Introducing the Alliance’s bespoke approach to professional development: SMARTpd
Michael Freeston, Director of Quality Improvement at the Alliance, introduces the Alliance's new approach to professional development: SMARTpd, which will offer practitioners and managers a consultation with an experienced, qualified training advisor to tailor their development programme to their needs and budgets.
All early years practitioners need to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. Our understanding of children’s early learning and development is constantly evolving and practice must keep pace with this progress. Regulatory and inspection requirements also change frequently, requiring individual practitioners and staff teams to reflect on and adapt their provision to ensure new demands are met. Supporting all practitioners to improve their practice in this regard is a continual process, rather than a single goal that is demonstrated by a qualification / certificate.
How practitioners access their professional development is also undergoing considerable change. Classroom based training is increasingly being replaced by on-line provision and opportunities for release-from-work for study days are restricted as budgets are squeezed.
Within this changing environment practitioners are often confused about how to prioritise their professional development and managers struggle to coordinate their team’s professional development within a limited training budget.
To address this challenge the Alliance is launching SMARTpd, a bespoke approach to professional development, which will ensure activities and resources meet individuals’ needs and their ability to pay. SMARTpd offers practitioners and managers a consultation with an experienced, qualified training advisor to tailor their development programme to their needs and budgets. Programmes will be constructed from existing Alliance courses, quality improvement schemes, free member resources and reduced price publications.
Eve Smith, Training Administration Manager for the Alliance who has helped develop the SMARTpd approach said, ‘there is so much professional development training and support available that is often hard for a practitioner or team to identify what they could really benefit from. With SMARTpd our staff have done the research on their behalf and can work with them to shape a programme that meets their needs and pocket.’
If you would like to benefit from the new tailored SMARTpd programme please register your interest by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an extract from a longer article on SMARTpd to be published in the Pre-school Learning Alliance’s Under5 magazine in February 2017