Skills for Life
Continuing Professional Development
This information sheet introduces key elements of the continuing professional development (CPD)
cycle for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector. It describes three useful online
tools for recording CPD: from the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM),
the Institute for Learning (Reflect), and the Teaching and Learning Project.
Registering with the Institute for Learning
All LSC funded teachers are required to register with the Institute for Learning and undertake at least
30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year to maintain their registration.
Teachers in non-LSC funded provision are invited to register and maintain their registration I they
The document ‘Guidelines for your continuing professional development (CPD)’, Institute for Learning,
2007 provides detailed guidance on what is meant by CPD and the cycle of activity that should be
undertaken. The cycle starts on the 1st September each year. The six steps below are adapted from
Planning your professional development cycle
Step 1 - contextual analysis:
If you are a new teacher your priority is to become qualified and gain QTLS (qualified teacher
learning and skills) or ATLS (associate teacher learning and skills) (www.lifelonglearninguk.org).
If you are already qualified you will need to begin the reflection on the relationship between the
LLUK standards for teachers and the development of your professional practice
(http://www.lluk.org/standards/new_prof_standards.html). You will need also to think about the
most important drivers within your organisational context and how you need to improve or update
your subject specialism and teaching and learning approaches over the coming year. You will also
need to take into account the wider national policy context. From this initial reflection on your
context you will be able to identify priority areas.
Step 2 - needs and goals analysis:
Analyse these priority areas using other forms of evidence such as learner feedback, impact
evaluation on learner outcomes, appraisals, peer review and teaching observations and, mapping
these against the relevant domains in the teaching standards, make a critical self-assessment of
your needs and goals for the coming year that will address identified areas for development.
Step 3 - individual development plan
Using the evidence from your self-assessment, identify professional development activities that
you think will address these needs and goals thinking carefully about the type of activity as well as
the focus or topics that are most likely to be effective for you. Create a professional development
plan giving a brief rationale for each activity, a time-line for achievement, outcomes and what you
think will be the measures of success.
Step 4 - professional development log
Carry out the activities identified in your plan, keep a log of the activities you complete with dates
and some indication of time spent together with your reflections on progress.
Step 5 - professional development record
During the yearly cycle keep a professional development record to show you have undertaken at
least 30 hours of CPD or pro rata if you are a part-time teacher.
Step 6 - reflection on practice and impact analysis
Reflect on the impact on your professional practice and on your learners of each aspect of CPD
you have undertaken. This will be one of the prompts for the next cycle for another year but will
also be an integral part of your learning log.
The Portfolio of Evidence
Your portfolio of evidence can be kept:
handwritten on paper or
electronically using one of the reflective practice tools available online or
electronically using a virtual learning environment
electronically in a Word document
Your CPD record, i.e. a summary of the activities you have undertaken, must be sent electronically
either via the Institute for Learning Reflect tool or via email once a year. It is important to not just
undertake the CPD but also reflect on what you have learnt. You are encouraged to work with your
peers as part of your reflective practice.
The following sections outline the three online tools available currently from the Institute for Learning
(IfL), the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM) and the National
Teaching and Learning Programme (NTLP).
Word versions of the Institute for Learning’s action plan, activity sheet and CPD record are available
from the Professional Development area of the Skills for Life Improvement Programme’s website
The method you use to record your CPD will depend on your learning style, your access to the
Internet, your provider’s requirements and your subject specialism.
National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM)
If you are a numeracy specialist then NCETM’s website (www.ncetm.org.uk) might be your first port of
call. NCETM is a virtual centre supported by a website. The website provides information on
resources and research, forums and tools for professional development. All numeracy teachers
should register with the website and bookmark it in their My Favourites. The website is fairly easy to
navigate by using the menu at the top of each page.
In considering professional development, the starting point should be the Self-evaluation section.
Here you can look at what the LLUK standards mean when teaching maths/numeracy. You might find
it easiest to look at the Word version of the exemplification. The code in brackets at the end of a
paragraph shows how the LLUK standards tie in with the Teacher Development Agency (TDA)
standards for teachers in schools. The exemplifications can help identify areas for professional
development either in discussion with a manager or with peers. TDA or LLUK Professional Standards
If you want to check your confidence levels with regards to content knowledge then use the NCETM
Mathematics Content Knowledge self evaluation tool for adult learning. This tool is perhaps most
effectively used by working with a colleague or in a small group as then you can discuss what it means
to be confident in explaining, for example, decimals. A self-evaluation tool looking at pedagogy for
adult learning is currently being developed. Having undertaken a self-evaluation then explore the rest
of the site for content which might support the areas you need to develop. You can record CPD
activities and your reflections on the activities in the Career Portfolio section of the Personal Learning
You can choose to use the format that has been suggested by the IfL and share the CPD activity
record for peer review. However, you cannot currently post this direct to the IfL Reflect tool. You have
two options if you want to use the NCETM Career Portfolio for recording your reflections on CPD
activities: keep your summary record of CPD activities on IfL’s Reflect or keep your summary record of
CPD activities in a Word document that you email to IfL at the end of the CPD cycle.
The Personal Learning Space is user friendly but suffers from a lack of spellchecker or the ability to
save the CPD activity sheets as Word documents.
Institute for Learning Reflect
Using the Reflect tool
1. Create a CPD Record
Log in as a member
Go to Create New (you may need to click on More…. to find the option)
Choose CPD Record
Name it ‘IfL CPD Record 08/09’
Choose a tag (if you choose a tag now it can’t be altered so you may want to add later)
Describe the purpose of the record e.g. CPD record for IfL
Choose option to use this as your IfL record
Choose a template on page 2
Set the dates 01/09/08 – 31/08/09 on page 3
Save your record by clicking on the green tick on page 4
When complete at end of year, send to IfL
2. Create an Action Plan
Go to Create New Detailed information can
Choose Action Plan be found in the Help
Title – ‘CPD Action Plan 2008/09’ Guides on the IfL
Choose a tag Members’ Home page,
Complete sections on: which you access once
current situation you log in on the IfL main
ideal situation Home page www.ifl.ac.uk
SWOT analysis If you manage all of this
resources needed you may want to explore
reflection the other areas such as
time spent on the reflection sharing with peers, writing
Save your record by clicking on the green tick on page 7 a blog, adding thoughts…
3. Create a CPD Activity (one type of Asset) for each CPD activity undertaken
Go to Create New
Choose a tag (you can choose more than one)
Give reasons for choosing the activity
Outline knowledge/skills gained
Outline the expected impact
Reflect (usually at a later stage)
Record time spent on the activity
Choose Send to CPD Record on page 4
Save your activity by clicking on the green tick on page 4
4. Edit Activities
Go to View
Choose View All
Select appropriate activity
5. Send CPD Record to IfL at the end of the year (by August 31st 2009)
Go to View
Choose View All
Choose CPD record
Choose send CPD record to IfL
Teaching and Learning Programme
Within the Teaching and Learning Programme’s website there is a Continuing Professional
Development area, providing a variety of approaches to CPD. The area covers activities to use with
learners or peers exploring different pedagogical approaches and CPD builders for different subjects
to help plan professional development.
Sections in Continuing Professional Development area:
Defining CPD What is meant by CPD and reflective practice?
Small steps – big Scaling tool to help identify areas to include in professional
difference development plan.
Putting CPD into Facility to create own reflective log to help provide evidence for your
action CPD portfolio. The log can be saved on online in QIA’s Excellence
Gateway or downloaded as an RTF file so that you can adapt and
share your thoughts.
CPD Builder Provides suggestions for CPD activities for different subjects and
vocational areas linked to the materials produced by the Teaching
and Learning Programme. Each module is 10 hours long.
CPD Library Documents relating to approaches for supporting professional
development e.g. information on the use of teaching squares for
observation. ‘Planning and developing CPD sessions’ includes a
useful checklist on what makes effective CPD.
Guidance notes are available to help you work through the Professional Development Cycle and also
to provide suggestions on how the different sections can be used as part of staff development.
Closely linked to the Continuing Professional Development area is an area looking at 10 pedagogy
approaches to teaching and learning.
The 10 pedagogic approaches are:
assessment for learning
embedding literacy, language and numeracy (LLN)
relating theory and practice
using e-learning and technology
Sections in the Effective Teaching and Learning area:
Using the 10 pedagogy Introduction to the 10 approaches to teaching and
approaches learning that have been shown to make a significant
impact on learning.
Talking teaching, training Set of cards to encourage discussion around the 10
and learning pedagogy approaches.
Quick start guides Interactive activity and downloadable resources to get you
started looking at the different approaches.
Equality and diversity quick Section looks at equality and diversity in relation to
start guide teaching and learning.
Toolkits Material to look more in-depth at the use of planning,
case studies, co-operative learning, peer-review and
Summary of the three online CPD tools
National Centre for Excellence in Self-evaluation tool, linked to LLUK professional
Teaching Maths standards for Maths
Personal learning space to record CPD
www.ncetm.org.uk Option to record CPD activity using IfL’s CPD format
Can share material for peer review
For all the advantages you need to Wide range of resources to support CPD for
register with NCETM numeracy and maths teachers
Reflect (IfL’s online tool) Detailed guidance on what CPD can include
Links with the annual CPD submission to IfL
www.ifl.ac.uk IfL’s official tool for recording CPD
Peer review/professional dialogue comments can be
You need to be a member of IfL to use added to CPD activity sheets and CPD records
Reflect Ability to customise look of own online area
Teaching and Learning Programme Guidance on what is meant by CPD
Online reflective log
http://teachingandlearning.qia.org.uk Tools to help decide what CPD to undertake linked
to teaching and learning
You need to register with Excellence Wide range of resources to support CPD for
Gateway to use all the features of the vocational teachers
online tool Resources to develop CPD within an organisation