IPA’s new approach to CPD reaps big rewards

PARN Global News Article - 13 November 2012

IPA’s new approach to CPD reaps big rewards

IPA’s new approach to CPD reaps big rewards

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) have transformed their CPD approach through partnership with online distance learning experts WillowDNA. Increased learner numbers, great feedback from their members and the opportunity to extend their reach are just some of the benefits of moving accreditation online.

The IPA has one of the most demanding audiences of learners you could wish for. Graduates going into the world of advertising have high expectations of their learning experience. Back in 2009, Patrick Mills, Director of Professional Development at the IPA commissioned WillowDNA to develop a new approach to certification.

Solution & Feedback

The solution from WillowDNA with used a combination of structured and social learning that has transformed their CPD offering. The learning path approach, which includes 5-10 minute e-learning modules, scenarios, online assignments, discussions, ebooks and videos has been a huge success.

The response from learners was breathtaking, both in terms of positive feedback ‘the best academic learning experience they had ever seen’ and the over 200% increase in learners now enrolling and completing certification examinations.

As well as being shortlisted for both the Peer Awards 2012 and best online distance learning at the 2012 e-Learning awards, the programme was adopted by the European Association for Communications and Advertising (EACA) and subsequently launched in over 30 European countries.

Patrick Mills at IPA said:

“With our overhauled programme
we are now well placed to be flexible
and move with the market,
even ahead of it at times.”

Visit the IPA website to find out more about Professional Development at the Institute and watch a 3 minute video about their programmes.

Future Plans

Later this year, the IPA will be building on this success through their export programme, taking the foundation certificate to a global audience. Through Willow's Pathway approach and breaking down complex subjects and using rapid development tools, customising and contextualising for local audiences is easy. Not only does this mean total cost of ownership is much lower than conventional e-learning, but it provides professional bodies with the opportunity to extend their reach at home and abroad.

Key Considerations

When considering taking accreditation programmes online, there are some key factors that have made a big difference to the learning experience:

  • Simple hosted platform and Learning Path design to cope with courses that would go over a long period
  • Breaking out of learning elements away from e-learning alone, helping to give variety and to enable delivery within a restricted budget
  • Construction of a learning scaffold with opportunity to go “off-piste” individually or with others to explore different interest areas
  • Reflection was built in with carefully inserted discussion opportunities as well as assignments and supporting templates to enable deployment of techniques within the learner’s working environment
  • Social dialogue was felt to be critical and has led to learning log and group assignments in the Advanced Certificates
  • Cohort presence on screen to overcome the potential isolation of a long course
  • Very careful use of illustrations and humour to keep the content alive

Additional Information

For more information about the learning solutions provided to IFA, contact WillowDNA direct:

T: +44 (0)117 370 7735
E: [email protected]
W: www.willowdna.com