The change in the direction of Continuous Professional Development (cpd) is staring us in the face. Initially, institutions or professional bodies decided that members should 'voluntarily' carry out some form of cpd. It then became 'recommended' that members carried out between 15 and 35 hours of cpd per year, using any form of education and experience that they considered useful to assist in their development. This was quickly changed to the term 'obligatory', with lists of companies that offered development programmes to enable the carrying out of their stipulated quota of cpd. Some institutions have now made the status of cpd 'mandatory' to their members.
Where will this lead? How long will it be before institutions stop using the misleading terms of 'voluntary', 'obligatory' or 'mandatory' and make all cpd compulsory? Will this add an unrealistic burden and expense to their members who are struggling to make a living? Will the outcome be that members choose the cheapest form of cpd they can find just to fill their record book? The knowledge gained by this will surely be minimal in helping the individual with their future development and career plans.
Finally, should it be the members or their employers who are responsible for the additional expenses incurred, and who will monitor the amount and quality of this 'compulsory' cpd? With the present skills shortage, would it not be more sensible for all concerned to form a joint collaborate, thus doing away with all this confusion and enabling construction workers to realise what is expected of them?
I am at present carrying out research into this subject. Any comments or opinions from readers would be greatly appreciated to enable a broader perspective of cpd to be established.
D J FRIGHT
50 Compton Avenue, Leagrave, Luton, Beds
Fax: 01582 412 500
E-mail D95 DF @ Luton. ac UK