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Inspiring Your CPD - October 2018

18 10.18

Who else helps your students or clients? [2]

This month, we take the second of two looks at this question. Last month, we considered parents, family and friends. This month, we’ll consider wider networks, who that covers and how to access them.

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).


Systems Theory

This newsletter uses the system theory of career development as a starting point. If you are not familiar with systems theory in our context, you can watch one of the authors, Mary McMahon, describing it in a video, or read a journal article. Patton and McMahon wrote a book Career development and systems theory: connecting theory with practice (3rd ed, 2014). The first two chapters (free online) explain career theory development over time, and propose the need for a systems theory approach (£ for full book).

Systems theory is often used to explore the pattern of past and current influences, but it is a powerful way to think about connections and opportunities: as the authors emphasise, every relationship is potentially two-way, so: who else can help your clients?


Systems theory: the individual framework

The system diagram for each individual helps identify your client’s contacts, but they need skills to make good use of contacts. In A young adult’s guide to networking, Claridge (2017) suggests: ‘Young adults already have a network of friends, friends’ parents, family, professors and co-workers. Encourage them to look at these relationships from a networking point of view. Is anyone in their network connected with an industry, company or profession that interests them? Do these people know what the young adult is looking for and do they understand the person’s skills, abilities and interests?’ Her article goes on to describe practical ways to help clients (of any age) with networking.


More thoughts about networking

Networking: essential for you and your clients is a webinar offered by Dave Cordle for CDI members, with the recording available on the CDI’s webinar channel. There is also a thought-provoking blogpost from Tom Staunton offering a model for networked career development.


Systems theory: the therapeutic framework

Previous items address how to enable clients to use existing contacts. The double model of the therapeutic framework (see video or article above) emphasizes that you, the helper, bring to the table resources that your client or student does not yet have. One example relates to the research by Mann and colleagues showing the positive impacts that employer contacts can have on young people’s future careers. Counterbalancing that are Careers & Enterprise Company findings Closing the gap on how schools perform against the benchmark.

This particularly applies for school and college students, but could be for any age. It is also an aspect of resources where you are experts, and the CDI can provide a space for sharing your expertise. Listed below are a few examples of organisations through which you may source support for your clients.  We have also opened a discussion on the CDI LinkedIn page where you can share other ideas. Contributing to the professional knowledge pool, and drawing upon it to develop your own knowledge and contacts, all counts as CPD activity.


Inspiring the Future


STEM Ambassadors

Speakers for Schools


Using our LinkedIn groups

As well as the specific LinkedIn action above, 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