A Never-Ending story: PD in Adult Education

Ongoing professional development is a feature of all of the regulatory frameworks that Australian-based Navitas business units work within. Giving staff the time and resources to pursue development in their field is a regulatory responsibility of every organisation providing Vocational Education and Training (VET), Higher Education, Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) and English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

This makes sense, of course. Adult education is a dynamic industry affected by many factors including external forces such as the cost of living in Australia and changes in government regulation. With student cohorts changing over time it’s important that all staff members reflect on their practice and strive to develop skills that support them in meeting all students’ needs.

The requirements for professional development across VET, Higher Education, ESOS and ELICOS are very similar – and equally non-specific. There are no hard and fast rules on the amount or type of development activities that staff have to undertake only that providers must be able to demonstrate that staff engage in development activities. To meet these requirements meaningfully, continuing professional development needs to be supported, not only as a compliance requirement but also as a central part of a provider’s ethos.

Looking to the future, it seems a stronger focus is being placed on industry-recognised Continuing Professional Development Frameworks (CPDF). In many industry sectors CPDFs allow individuals to collect evidence of, and assign a value to, professional development activities. This means the more PD you genuinely engage in both as a participant and facilitator, the more valued your skills may be by employers. The quality of engagement is an important factor in the value of PD, of course. Taking the time to not only capture PD activities but reflect, even in just a couple of lines, on what you’ve learnt and how you can see yourself using the training elevates this from a box-ticking exercise to something of real value.

For more information on developments in this area in adult education check out Clare McGrath’s write up on the launch of the new English Australia CPD Framework.


For more information, contact Kate.Hudson@navitas.com or connect with her on Yammer. 

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