Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Written By Mireille Bushiri
We live in a rapidly changing world, with new legislation, theories, and technologies being introduced seemingly every day.
Through regular continuing professional development (CPD), professionals can keep pace with these changes and know the implications for them and the children in their care. Similarly, learning about theories developed by early years pioneers, such as Froebel, Piaget, and Vygotsky, can help professionals to understand how current practices have come about and to assess their benefits and shortcomings and relevance to their practice. Doing accredited training can lead to higher qualifications and achieving career goals.
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), 3.21, makes ongoing CPD training a requirement and explains why this is important:
“Providers must support staff to undertake appropriate training and professional development opportunities to ensure they offer quality learning and development experiences for children that continually improves.’’
Willows Preschool puts a strong emphasis on encouraging and supporting the staff to enhance their learning and continue developing their skills. Thus, the Management Team provide the opportunity to expand each staff member’s knowledge and improve their practice with various CPD courses.
What is CPD training?
Continuing Professional Development is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help the staff member manage their own learning and growth. It links learning directly to practice. The CPD focuses directly on outcomes and results. The aim of it is for the team member to capture useful experiences and be assessed on the practical benefits.
How does CPD improve performance?
– CPD Support staff members to enhance their skills.
– Keep their knowledge up-to-date with trends and research and prepare them for greater responsibilities.
– It also demonstrates to their employers or any future employers that they have current knowledge.
– It boosts their confidence and self-esteem while strengthening their professional credibility.
– Also help them become more creative in tackling new challenges as professionals embedding their learning and improving their practice.
– Facilitates people to discover knowledge gaps. This allows individuals to exhibit a clear commitment to their self-improvement journey while upholding professionalism.
– It enables them to develop needed competencies in caring for young children. Completing CPD courses gives them additional learning and certification which helps them stand out from their peers.
– Enrolling in CPD courses is also a personal social responsibility.
Personal or professional?
The CPD is personal as it is given according to where each staff member is in their individual career. It becomes professional when it suits the company’s needs. CPD is an investment in itself and is very important.
For example, a Teacher may request a CPD on Children with SEN to not only improve her/his skills with children in need but to become a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) as the next step in his/her career. That same person may be asked then, to take the position of a SENCO in the company, filling up a gap in the industry.
At Willows, staff complete monthly online CPDs from the onset of working with us. Additionally, some mandatory courses are done in-house such as Paediatric First Aid, whilst others are done with Merton Council such as Safeguarding with peers from other local nurseries.
Although not classed as a qualification, CPD is recognised as highly valuable as it involves primarily skill-based learning. Education and training are an essential part of any career.