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Inspiring your CPD - October 2017

12 10.17

Research: using it and doing it

This month the newsletter considers research, and the ways in which research enhances professional practice. The first suggestions are around the theme of accessing and making wise use of research undertaken by others; the later suggestions invite you to consider undertaking research yourself.

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. Resources are arranged according to the National Occupational Standards: Career Development (NOS:CD).

Resources related to research are in NOS:CD17.


Using Research

Critical engagement with research claims is important. A starting point is offered by NESTA/Alliance for Useful Evidence in Using research evidence: a practice guide. The American Psychological Association (APA) discusses How to be a wise consumer of psychological research, including a checklist of questions at the end.

But first you need some research papers: how to access them? A good starting point is the CDI guide to accessing research available in the members only area of the website, on the same page as Career Matters. This offers advice on searching for subjects that interest you as well as tips for accessing material free of charge. In particular, this guide mentions Access to Research, a service offering public access to more than 15 million academic articles in association with public library services.


Dissertations and theses

Valuable research has been undertaken in recent years by masters and doctoral students looking at career development issues. Until now, it has not been easy to locate the results of these studies, so the CDI has embarked on the process of listing them, to make access much easier for CDI members. The list will soon be available through the CDI website, but you can help: if you have or know of a thesis or dissertation that could be included, please email


National repositories of career development research

Skill Development Scotland’s Online Research has a section on career development, with most material having UK-wide relevance.

Canada’s Career Development Researcher Database lists some 150 research active members, noting their interests and often giving free links to their publications.

The UK’s Education and Employers Taskforce has an increasingly international reach, and maintains a list of its recent research on education and employer engagement, as well as a useful blog.

Specifically focused on England, the Careers and Enterprise Company’s research pages seek to support evidence-based practice.


Research institutes

Several research institutes address career development and labour market issues:

International Centre for Guidance Studies

Institute for Employment Studies

Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick

National Foundation for Educational Research


‘Doing’ Research Yourself

First steps

Many practitioners are interested in undertaking small-scale research. The General Teaching Council for Scotland has a Practitioner Enquiry introduction which is addressed to teaching staff but useful for anyone working in career development.


Is action research right for you?

Practitioner research often arises from questions about making your own practice more effective. Action research is frequently used as a way to test ideas in a planned and thoughtful way. Good introductory guides exist – and a special offer!

  1. Chapter 5, Becoming a practitioner researcher, in CPD for the career development professional (Neary and Johnson, 2016) Special offer: A free copy of this book is available to anyone joining the UK Register of Career Development Professionals in October and November 2017
  2. The website of academic Jean McNiff Action research for professional development: concise advice for new action researchers
  3. Infed (YMCA George Williams College website) offers Action research: the development of different traditions


Ethical practice in research

Ethical practice is built into all aspects of CDI membership, but working with research participants raises additional factors. The British Educational Research Association (BERA) offers research-specific ethical guidelines.


Academic study

There is increasing interest amongst career development professionals in studying at postgraduate level. This is a welcome development, but a big commitment for those who do it. The Vitae website offers a multi-part guide to thinking it through, applying, and obtaining funding in Are you thinking of doctoral research?


Books about research

There are many books offering detailed advice on planning, undertaking and reporting on research activities. Since they are normally priced, we have not included them here, but some suggestions are available in the CD-NOS 17 section of the CPD Resources on the CDI website.


Using our LinkedIn groups

The CDI has a LinkedIn group for all members, and groups that are relevant for each home nation and for the Community of Interest groups. Start (or contribute to) a discussion; keep contributing for several days.

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 research, 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.

In September 2017 we launched an updated version of this part of the site which now provides a CPD recording system which is much easier to use.

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