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Inspiring Your Continuous Professional Development - July 2019

31 07.19

CPD - ways and means

Last month’s newsletter addressed evaluation and self-evaluation. It seems logical this month to take the next step from self-evaluation and think about ways and means of engaging with CPD that enhances your professional progress 

CPD Newsletters offer ideas, not compulsory activities. Just remember that undertaking 25 hours of CPD each year is a condition of registration for Registered Career Development Professionals. For all members, undertaking CPD meets the principle in the CDI Code of Ethics relating to professional development.

Choose items and activities – here or elsewhere – that suit your role and your style so that you can explore a topic, interact with others and create a reflective record in the Members’ Area of the CDI website


CPD – you could go on a course

Of course you could! And the CDI website Training and Events tab takes you to a full list of short courses, CDI Academy qualifications, free webinars for members, regional meetings, and more. The diary extends well into 2020, is being added to every week and is worth a browse.


CPD – so many other options

There’s an ABC – and right through to Z – list of possible CPD activities in the most recent Career Matters (June 2019, p.20). Claire Johnson finds 26 activities and resources to keep you busy and up-to-date, all accessible through the CDI website. (OK, maybe not X and Z, but they are both important).


Questioning ‘learning styles’

Many of us have learnt about learning styles, both for managing our own learning, and for planning groupwork activities. However what was received wisdom is now a contested field. A Guardian letter from many eminent UK academics argues that there is no evidence to back this concept.  This questioning of learning styles, particularly in the light of recent brain research, receives in-depth review in a work-in-progress paper from Mexico Learning styles and the human brain (Alvarez-Montero et al, 2019). The later part of this paper additionally offers a comprehensible summary of brain architecture and functioning, as it is currently understood.


Endorsing brain plasticity - whatever your age

‘We continue to have the ability to learn new activities, skills or languages even into old age’ – a reassuring quote from What is brain plasticity and why is it so important? (Banks, 2016).


Where does that take us?

We’ve reached the stage of identifying:

  • There are lots of options for doing CPD
  • We don’t have a measure of what works best for you, but …
  • You’ve got a brain, so you can do it!

The following offers some ideas, and invites you to take a look around the CPD Resources area on the website.


Animation helps

Or to be precise, an animation on motivation might help you think about what really motivates us at home and in the workplace (Spoiler alert: it’s not money). That is just one of several animations, videos and webinar recordings in the CPD Resources area, in National Occupational Standard CD 01 (NOS:CD 01) on career development theory, where we’ve tried to offer resources that animate theory. Take a trip there to laugh (with John Krumboltz), or smile or die (Barbara Ehrenreich).


Listen to the radio

In the resources for NOS:CD 03, it’s time to listen to the radio – Canadian radio’s Career Buzz to be precise. The link to Five ways to listen and learn takes you to a Canadian site which also includes a weekly radio broadcast on careers. And while you’re in NOS:CD 03, take a glance at the video by Liane Hambly on career counselling.


Managing careers work in schools

If you missed the National Careers Leader and Learning Conference earlier this month, you can still catch one of the speakers, Sir John Holman, giving an earlier presentation about the Gatsby Benchmarks. That video is linked from NOS:CD 10, where you’ll also find links to a useful step-by-step guide to setting up a careers programme (FECareersIAG by Russell, with an associated blog), and endless insight and advice from Janet Colledge’s Careers Defender blog.


Digging deeper

We need to balance animating, listening activities with a bit of contemplative reading. The opening screen for CPD Resources includes a downloadable guide to accessing research (where possible without cost) and direct access to the screen where master’s dissertations and doctoral theses are held. This is a new and evolving area so it is worth checking back from time to time for new additions, and suggestions for additions are welcome: email to


Membership benefits

The CPD Resources area contains links to many external print and online materials, but you will also find there Career Matters and the NICEC Journal, member benefits which encourage reflection and evaluation of your professional performance.


CPD through online learning

There is a plethora of online learning, including MOOCs. It can seem daunting to set about finding the right learning opportunity for yourself, but there is a guide to online learning, again downloadable from the opening screen of CPD Resources.


CPD – planned and spontaneous

In a repeat from the last newsletter, a reminder that there is advice on planning your CPD in  CPD for the Career Development Professional (Neary & Johnson, 2016). There is also a new model by the Career Innovation company How to do CPD  which includes both planned and spontaneous approaches to CPD, and how to be mentally prepared for each. Any time you think ‘Well, I didn’t know that!’ or ‘Goodness, I’ve never viewed it that way’, you’ve probably experienced a bit of spontaneous CPD. Even short spurts of CPD can now be recorded on your CPD record – see ‘Recording and reflecting’ below. [Our thanks to Dr Michael Moynagh and Rosemary McLean and the Career Innovation company for offering access to this resource for CDI members.]


Peer support – a two-way process

The CDI encourages many types of peer support. LinkedIn discussions often relate to aspects of professional practice, and regional events give a chance to discuss work with colleagues facing similar issues. The CDI has Regional reps across the UK, and you can meet them here; they work with the CDI headquarters team to arrange regional meetings (currently we are awaiting details of autumn events, so remember to check the Regional Meetings page over coming weeks and months).

CDI members are a resource to each other for peer review and peer learning, particularly for members who work independently. Mutual engagement and support can be recorded as CPD through reflective reports by both members. A useful resource would be the CDI Blueprint of learning outcomes for professional roles.


Using our LinkedIn groups – including a new one!

The CDI has long had a number of LinkedIn groups for members, which are a good place for discussing professional development issues and personal dilemmas with other members. There will be a new, moderated group for Career Leaders launching in September, so if your work includes school-based activities, it could be a useful community for you.

Existing groups are:

National groups Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

Community of Interest groups Careers Education | Independent Coaches and Consultants | Learning Difficulties and Disabilities | HE Advisers | Research | Older workers. Visit the Communities of Interest.


Recording and reflecting on CPD – new web area now open

Access is through Your CPD diary > in the CPD Area.

Reading, talking and reflecting on topics and resources such as those above all count towards your CPD hours as long as you write a short reflective report in your CPD Record. It would be timely to undertake some small (or large!) CPD activity and then explore the new way of recording what you have just done.

Did you know? You can now record parts of an hour (e.g. half an hour recorded as 0.5 hours) making it easier to capture spontaneous events, as described in the Career Innovation resource above.

If you have any issues with the new pages please email and we will be able to sort these out for you.

For any questions relating to CPD Recording please contact:


Finally ….

This CPD newsletter takes a break in August, for its own spell of X and Z (see ‘so many other options’ above). The next newsletter will be in your inbox in September.


Dr Lyn Barham,
Project Associate (Research)

(If you have any questions relating to this email please contact