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ERIC Number: EJ877303
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
No Longer an Optional Extra
Guest, Graham
Adults Learning, v16 n3 p22-24 Nov 2004
People are used to hearing about the rapid pace of technological and organisational change and the fact that there is no longer such a thing as a job for life. It is not so long ago that the main, if not the sole, focus of a person's career was on initial education and training. Too many professionals were lulled into believing that their first post-secondary academic qualification, like their job, would fit them for the whole of their working life. The main focus now, however, is on the need to keep up to date with learning and to develop one's skills, knowledge, and understanding throughout life. True professionalism, as all those involved in teaching will surely recognise, relies increasingly on an ability to respond quickly and effectively to technological and organisational change, as well as to changing social and market conditions, client (that is student) requirements, government policies, and national and international regulations. In the context of work, a key aspect of lifelong learning is continuing professional development (CPD). This can be defined as: "The systematic maintenance and improvement of knowledge, skills and competence, and the enhancement of learning, undertaken throughout an individual's working life." It is easy to assume that CPD is just a matter of attending training courses off the job. This is certainly one aspect, but there are many more. CPD activities can include on-the-job training, open learning, short courses, conferences, seminars, workshops, self-study, preparing and making presentations, and being a coach or mentor. As the definition suggests, the basis of CPD is learning, which, of course, comes about in different ways. It can be formal or informal, structured or eclectic, job-centred or person-centred. CPD today is no longer an optional extra to be undertaken according to the random needs or wishes of the individual or to meet some ill-defined, short-term organisational requirements. It is clear that individuals who ignore CPD, or do not treat it seriously, will get left behind as patterns of work and leisure continue to change beyond expectations. This article points to some of the support mechanisms--Personal Development Records (PDRs), coaches, mentors, and the TeacherNet and CPD Institute websites--available to teachers and other professionals, whilst stressing the importance of personal and professional development in what is becoming an increasingly knowledge-based world.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A