill set in designing the learning experience, drawing on science, business and technical expertise.
  • Work with colleagues and peers to cascade the learning from linking with employers; consider implications for teaching practice and measure impact.

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