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Inspiring Your CPD - January 2019

11 01.19

Undertaking and Sharing Research

2019 has been designated by the CDI as the year of undertaking and sharing research. This CPD newsletter therefore returns to a theme not visited for more than a year and encourages you to develop your professional practice by becoming research-active.

Activities here are simply ideas and are not compulsory. You can choose to do some, all or none; it won’t affect your membership of the CDI whether you take up these ideas or not, although they do reflect good practice.

If you are on the Register then undertaking 25 hours of CPD each year is a condition of your registration. If you are a member then undertaking CPD helps you to adhere to the Continuous Professional Development principle in the CDI Code of Ethics.

Each month, we will suggest CPD activities which will allow you to explore a topic, interact with others and create a reflective record in the Members’ Area of the CDI website. Simply choose the items and activities that suit your role and your style.

All the resources mentioned, and many more, are also accessible with direct links from the CPD Resources area of the Members’ Area of the CDI website. Most resources are arranged according to the National Occupational Standards: Career Development (NOS:CD ). Research topics are in NOS:CD17


Accessing unpublished research

A considerable number of CDI members and other practitioners have undertaken valuable research. Often the reports are not widely published, although they contain research which is potentially of great usefulness to other career development practitioners.

There is now a new section in the Members’ only CPD area of the website – do visit it to look at the thesis and dissertation list. This list is work-in-progress so if you have a thesis or dissertation you would like to share, please contact (There’s a note below about accessing the Members’ Area if you have not been there recently.)


“Almost everyone involved in guidance is carrying out research at some level”

This title is a quotation from the National Guidance Research Forum (NGRF) pages called Using research in practice. The NGRF site spans from introductory material for those considering practitioner research for the first time, through to materials to help more experienced researchers to develop their capacity.

Also at the University of Warwick, the GLACIER website offers information and resources about research methods relevant to career development practitioners.


Research mindedness

Developed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), the web resource Research mindedness offers a comprehensive introduction to practitioner research, including sections on why practitioner research matters, critical thinking and finding resources. It includes exercises and quizzes. Although prepared for social work and social care practitioners, and no longer updated, its contents remain current and transfer easily to the career development setting.


Practitioner research in career development

The chapter ‘Becoming a practitioner researcher’ in CPD for the Career Development Professional (Neary & Johnson, 2016, priced) offers practical insights on practitioner research, contextualised for the career development sector.


Action research … and more

Many practitioners are drawn to action research - indeed the dividing lines between reflective practice, professional development and action research can be hard to define. The following list offers links to a number of useful resources on action research … and more.

Action research for professional development Online booklet by Jean McNiff

Action research: a guide for associate lecturers An OU booklet with much of the content relevant to the career development context

What is action research? The first (and free-to-access) chapter of a book by Koshy et al (2010)

Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) The Resources drop-down menu includes CARN Bulletins which contain many articles on methods as well as research findings

Covering a wider spread of methods and approaches, NFER offers Research in schools: ‘How to’ guides, again with relevance beyond school-based practitioners.


Using research

The American Psychological Association (APA) offers a useful guide on How to be a wise consumer of psychological research. It concludes with a list of questions to hold in mind when evaluating research claims.


A few sources of relevant research

First and foremost is the topical research included each fortnight in the Research & Reports section of CDI News by Email. Normally this will alert you to new research by the university departments which are active in career development, but it is useful to visit their websites to seek out older reports. Examples include iCeGS at Derby and CCPD at Canterbury Christ Church. As a benefit of your CDI membership, you can also access a PDF copy of the NICEC Journal, with current and past copies available in the Members’ Area.

Other useful sources include: NFER Publications and Research where the subject menu allows you to identify specific interests, with options including Careers guidance; Education to employment/NEET; SEN; Professional development

Skills Development Scotland’s Research Online


Formal research training

Increasing numbers of CDI members have enrolled for Master’s and PhD study. The question ‘Is this right for you?’ is addressed by, while the Vitae website offers a longer consideration in Are you thinking of doctoral research?. Remember that the CDI website includes a list of all current postgraduate training centres under the Getting qualified tab.


Developing a research career

Taylor and Francis partnered with Vitae, the national researcher development organisation, to produce a series of 15-minute podcasts on the various challenges of developing a research career.



In Scotland, the SDS Collaborative PhD Programme supports career development researchers. A video explaining the rationale and operation of this scheme offers useful insight, including for those in other parts of the UK.


Using our LinkedIn groups

The CDI has a number of LinkedIn groups for members, which are a good place for discussing professional development issues and personal dilemmas with other members. 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. Visit the Communities of Interest.


Recording and reflecting on CPD

Remember that reading, talking and reflecting all count towards your CPD hours as long as you write a short reflective report in the My CPD section of your ‘My Portfolio’ record.


Useful Tips

Accessing the Members’ Area in order to record your CPD

To access this area click Login (at the top of the screen) and use your Members’ Area username (your email address) and password. Then click on Members’ Area, and choose Professional Register which includes the CPD Resources area and your personal CPD record. You can also access the Register directly by using the Professional Register link on the home page.

The site includes the facility to Request a new password. Remember that for the system to work well, you need to keep your details up to date and ensure that CDI emails are not directed to your spam box.

For any questions relating to CPD Recording please contact:


Dr Lyn Barham
Project Associate (Research)

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