Continuing professional development and short courses

The approval processes for continuing professional development and short courses depend whether the training carries credits.

Continuing professional development (CPD) in the University describes short or long training programmes, which:

  • develop employment-related knowledge, skills and understanding, and/or
  • are aimed mainly at developing or updating the skills of people already in employment, or in the labour market but not actually employed.

The CPD may, or may not, carry credits. This is known as credit-bearing or non-credit-bearing CPD and will affect the assurance process you need to follow.

CPD provision is an integral element of a school’s taught provision portfolio. Schools are responsible for maintaining a register of all credit-bearing and non-credit bearing CPD courses and activities. CPD provision will be considered as part of the Student Academic Experience Review process, undertaken for each school every five years.

Credit-bearing CPD

If the CPD carries credits, the University’s normal quality assurance procedures for modules and programmes (including collaborative provision) apply.

Credit-bearing CPD includes, for example, an entire Masters programme or an individual module offered as a free-standing CPD course.

Once approved, all credit-bearing CPD provision should be recorded on the school’s CPD register.

Non credit-bearing CPD

Non credit-bearing CPD courses include summer schools, conferences and other short courses for which no credit is awarded by the University.

If the proposed CPD does not carry credits, the Head of School is normally responsible for its approval. The Head of School consults with the Director of Student Education, the Director of the Graduate School and the faculty Pro-Dean for Student Education or Research, where necessary.

Heads of Schools ensure that the proposed CPD fits with strategic and financial considerations. Before granting approval, they should also be satisfied that these points have been addressed:

  • Aims, objectives and learning outcomes of the provision are clear and are met by the content of the provision.
  • Any assessment (where included) can allow participants to demonstrate the learning outcomes of the provision.
  • Course length and mode of delivery are appropriate.
  • Consideration has been given to professional, statutory and regulatory body requirements and approval (where required).
  • Consideration has been given to whether the provision will be certificated in any way (eg certificates of attendance) and, if so, how this is to be managed.
  • Mechanisms are in place for the quality assurance and enhancement of the provision (eg through feedback from participants and evaluation).

Where there is significant provision which the faculty executive deems to have a high reputational risk, it may be agreed that the same arrangements as for credit-bearing provision should apply.

Once approved, all non-credit-bearing CPD provision should be recorded on the school’s CPD register.