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Continuing Professional Development in the UK: Policies and Programmes – Book Review


Title : Continuing Professional Development in the UK : Policies and Programmes
Editors : Andrew Friedman, Kelly Davis, Catherine Durkin, and Mary Phillips
Publisher : Professional Association Research Network (PARN), University of Bristol, 43 Woodland Road, Clifton, Bristol
243 pages
ISBN : 0-9538347-0-0
Price : £40 (£30 to members of PARN)

I was particularly interested in reviewing this book as I am currently managing a project that is researching the need for a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) framework for the Not-for-Profit sector. I am therefore interested in finding models of good practice, researching the development in other fields and examining the philosophy behind CPD. This book was an excellent source for all this information and more and was written in a clear and concise language and format.

The book is part of an ongoing series on the provision of CPD through the UK professional associations. The book is based on research conducted by The Professional Associations Research Network which was funded by the Department for Education and Employment and builds on the previous title in the series Building a CPD Network on the Internet.

The book documents the definitions and development of Continuing Professional Development and examines the philosophy behind the policies and programmes developed by professional associations. Of particular interest are the in-depth examination of the major features of CPD programmes and the practical examples of “interesting” practice and good practice. One of the main conclusions from the research analysis is that “ the situations and requirements of associations and the professions they represent are too different to apply strict guidelines on CPD.” The book therefore, does not give a detailed blueprint for good practice but instead suggests factors that need to be considered and suggests renewed reflection on the purposes and promises of CPD.

This book is an excellent resource for all those working in the fields of continuing education and lifelong learning and is a useful addition to the library of anyone interested in Continuing Professional Development.
Information on PARN and the research for this book can be found on the PARN website

Alison Lowe


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