CPD Spotlight: June/July 2011
Our Member Spotlight this month is on the British Psychological Society (BPS) as they have set up an online CPD portal called The Learning Centre to enhance the provision of CPD opportunities available for their members.
About The BPS Learning Centre
The BPS Learning Centre provides information and guidance on professional development, is home to an online CPD system for recording professional development and offers CPD opportunities to Psychologists and those working in related fields.
In addition to the psychology-related courses on offer, the Learning Centre also provides a wide range of opportunities to develop transferable skills in areas such as leadership and coaching, project management, and managing teams.
Also, they provide an online system called myCPD, which provides a structured framework for the planning and recording of CPD.
Interview with Ian Jeal
We caught up with Ian Jeal, Learning Centre and CPD Officer, to find out more...
How long has The Learning Centre been up and running? What prompted its creation?
The BPS Learning Centre was created as part of the Society’s response to statutory regulation for the psychology profession and in recognition of our need to expand our support for the development of our members and the profession.
In 2009, the Health Professions Council became the regulator for the profession. Responsibility for monitoring CPD transferred to the HPC allowing our focus to shift away from monitoring our members to helping them meet the new CPD requirements and future challenges facing the profession; through providing opportunities (workshops, conferences, networking events, e-Learning) and support (the online CPD system and CPD guidelines).
How would you say BPS conceives of CPD?
CPD is both a professional obligation an individual responsibility. It is the professional, work-related aspect of lifelong learning. By developing and updating their skills, knowledge and understanding an individual is better placed to successfully adapt to the changing demands of their profession.
Why did you decide on an online system for recording?
We asked our members how best they would like to record and maintain their CPD activities. From their answers we created a word template, which was the first step in designing and building our online CPD system. Members can plan CPD activities, record what they’ve done against a competency framework, and generate reports for an employer or regulator. As a voluntary system it’s very popular, we have over 16,000 registered users.
Tell us about the CPD opportunities that are offered – are they BPS courses or other providers? Do these link into the recording system in any way?
One of the main things we hear from our members is that accessibility to CPD can be a problem. Therefore we’ve tried to include as many different types of CPD in our portfolio as possible.
We run a CPD workshop programme that reflects the dominant areas in which our members practise; clinical, counselling, educational & child, forensic, health, occupational, and sport & exercise psychology. These areas also reflect our member network structure. The types of events that we offer varies according to the need of the target audience from half-day or two-day workshops, evening networking events, conferences, and e-Learning. The e-Learning courses on offer are mainly generic skills-based courses, but we’ve also been working to develop a course to raise awareness of adult autism. We’ve recently launched the first module, which is free and available to anyone who wants to learn more about this condition and how it affects people.
We also run a CPD Approval Scheme for external organisations to have their CPD provision assessed against our standards. Those that meet our standards are able to use the BPS-approved logo. We add these to our CPD database which helps to increase the amount of relevant CPD opportunities available to our members, with the comfort that anything they find on our database meets our CPD standards.
Although there is a feed which displays all the upcoming events we are working to make this much more intuitive. Events do link to our BPS Shop, where members (and non-members) can buy an e-Learning course, register for a workshop or conference, or download a publication.
How well is the Learning Centre working? Is it a success? How do you measure that success? What feedback have you had from users?
The Centre has been a real success for the Society and demonstrates our commitment to CPD. By bringing together all our CPD activities into one central hub we’ve made it easier for members to find relevant CPD, and to maintain a record of their development using our online system.
Feedback from delegates is a critical measure of our success. We also gather information on all aspects of the CPD programme from the quality of facilitators to value for money and venue suitability. In 2010 86% of respondents thought they would deliver better quality work in the future as a result of attending a BPS Learning Centre CPD workshop.
Engaging members and getting close to their concerns has been key to the development of the Learning Centre. Our members are the knowledge experts and we work with our member networks to shape the CPD programmes. This is an important lesson in providing services that are relevant and timely to our members.
We are enhancing myCPD by linking it with our CPD events. This will automatically update a member’s record when they attend an event, prompting them to add their reflections. We are also developing the Society’s leadership development programme to enhance leadership and management skills within the profession.
There are also some exciting developments through the use of social media, utilising smartphone technology to provide access to the Learning Centre for all of the Society’s psychology learning, training, and professional development.
For more information
Visit the BPS Learning Centre website: