As one of the original members of the SAQA commission which worked on the Professional Body framework and regulations, I am now astounded by how existing and aspirant Professional Bodies, but more so, pre-existing Statutory Bodies, are consciously misinterpreting what Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is and how it needs to be quality assured.
What is CPD?
It is an ode to what should be ‘Lifelong Learning’, the principle that after obtaining a qualification, a certification and finally a professional designation, you need to actively engage in additional training, exposure and experiences, which enhance every aspect of the designation against which you have been registered.
CPD is not a racetrack against time, which you are required to complete to gain sufficient points to re-register. That is how it is now singularly interpreted, but that was never intended to be the goal, the mission, the raison de art to engage in CPD.
Instead CPD has always been there to assure those who depend on your being professionally recognised, namely your employers, your peers and especially your clients and customers, that you are not only competent, but that you are also behaviourally sound and in good-standing with your Professional Body, and that you are up-to-date in best practices to-do with your profession.
That you are current, as are your skills, competencies and behaviours!
Professional Body obligations
A properly run stand-up Professional Body is one that takes its obligations towards CPD seriously.
This means a Professional Body which firstly establishes a procedural standard, explicit not only in the interaction stipulated by any would-be CPD provider with the Professional Body, but especially in detailing the CPD element categories, their criteria for recognition, accreditation and endorsement and exposition which would apply in a specific professional environment.
An effective Professional Body endorses CPD providers, be they training providers, suppliers, manufacturers or distributors, professional associations, trade associations and yes, even trade unions.
An effective Professional Body accredits whatever the CPD element is, against specified criteria, using trained and practiced assessors and verifiers to do this work.
Outcomes and competency
Essentially to be classified for CPD purposes, every element needs to be mapped and relatable to one or more of the outcomes and competencies listed in a SAQA and now QCTO-accredited qualification which in-turn can be mapped to a SAQA-registered professional designation.
Importantly, to be endorsed, accredited, listed and registered with a Professional Body, that CPD element has to have a consequence. Attendance should NEVER be an acceptable consequence for anything other than a quarter of the points on-offer for participation. A good CPD element is one which…
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Read this article by Dr Ivor Blumenthal, CEO, ArkKonsult, as well as a host of other topical management articles written by professionals, consultants and academics in the August/September 2018 edition of BusinessBrief.
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