Evaluate the potential barriers to effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Suggested structure for TASK 4
Evaluate the potential barriers to effective Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
and, for each barrier, propose how it might be overcome.
(25 marks)
5.0 Defining Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
Paragraph 1 – 2 references, 120 words
 Define Continuous Professional Development – citation (CIPD 2009): used to describe the learning
activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. It enables learning to become
conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive. It refers to the process of tracking and
documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as
you work, beyond any initial training. It’s a record of what you experience, learn and then apply.
 Explain how it works: Some key principles of CPD include:
o Should be a documented process
o be self-directed: driven by the employee and not the employer. Both employee and employer
have a joint responsibility – citation: Crossham and Fields (2007)
o focus on learning from experience, reflective learning and review
o helps the employee set development goals and objectives
o include both formal and informal learning.
 Provide a benefit of CPD to employees: CPD has the potential to motivate staff and engage staff to
perform to higher levels of performance. The provision of training opportunities adds to the personal
development and career development of staff which motivates staff. With CPD opportunities, the job
becomes more rewarding to staff encourages greater employee commitment and morale.
 Provide a benefit of CPD to organisations: CPD initiatives have the potential to boost staff commitment
and engagement to the job and the employer. This results in greater employee productivity and
contribution to higher levels of business performance. Also, with the sense of greater employee
commitment, employers are able to keep staff and therefore reduce their labour turnover rates.
Without a doubt, CPD initiatives helps employees to take on extended assignments and better
prepares the employee to respond to changes in the working environment. In the medium to long
term, companies can benefit from innovative products and services and competitive advantage over
their rivals.
5.1 Evaluation of the barriers to CPD
Choose 3 out of 4 barriers listed to discuss (1) lack of organizational and professional association support, 2)
organizational culture may not be conducive to CPD 3) constraints in time, cost and suitable opportunities for
CPD 4) Structure barriers such as staff shortages, emphasis on meeting work targets, work overload and
general lack of communication on CPD activities and 5. Culture of complacency that does not support CPD.
For each selected barrier, use a paragraph to discuss in 200 words, comprising of at least 3 citations.
Altogether this section will contain 3 paragraphs with at least 9 citations.
Paragraph 2 – 250 words, 4 references – Constraints in time availability, costs and suitable opportunities
 Define one – constraints in time availability, costs constraints and suitable opportunities as a major
barrier to CPD. Time pressures at work, combined with the demands of home and family, make
undertaking CPD a difficult task for many, however motivated staff may be for such
training.Additionally, even though organisations maybe willing to fund their employees’ CPD, they
often demand that such activities be justified in terms of specific relevance to profit generation.
Additionally, some employers constrained staff in their development activities to those that are deemed
organisationally worthy and CPD activities which are affordable given the constraints of training
budgets.
 Identify how this one factor acts as barriers to CPD eg With high workloads and the focus of meeting
targets in sales and production for example, employees will not have the time for such training. Also,
decreases in company revenues and profits may also reduce such training opportunities given to staff.
Some managers and line supervisors may disregard CPD activities which are not directly related to
profit generation or costs reduction.
 Identify the negative impact of this one barrier on employees – For example, with the lack of CPD
training, staff may feel despondent and demotivated as their need for personal development towards
career development are not satisfied.
 Identify the negative impact of this one barrier on the company a whole – For example, with fewer CPD
training, staff may be demotivated which can lead to low productivity and eventual labour turnover as
staff seeks alternative employers in the external labour marketing willing to invest the time and monies
in employee training and development.
 Provide an example from your chosen company that illustrates this one constraint – time, costs and
suitable opportunities that act as a barrier to CPD .
 Recommend a suitable strategy which your business can use to overcome this one barrier. For
example:
o Challenge: (cost) lack of financial resources for training; Solutions (careful
budgeting and apportioning a small percentage of profits towards the
company’s training budget, using internal staff such as experienced
managers to mentor and coach junior staff members in small weekly
sessions which can be formal (and free) as well informal, setting up an
internal training department or corporate university to provide staff with the
CPD training required in a customized manner to the business)
Paragraph 3- 250 words, 4 references – Lack of organizational support and professional association support
 Define the barrier to CPD – lack of organizational support and professional association support. For
example, some managers cannot identify the potential merits in training and developing staff and are
reluctant to provide such opportunities. Additionally, some managers believe that allowing staff to
participate in training opportunities may suggest time away from work and therefore will result in lost
employee and organisational productivity. Additionally, many managers have the view that training
and empowering staff through CPD initiatives are not directly linked to profit generation. As such, they
are unwilling to commit financial resources to such events, especially in times of economic uncertainty.
Also, Professional associations such as ACCA for Accountants and CIPS, BATT, MPATT, HRMATT, AATT
for Procurement professionals also have a responsibility in imparting emerging trends and best
practices to members in their respective fields. In many cases, employees can feel neglected and even
alienated from their membership associations with the general lack of communication and support
from these bodies.
 Explain how this factor act as a barrier to CPD: For example, with the lack of organizational support and
senior management advocacy for the concept, there would be fewer opportunities employees to be
trained. The company may be unwilling to free employees’ time to participate and/or unwilling to
commit the financial resources.
 Identify the negative impact of this one barrier on employees– For example, stifled growth, employee
remains at the same level of competency, with the lack of CPD training, staff may feel despondent and
demotivated as their need for personal development towards career development are not satisfied.
 Identify the negative impact of this one barrier on the company as a whole – For example, with less
opportunities for CPD training, staff may be demotivated which can lead to low productivity and
eventual labour turnover as staff seeks alternative employers willing to invest the time and monies in
employee training and development.
 Provide an example from your chosen company that illustrates this one constraint – Lack of
organizational support and professional association support
 Recommend a suitable strategy which your business can use to overcome this barrier. For example:
o Barrier: lack of organizational support in terms of the willingness of senior
leadership and availability of financial resources; Solutions: 1) HR and line
managers should benchmark (compare) competitors of the company who are
providing CPD to their staff, highlight the results such as increase in bottom
line profits resulting from innovations in products and services, greater
employee engagement and higher staff retention 2) Training interventions
for senior leaders on the CPD and its benefits to the bottom line of
companies may result in willingness to devote funds)
Paragraph 4- 250 words, 4 references – Structural barriers such as staff shortages, emphasis on meeting
work targets, work overload and general lack of communication on CPD activities, and a culture of
complacency
 Define the barrier to CPD – citation: Structural barriers are often defined as specific work flow
challenges in the workplace which can restrict opportunities for the CPD of staff. Some areas of
structural barriers include: staff shortages, drive towards meeting sales, revenue and operating costs
targets, work overload in departments and lack of communication by HR/line managers on CPD events
generally.
 Explain how the factor may come about – citation: In a turbulent macro environment where revenues
are curtailed and there is high competition and volatility in the marketplace, the emphasis on meeting
targets for sales, revenue and cost reduction coupled with staff shortage may stifle CPD activities in
workplaces.
 Give an example of this barrier in a department in your selected company: For example, the marketing
department may notice decreased sales for this period when compared to last year. As a result, revised
sales targets are given to sales agents in the field to generate the needs sales volume for the period.
This may result in longer working hours and increased workload effort which results in adequate time
by sales agents to engage in CPD activities. In another example, staff shortages in the production
department or administration department due to staff turnver, holiday periods and staff scheduled
vacation may create a staff shortage given the department workload and aspired to targets. As a result,
the existing staff who are tied down with heavy workloads may not have the time for CPD activities.
 Identify the negative impact of this barrier on employees CPD activities: For example, with less
opportunities for CPD training, staff may be demotivated which can lead to low productivity and
eventual labour turnover as staff seeks alternative employers willing to invest the time and monies in
employee training and development.
 Identify the negative impact of this barrier on the company: Fewer opportunities for CPD training of
staff may lead to staff dissatisfaction as their needs for new knowledge are not realized. This can result
in staff turnover and low staff retention in the medium to long term. Additionally, the business may run
the risk of having a workforce with outdated skills which can inhibit the company’s ability to launch
innovative products and services in competing against rivals.
 Recommend a suitable strategy which your business can use to overcome this barrier. For example:
o Challenge: staff shortages in a department curtails the ‘freeing up” of staff
for CPD. Solution: practicing job rotation, hiring more staff in anticipation of
staff shortages
o Challenge: emphasis of meeting work targets and work overload Solution:
Design CPD activities into the employee’s work in meeting sales targets,
production targets etc. For example, management needs to communicate
the importance of and provide staff with the training opportunities to acquire
the skills which will aid in meeting the outlined targets.
5.3 Judgement of the most significant barrier
1 paragraph, 80 words – 2 citations
 Make a judgement (please research and provide evidence) on which from the 3 barriers previously
discussed in the most significant barrier to CPD for organisations
 Then show that this barrier is the most significant barrier against CDP as your chosen organization
 Make a judgement on which solution to overcoming barriers to CPD is the most effective
 Show this solution is the most effective at your chosen organization
How to write and Introduction
1.0 Introduction [75 words]
 Opening sentence that emphasizes the importance of organizational and employee agility
 State the purpose of the report (paraphrase tasks 1,2, 3 and 4 in future tense)
 Company chosen for discussion and why
How to write a conclusion
6.0 Conclusion [75 words]
 Write one sentence or two that summarizes each of the 4 tasks you have written.
 Do not introduce new material in the conclusion.
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