TAE50111 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training
TAE50211 Diploma of Training Design and Development
TAEPDD501A – Maintain and Enhance Professional Practice
The only competitive edge left in business today and in the future, is in the quality of the people – their knowledge, experience and skills. Technology, products and services can be quickly copied, but the quality of the people cannot be replicated
When my clients ask: ‘But what if I invest in training and development of our people, and they leave?’ my response is: ‘What if you don’t and they stay?’ (Henry 2007, p.118).
Model high standards of performance
Professional Practice can be described in terms of professional practice knowledge and is comprised of (Kemmis 2010):
- Scientific theoretical knowledge
- Professional craft knowledge, or knowing how to do something
- Personal knowledge about oneself as a person and in relationships with others
Everyone’s capability should increase over time. However without proper nurturing and direction, an organisation’s employees (human capital) can reduce their level of contribution (Mayo 2006, p.133). Unfulfilled potential of people will impact on the organisation’s performance and profits.
You should take a planned approach to your personal development needs (adapted from Robbins et al 2000).
a) Self-Analysis: examine personal talents, skills (against relevant benchmarks), values, needs, interests and expectations. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Also reflect on your personal efficacy by thinking about how you have developed feedback strategies and how you react to that feedback, reviewing your personal competence in achieving objectives and attaining personal outcomes, and your ability to analyse and evaluate operational accountabilities. How do you prioritise your own personal development? Not only does a learner explore the meaning of ‘material’ presented for learning, but he/she reflects on the meaning it has for his/her own life (Palloff and Pratt 1999, p.133).
b) Do an environmental analysis of your prospects for growth is about externally scanning your opportunities, threats, constraints and occupational endeavours. Seek advice from other relevant personnel about how to update and maintain currency. Investigate VET training or formal or tertiary education training e.g. degree, or post graduate qualification.
c) Determine your long-term career endeavours (and perhaps get a coach or mentor).
d) Implement an action plan (and seek support for your plan).
e) Continually evaluate your progress.
Collaborate with peers in professional development
- Try to observe other facilitators in facilitation practice and provide them with constructive feedback.
- Invite peers to observe your practices.
- Interview assessors in relation to the judgments they make in their assessment practices.
- Invite peers to question your judgments in assessing.
- Be a mentor or coach.
Learning and development means making changes in both thought and behaviour. Making such changes can be daunting to some, so keep in mind that people learn best when they feel secure through their colleagues support.
Collaboration develops trust and a positive workplace setting for professional development.
Reward and recognise success and achievement.
Acceptance is a gift we can give to people, at work and in our personal lives, which will encourage them to be the best they can be, and consequently, improve our relationships with them. I invite you to join me on a journey of awareness, understanding, tolerance and ultimately acceptance of difference, which will enable each of us to create a better future and world for many generations to come!(Avril Henry 2007)
Participate in professional development activities
Trainers and managers must select and implement development opportunities to support continuous learning and maintain a currency of professional practice.
- Professional networking is invaluable.
- Staff should engage in observing peers in training and assessment practices
- Technology must be used to maintain regular communication with relevant networks, organisations and individuals.
- Ensure that professional development is relevant, motivating and applicable.
- Subscribe to an industry journal, magazine or newsletter to read about how and why other people and organisations engage in professional development.
Reflect on and evaluate professional practice
Managers and leaders should encourage employees to reflect on their career aspirations, and hence evaluate past training and their future professional training needs.
Reflection is much more than just thinking about something, it is ongoing, it is about self-reflection, open-mindedness and responsibility, and reflections in action (implementation), on action (after implementation) and for action (for future planning and innovation) (Hinde McLeod and Reynolds 2007).
Areas of poor professional practice must be identified. Feedback on savings made, productivity improvements, service improvements and success in meeting key performance indicators (KPI) through good professional practice, is important in evaluating an organisation’s success in terms of meeting its goals’(ANTA 2005).
What kinds of practices hinder performance?
- Poor systems and practices are allowed to continue unquestioned (ANTA 2005)
- A lack of awareness of developments and trends which impact on professional practice
- Known information is not integrated into work performance
- When feedback from colleagues and clients identifying improvements is not acted upon (poor leadership, or non-involvement of leader/manager).
- When there is not a plan for professional practice improvement, and when learning and development in changing behaviour in accordance with the organisation’s systems and processes, is not documented
- Not maintaining high ethical standards (i.e. not maintaining moral obligations, corporate, social and public responsibility, transparency, accountability and good governance, integrity, honesty and so on).
Contribute to our BLOG by posting additional ideas/thoughts on how to maintain and enhance professional practice.