Over the last few weeks we have looked at different ways to keep up to date and learn continuously. This is the new continuous CPD, as I wrote about in my Rethinking CPD blog post. In other words it’s not just about taking an occasional course or attending a conference once a year but tapping into a continuous stream of information.
It’s also important to take responsibility for your own CPD – no one is going to keep you up to date. Here is a good reading on this topic: When It Comes to Ongoing HR Development, It’s Really Up to You
But there is a lot of stuff out there, so it will be necessary to keep focused on what you are doing – rather than “drinking from the firehouse” so to speak – and becoming overwhelmed by it all.
And, additionally, whilst it may be quite appropriate and obvious to you to use a variety of different resources to develop yourself, if may not be that obvious to your organisation, who still see social channels and networks as social NOT-working – and may even ban their use.
So one way to keep focused and also to convince others (e.g. your manager) that all these ways of learning are valid is to formalise the process by creating your own Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which will identify the need for access to a continuous drip-feed of content and people.
An ILP comprises a number of elements:
- A set of goals that you hope to achieve within a specific period of time. Larger goals are best broken down into manageable sub-goals that can be realized within weeks or months. Each learning goal (or sub goal) has a series of concrete steps or actions that the person will take to move towards the goal.
- Each action is then associated with one or more resources and with evidence.
- Resources can be both formal or informal (depending on the individual’s choice)
- content – e.g. formal courses or informal content
- people – e.g. formal coaches and mentors or informal connections with thought leaders, industry analysts or other practitioners
- Evidence is used to demonstrate that an action has been taken, that progress towards the goal has been made, and finally that the goal has been achieved. Evidence might be videos, testimonials, or other resources. But, note, evidence of taking a course (certificate, digital badge) isn’t evidence of achieving a performance goal. Evidence can be private, when the person does not need to demonstrate to other people that the goal has been achieved, or more public, e.g. when it is required for organisational reasons.
- You can use a Learning Log to evidence your learning (as you are doing in this Challenge). But you might evidence your new performance in an extended format, like a Professional Learning Portfolio (see pages 159-160 of the MWL book).
- Note that Learning Logs and Learning Portfolios are personal tools (rather than organisational tools). This means that you can take them with you when you move from job to job.
(a) Download the ILP template here as a Word document (you will need to enter your username and password to access it)
(b) Complete it yourself to set our your own learning plan for the next 6 months.
(c) Attach it to your Learning Log.