Professional Development Policy

Hi Everyone,


I have been asked to re-write our CPD Policy.  The current policy is permeated by 'training' and this is something that I would like to address by recasting with a distinct 'learning' focus, particularly in recognising that learning happens all the time, in a variety of ways and places and that we should facilitate learning, through continuous collaboration, sharing of good practice, reflective practice etc.  Hopefully, people will start to take greater ownership of their learning and not wait to be trained.  I've been following much of Jane Hart's thoughts on the non-training approach and realise that there is an element of 'letting go' and trusting people to keep learning without having to be in control, so to speak.  I will also need to incorporate that training does have its place.

I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or advice about how to help influence and shape learning through a policy?


You need to be a member of learningandskillsgroup to add comments!

Join learningandskillsgroup

Email me when people reply –


  • Great topic, Khalid, and I'm sure that future posts will take the discussion forward substantially. I look forward to being part of that learning curve! My first thought is that, if I were in your shoes, I'd leapfrog learning in the jump from training and go straight to performance - especially in a CPD scenario.

    The problem I have with CPD is that, when it focuses on inputs rather than outcomes, it is barely fit for purpose. So here's my thought. This is all about performance readiness - the core aim of CPD is ensure that the gap between an employee's current performance and their desirable performance  (ie their lack of performance readiness) is closed, or at least reduced. So to enable CPD to be effective each employee needs to understand the factors that contribute to a lack of performance readiness, and what they need to do to close the gap (ie what success looks like).

    Sounds simple, but it's hard to execute. But once the model is clear, each employee is able to pull what they need (measured in terms of how it closes the gap rather than minutes/ hours of study), and identify their progress in terms of their improved capabilities. As I see it, the key driver here is that people don't know what they don't know; and making that visible creates the vision and desire (in a motivated employee) to progress in a focused way. And what more can you expect from CPD!!!!

    • Hello I just had to join because I agree with Alan this is a terrific topic, Khalid. Put very simply, training is about control and education is about letting people fly as high as they can. Have look at Peter Senge's work on learning organisations and then formulate/create your own definition of a learning organisation - one that suits your context. A good place to start is to use a collaborative approach to deciding what kind of a learning organisation yours might become. Becoming a learning organisation may make your business unstoppable especially if people feel valued and that their contribution is welcome and the organisation has a shared set of core values that match well with people's personal values.


    • Zoe/Alan,

      Thanks for your contribution.  Luckily, performance is a word that is part of our organisation's vocabulary at the moment and so it will be quite straightforward to use it as a basis for the policy  However, there is a desire for better performance without bringing people along with us, so that will be an interesting and wider debate.  I'm trying to keep the policy light-touch and non-prescriptive.  Getting people to collaborate on what a learning organisation might be will be an interesting challenge - I will have to take my persuasion techniques to a new level!

This reply was deleted.