The Nautical Institute (NI) has recently been redeveloping its CPD policies and its member tools for recording and planning CPD online. The NI is an international representative body for maritime professionals involved in the control of sea-going ships.
CPD is still a new concept within the nautical sector. Although on the job training is widespread, the formal recording and reflecting on learning has not been widely adopted. Because of this, the Institute’s CPD policy is currently voluntary – in the hope of persuading members of the value of CPD rather than forcing them to take part.
The Nautical Institute has recently published a formal definition of CPD for the maritime sector for first time:
“The process that enables maritime professionals to take control of their own learning and development by carrying out activities that ensure they are competent and successful throughout their career, both at sea and ashore.”
Until recently, the NI was using an off-the-shelf CPD recording product with ongoing maintenance costs. The system was based around an inputs approach to CPD that made logging hours or points the centre of the scheme, even though the Institute holds the formal position that CPD should be based on outputs and reflections. In addition, the software was felt to be too difficult to use and the uptake by the membership of the scheme had been too low to justify the continued use of that platform.
In order to get more members to use the CPD system and engage with formal recording of their own learning, it was felt that the CPD system needed a radical overhaul. To that end, NI has been designing and creating its own in-house CPD portal that is controlled through the Institute’s existing website. The content and functionality of the system has been created and the NI is now working on creating the graphical content and branding for the new site.The new system is firmly based on outputs and reflection, and much better aligned to the Institute’s policies.
The benefit will hopefully be a better engaged membership that can more easily demonstrate the learning and development that is undoubtedly going on already.