When we think of continuous professional development (CPD) in schools, we tend to focus on how it improves staff’s knowledge/skills. However, the benefits of an effective CPD programme are felt across whole schools and trusts to great advantage.
We’ve recently released the first phase of our revamped Training and CPD module, the latest feature of our complex HR software. Find out how it helps to deliver and drive successful CPD and performance within your school/MAT below!
What effects does CPD in schools have?
Higher levels of mastery among teachers usually equates to a more successful organisation and better academic results. But, it’s important to remember that it’s not just our teachers that contribute to education.
No matter their role, when all staff are equipped with the right know-how to do their job to best effect, the entire school/trust’s workflows become more streamlined. Not only does work get completed faster and with greater operational efficiency, staff wellbeing and experience improve, too.
So, who needs to do CPD
One of the major features of this new module is that it’s based on users, not employees. Training can be assigned to governors, volunteers, and any other system users. This helps to demonstrate your school/trust’s commitment to upskill all staff that contribute to your organisation, no matter their position.
This simple feature catalyses a range of wider benefits to your organisation. When staff are recognised, they are likely to feel more satisfied. As such, they are likely to stay in post longer than if not, lessening the disruption of vacant roles and recruitment pressures. It’s far easier to retain staff when they have reason to stay!
What’s more, truly investing in staff’s professional development helps to catalyse internal promotions. Whether that’s within a standalone school or between sites in a MAT, your best talent is preserved. This helps to promote improvements across other areas of the school, as well as demonstrating to the wider workforce the career opportunities that both mandatory and optional CPD and training can offer.
The finer details of CPD in schools
With tens, if not hundreds, of staff making up a MAT, it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to ensure that all mandatory training is undertaken and CPD requirements are met. And that’s just the first piece of the puzzle! Professional learning shouldn’t just be an exercise qualified by generic tick-boxes, like ‘complete’ or ‘outstanding’.
Sure, a member of staff may have completed some optional training on a new pedagogical practice, but it may have taken them far more attempts than the average user! If this information is readily available, you can provide further support to ensure the employee’s understanding of the topic is the best that it can be, rather than only what it needs to be to pass that requirement.
Conversely, when you can see that a staff member has excelled in a particular training module, being able to tweak their individual CPD programme to reflect their advanced ability ensures their skills development is continuous, rather than plateauing.
My training, my portal
Whether a piece of training is optional or a course is compulsory, their progress is logged on the employee’s central training record. This allows key users to monitor the status of all training activities in real-time, helping to ensure continuous upskilling and refreshers for staff.
Users can view all of their own training requirements and achievements from a dedicated place, ‘My Portal’. Here, they access comprehensive information on all of the necessary actions they need to take to stay on top of their CPD and courses.
Key features of My Portal:
- A ‘to-do list’ which details all courses, differentiating them by nature (mandatory or optional) as well as determining their status (newly assigned or outstanding).
- An ‘hours logged’ card that determines the time the user has dedicated to their CPD/training, allowing them to track course completions and related progress.
- Instant access to a rich bank of e-learning courses to enhance knowledge.
Managing CPD at trust-level
Course settings can be configured to the user’s requirements, like pass scores, ‘due by’ intervals, and training expiry dates. This helps to create clear, concise communication between HR teams and employees, limiting the risk of issues or miscommunication.
Both employees and the employer are kept up to date of newly assigned courses and those that remain outstanding through automated alerts. An ‘on/off’ toggle can be enabled for training that requires additional approval too, promoting accountability across all activities.
Our e-learning library
Where new or updated statutory training is required, Every HR now gives users the settings to distribute training courses across the whole trust, helping to ensure compliance. What’s more, trusts can create their own collections of e-learning courses that can be targeted to certain user groups, departments, and individual schools.
Our comprehensive library of e-learning is made up of a range of content from experienced providers. Delivery ranges from videos to onsite sessions, helping to target the different ways in which individuals prefer to process new information. Credits can be purchased by administrative users, aiding the tracking of organisation spending.