N-DAP Continuing Professional Development
What is Continuing Professional Development or CPD?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a personal commitment to keeping your professional knowledge up to date and improving your capabilities. It focuses on what you learn and how you develop throughout your career. Chartered Institute of Personnel Development
To assist and facilitate the Continuing Professional Development process N-DAP have set up a number of downloadable and accessible resources including:
- An example of a CPD record index sheet
- A sample of a reflective learning log sheet
- A skills self appraisal (aligned to National Occupational Standards),
- Information (and a sample framework) on how to keep a reflective learning account.
- The DANOS software tool to help you build a DANOS based role profile.
- Information on the Norfolk DAAT bursary scheme
- Information on local accredited and non accredited training courses
- NVQ 3 and progression awards / local centres
- Lastly N-DAP send out periodic e-mails featuring the latest conference details. For further details please see end of document. If you would like to be put on the conference mailing list please let us know
The NTA and Professional Development
The National Treatment Agency has in the past argued that:
required expansion and improvement of the treatment sector cannot be achieved without significant expansion in the workforce and a step change in the training and professional development of these employees.
The Substance Misuse Skills Consortium
In November 2010 the NTA launched the Substance Misuse Skills Consortium (SMSC). This is an independent sector-led initiative to harness the ideas, energy and talent within the substance misuse treatment field, to maximise the ability of the workforce, and to help more drug and alcohol misusers recover.
The consortium will help the substance misuse treatment sector to:
- Identify what the treatment workforce needs to promote and sustain better outcomes for service users, their families and communities;
- Review and develop initiatives to attract and retain the workforce
- Equip practitioners and managers with the relevant skills.
The SMSC is developing a national skills framework and an online skills hub of underpinning resources.
The Skills Hub:
The skills hub is an interactive, online resource providing access to the guidance, evidence, implementation guides, manuals and other resources needed by treatment services wanting to implement the skills framework.
Follow the link to the Skills Hub.
The Development Cycle
As you will see from the diagram reproduced below, professional development is a constant process of reflection, planning, action and evaluation.
Reproduced by kind permission of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
the copyright belongs to the RPSGB.
The Development Cycle starts with the question ‘Why is my development required’ the next stage prompts you to consider what development opportunities there are that might meet your development needs. The answer to these questions help in the formulation of an action plan. Once this plan has been put into action, the last two stages can be considered. Firstly, what has been achieved, as a direct result of the action plan activity, and lastly, reflecting on the whole process, has this met your present specific development needs.
Building a portfolio of CPD evidence
The CPD portfolio is your collection of evidence, this is usually stored in a A4 ring binder folder.
This folder brings toghether in one place the records of all your CPD activities; action plans; qualifications taken; certificates and courses attended as well as your reflective logs where you assess the impact on your learning on your practice.
Supervisors and managers may wish to see your portfolio, but you can remove any information that you do not wish to share. Portfolios may also be requested at contract review meetings, if requested it is important that the information is stored in a manner that a reader can easily find and understand. A front-page index sheet will facilitate that process. If you follow the link below you can access a CPD record index template.
Click here to download an example of a CPD record index sheet as a PDF.
Evidence can be drawn from work-based learning; for example, learning by doing, in service training, significant event analysis. From Professional activity; lecturing / teaching, being a member of a specialist interest group. Formal education and self directed learning, for example reading journals and or articles.
Skills Self Appraisal
In due course the SMSC will be issuing new guidance on the relevant skills required by all practitioners and managers, however, in the meantime if you are a substance misuse work you will have an existing role profile which outlines the current skills required for your job. this will be because your job role has been mapped to DANOS, the Drug & Alcohol National Occupation Standards and/or equivalent suite of standards.
To complete a skills self-assessment you can use a skills assessment questionnaire like the example below to self assess how you currently measure up in the context of a range of important skills. You will need to enter those competencies mapped to your role, in the columns on the left.
However you score yourself, it is useful to ask yourself:
- ‘what evidence do I have for saying this?’ If I am saying I am fully confident and that I already do this completely, how can I evidence this?
If you find it difficult to identify the evidence to show that you have the skill, it may be that you need to put yourself in situations where you can practise the relevant skills.
Click here to download a blank downloadable skills assessment questionnaire as a PDF.
Learning from experience and keeping a reflective account
Reflection means looking back on an experience and making sense of it to identify what to do in the future. Reflection helps you repeat what was effective, learn from mistakes, and it can build confidence. (Bingham and Drew 1999)
What Bingham and Drew are arguing is that we learn and grow professionally by reflection. Recording these experiences forces us to think and question what has happened and to draw out learning to inform our future actions and development.
David Kolb’s experiential learning theory is quoted widely in discussions about informal education and lifelong learning, Kolb created his model out of four elements:
- Concrete experience,
- Observation and reflection,
- The formation of abstract concepts and generalisations
- and testing implications of concepts in new situations.
In Kolb’s model we see that reflecting on experiences is a key stage in our learning. Structured reflection is an effective way of identifying our development needs. And as such we can see the process of reflection as an important part of the Continuing Professional Development process. If we take the stages from Kolb’s theory and re phrase them as questions we have a stepped process for reflecting on and learning from, our experiences.
How to keep a reflective learning account
Shown below is an example you may wish to copy. Click here to download a blank copy of the Reflective Learning Sheet as a PDF.
Reflective Learning Sheet
What was it that happened – what event or learning are you going to reflect on?
Feelings – what was your reaction to the event or learning, how did you feel?
What was good and what was bad about it?
What was really happening? Can any sense be made of the experience?
Conclusions – both in general terms, but also more specifically.
Following on from the previous step, what if there is a next time, and what do you need to do now in light of your reflection and learning.
Reflecting on learning: post-course reflection
it is good practice to reflect on your learning after attending training courses; the link below will give you an example of a post-course reflective learning log.
the structure will help you to record what has been achieved and to reflect on the whole learning process.
Click here to download a Post-course Reflective Learning Tool as a PDF
Norfolk DAAT Bursary Scheme
Norfolk DAAT operates a bursary funding scheme open to people working in the substance misuse sector within the County.
The bursary scheme has been set up to “support people in developing skills of direct and immediate importance to their work in substance misuse services”.
However the scheme is not a means of funding activities that are primarily within the scope of normal professional development.
For more details of our Bursary Scheme and how to apply go the to Bursary page.
Local training courses: DANOS aligned and accredited and non-accredited courses.
Being a rural county poses challenges for the delivery of the training agenda. However, N-DAP is committed to commissioning accessible, good quality and as far as possible, free training, delivered at a range of venues across the county. To further increase accessibility in a very rural county, N-DAP also provides access to online learning packages, for example the National Dual Diagnosis E-Learning Resource, hosted by Coventry University.
Further details about this resource can be found on the Coventry University website, click here for more information.
For the face to face courses
- Training specifications are approved by the Training and Workforce Development group and are informed by DANOS.
- Where possible training is multi-disciplinary and uses local knowledge and talen to meet need across the sector
- This strategy supports the development of a competent workforce accross all tiers.
Identifying training requirements
The N-DAP training plan is informed by the annual treatment plan, which sets out agreed service priorities; from these priorities the associated training requirements are identified. The training plan is aligned to the annual treatment plan, and has an important part to play in helping to achieve or surpass its outcomes.
The N-DAP multi level model of training provision
The N-DAP uses a multi level model for training: Foundation, Intermediary and Specialist. A model is currently replicated for Young People’s Training provision. This provides an effective way of approaching training provision in Norfolk.
The specialist knowledge content of courses increases as the participants move up the scale. The levels are:-
1. Foundation level: for example the Foundation course in drug and alcohol awareness which gives participants a basic understanding of drug and alcohol issues in order that recipients may be able to provide advice, information, initial assessment and appropriate support and referral with confidence.
2. Intermediary: for staff requiring a more advanced level of knowledge in more specific areas of working with drug and alcohol users. Examples of such courses include the Screening and Effective Interventions course and the Certificate of Higher Education in Substance Misuse, developed by N-DAP in collaboration with the University of East Anglia, to provide an accredited course to front line workers and volunteers.
3. Specialist: for staff working within specialist agencies that wish to further their knowledge and skills base. Examples of these courses include the Safer Injecting and Needle Exchange course and the Crack Cocaine course.
There are also specialist forums and conferences, including the 2010 Drugs, Alcohol and Reproductive Health Conference and N-DAP Hidden Harm Forum.
Training providers: N-DAP has a full training programme run in locations around the county. To deliver these courses N-DAP draws upon a number of training providers and also draws upon local treatment providers to share their knowledge with students. Without the help of these people, N-DAP would not be able to deliver the varied calendar of training events for both specialist and generic non-specialist services.
Click here to view a list of our current training courses.
Further learning and qualification progression routes
The Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP):
FDAP's Drug & Alcohol Professional Certification provides a competence-based certification for drug and alcohol practitioners, based around the Drug & Alcohol National Occupational Standards (DANOS).
To be certified as a Drug & Alcohol Professional, practitioners need to provide evidence of competence in nine compulsory NOS unis plus one from a set of optional DANOS units.
Under the scheme, practitioners can be certified as either Registered or Accredited Drug and Alcohol Professionals.
Visit the FDAP website
Until 2010, Great Yarmouth College offered a qualification in Health and Social Care NVQ Level 3, which includes many of the Drug and Alcohol National Occupation Standards (DANOS) which have been developed for those workers who do not already have professional qualifications. The NVQ requires candidates to demonstrate their competence in four core units and four optional units drawn from the DANOS suite.
Since November 2010, no local provider has registered to deliver the QCF Award / Certificate in Working with Substance Misuse - (No. 7542).
Certificate in Higher Education Substance Misuse
N-DAP and the University of East Anglia run a Certificate of Higher Education in Substance Misuse. The Certificate in Higher Education Substance Misuse is a full academic award with 120 credit points at level one, and is split into two parts
- Part One is the classroom based part of the course
- Part Two is the 'Work based Learning' Unit
This 18 month course is equivalent to an NVQ level 4.
N-DAP sends out periodic e-mails featuring the latest conference details, if you would like to be put on the conference mailing list, please contact the N-DAP Training and Workforce Development Officer with your contact details at firstname.lastname@example.org
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