What is a Learning Journey?
- It is a planned, progressive set of learning and development experiences, which are recorded at appropriate points to mark progress.
Why would I want to record my CPD?
- When you record your learning experiences you will have greater control of your professional and personal development by having an overview of your progress on your Learning Journey, what you still need to learn and also to identify future professional development direction.
Should all CPD be certificated?
- No, it can be both formal and informal learning but where this is possible practitioners should receive SCQF recognition to celebrate their achievement and provide them with a nationally recognised endorsement but it is not a requirement.
How do I know that I am doing the right thing?
- CPD is most successful when based on a systematic assessment of both the individual and the organisation’s needs. The CLD Competencies framework developed by the Standards Council provides practitioners and managers at all levels with the means to identify what they need to know and do to practise CLD successfully at whatever level they operate. All CPD learning and development opportunities should be firmly based on the CLD Competencies. This schematic sets out the ideal process to be followed:
1. Reflect on your Practice
Ask where am I against the competencies for this post and future development goals and identify your personal learning needs
2. Create a Plan
Identify what learning is available and appropriate to meet your identified needs and create a development plan
3. Action your Learning
Undertake your chosen formal and informal learning activities
4. Review and Record
Ask what have I learned and how has it impacted on my practice and record your activities, outcomes and reflections on progress in your e-portfolio
Reflect on your Practice
At this stage in the cycle you are essentially identifying your strengths and the areas for development by reflecting on your current role and thinking about what your future goals are. The CLD Competencies framework provides the means to identify what you need to know and do to practise CLD successfully at whatever level they operate. To assist in this you could ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Where am I now against the competencies in relation to my existing role?
- What goals and targets have been set by my employer for this area of work?
- Where do I want to be in 3 years time?
- Where does my employer want the department to be in terms of outputs, impacts and quality of delivery?
- What knowledge and skills do I need to develop for myself?
- What knowledge and skills do I need to develop to support my employer’s goals and targets?
Analysing your responses will help you to identify your CPD learning requirements. You may want to maintain and improve existing competencies or develop areas that will help you gain new skills, knowledge and understanding.
Create a Plan
It is important to create a CPD development plan based on your agreed needs and goals. This then allows you to identify the appropriate activities/courses which will meet these needs and goals. The activities can be formal, informal and/or work-based.
Action your Learning
At this stage you just need to get on with the activities you have identified, remember these can be:
- Certificated courses
- A selection of articles or books which might have been identified by yourself, a colleague or manager
- Workshops or seminars
- Workbased projects – where you take the lead
- Participation in organisational development days
Remember that you are undertaking these activities for a purpose – to gain more knowledge or skills to enable you to progress in your current and future roles. You should therefore always be asking yourself the question – what am I learning from this, how can I use this new knowledge/skill in my job and how can I share it with my colleagues?
Review and Record
This is the point where you have to consider the impact on you and your practice of the learning you have undertaken. Has it met your identified needs? What impact has it had? Has it changed/improved your practice?
It is important to record your CPD activities both for your own use and for sharing during your annual appraisal; it allows you to see what you have achieved on an ongoing basis and reflect on its value.