In vocational fields, everything changes so quickly. Policies are constantly updating and new ones coming in. New technologies take over, more efficient techniques are developed, and the standards are always being rewritten. It’s hard to keep up!
That’s why CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is so important as an assessor. It doesn’t take long – even for newly qualified assessors – to find their industry has changed dramatically during their tenure.
Continuing Professional Development explained
CPD is a system of accredited self-directed learning. CPD points are used as a way to identify courses that effectively upskill learners. The more CPD points, the longer or more in-depth the course. When you take part in CPD training, you keep a personal record of all your independent learning, along with a tally of your CPD points. This lets current and future employers know you’re up-to-date in your knowledge and committed to your field.
CPD activities may include:
- Online courses
- Classroom courses
There are over 1,000 providers of CPD activities in the UK and countless activities to take part in. What’s more, the price for courses start from very little – some are even entirely free. And as CPD is non-mandatory learning, there’s no pressure. You can simply find what you enjoy or what will help you most in your career.
Choosing CPD activities
There are so many CPD activities to choose from and so many places to find them. So, how to choose CPD activities that will help you as an assessor?
1. Keep your knowledge current
As mentioned at the start of this post, vocational industries change really quickly. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep your ear to the ground for what’s new. If you notice new technologies or new terminology being used, it’s worth bringing yourself up to speed ASAP.
For example, we’ve taken a look at some of the CPD courses offered in the ‘Education – Adult and Continuing Education’ section of the CPD course search tool. We found courses on personal safety and behaviour management, safeguarding, unhealthy student-teacher relationships, and audit reporting.
All of these subjects could increase your skill and knowledge as an assessor or update your knowledge in topics that may have developed since you studied them during your assessment training.
2. Build your specialisms
There are many areas of adult education that aren’t mainstream practices. For example, working with people with learning or physical disabilities.
CPD training can help you become a better assessor of students who need extra help. Courses we’ve found on the CPD site include topics such as: working with assistive technologies, speech-to-text software, behaviour management, and safeguarding.
If you’re trained to work with students with complex needs or to handle challenging situations, you’ll be a more valuable and well-rounded assessor.
3. Fill personal skills gaps
Nobody’s great at everything. When it comes to CPD, it’s definitely OK to cover old ground.
Didn’t quite understand part of your CAVA course? CPD it.
A bit nervous about one aspect of the job? CPD it.
Feel like one of those tasks is taking far too long and you don’t know why? CPD it.
You can take CPD courses and workshops on particular software and technologies that you struggle with, for example. Anything like this can help make your work faster and easier.
4. Make sure the activities are accredited
When choosing CPD activities, be sure they’re CPD accredited. Most providers who are approved to deliver CPD training will shout about it and you should find how many CPD points a programme is worth well-advertised on the course page.
However, the best way to ensure your CPD training is legitimate is to find a course straight from the source. Go to the CPD website and browse through the thousands of courses listed there.
That being said, there are many cheaper alternatives to the courses advertised through the CPD site. For example, the jobsite Reed.co.uk advertises many CPD activities at discount rates.
We hope this article has helped make some sense of CPD training and given you some guidance on how you can build a learning path that works for you. Remember to think about exactly what you want from your training and pick courses that will deliver the best results. If you’re still not sure where to begin, take a look at our blog on creating a CPD plan.
And, of course, CPD isn’t the only way to upskill as an assessor. Take a look at our Tutor Training, EPA, and Business Growth courses – all of which can be used to help you grow in your role and stand out as an employee.