Continuing professional development (CPD) is the process when people improve their knowledge, skills and experience by means of special training courses. Monitoring and evaluating is the final stage of the CPD process. There are a lot of diverse ways how the CPD process may be monitored and evaluated, still, each of them has some specific advantages and disadvantages. Records, evaluation sheets, written reports, interviews, observing practices, and self-evaluation reflections are some of the ways which may be used for monitoring CPD processes (Bubb & Earley 2007; Megginson & Whitaker 2003).
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Starting with the record monitoring system, it should be mentioned that two stages should be completed. The first one is the prediction where a person should write down the goals of the CPD. The second stage is the identification of the key dates, the activities and the issues which have been learnt after the CPD process. The comparison and contrast of the information may inform about the effectiveness of training which is considered as the main advantage of the monitoring. There is a disadvantage to this monitoring procedure. A person should individually evaluate the personal CPD process, which cannot always be impartially assessed (Megginson & Whitaker 2003).
Evaluation sheets are related to the questionnaires and are not always objectives as well. At the same time, the evaluation sheets may cover the questions the answers to which are aimed at giving a picture of the learners’ achievements and progress. Written reports also have more disadvantages as they require writing after the CPD is completed. The information about goals is not available, so it is impossible to check the progress, and the monitoring is just reduced to the consideration of the results from the point of view of the employee who took part in CPD. The interview is one more means for monitoring that does not give the whole picture of the CPD process. It is possible to consider the personal reflection about the process and check the outcomes based on the personal opinion of the participants of the process (Bubb & Earley 2007).
Observing practice has several advantages, like the monitor can see the learning process and personally, objectively access the activity of the learner, the attempts he/she applies while studying, the level of teaching, etc. The consequence of the process is observed. Still, this method has some disadvantages, like the absence of the stated goals before the beginning of CPD, the personal reflection from the process and personal assessment of the results achieved. Self-evaluation reflection is one more way of monitoring the CPD process. The trainees are aimed at expressing their personal opinion about the CPD and state whether they have managed to gain the goals they set before them or not (Bubb & Earley 2007). The absence of objectivity and the consequences of monitoring the process are the main disadvantages.
Thus, it is possible to conclude that there is no perfect system for monitoring the CPD process, but the combination of the record and observing practice is a good opportunity to get an objective full report about the CPD process. The combination of these two techniques for monitoring the CPD process is effective, as, on the one hand, the pre-training and after-training assessment take place and the monitoring of the very CPD process.
Bubb, S & Earley, P 2007 Leading & Managing Continuing Professional Development: Developing People, Developing Schools, SAGE, New York.
Megginson, D & Whitaker, V 2003 Continuing professional development, CIPD Publishing, London.
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