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CPD Business School

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The CPD Business School offers action learning routes to professional management qualifications, including awards at Certificate, Diploma and Master’s levels. The focus on action learning is in contrast to more traditional approaches.

Dr Richard Hale of the School says that certain traditional assumptions are upturned by the action learning approach. He points out that traditional models are too often based on a scenario where:

- someone devises a syllabus (trying to second guess what will be relevant for the learner)

- someone else has to teach the syllabus

- courses are marketed to a business audience

- a manager persuades the company to sponsor him or her

- the manager finds that only some aspects of the syllabus are relevant.

Richard says, "On this last point I have had many conversations with managers who have said they are going through the motions in order to achieve the qualification, even though the syllabus content or method is far from relevant to their job or career. And the organisation has no say in what is taught."

The CPD Business School action learning approach says:

- the manager is mature enough to know what challenges she or he wishes to tackle and learn from

- the manager develops or selects, with faculty help, Action Learning Questions based on real work challenges and problems

- she or he works on these in the work-place and selects relevant texts to read and broaden knowledge (based on the problem not on a predetermined reading list)

- this is written up in the form of an Action Learning Response and is assessed leading incrementally to the qualification.

It is action and learning that are assessed and not isolated knowledge. "When I explain this to people," says Richard, "they are often amazed that such a route exists and the questions are usually about how it compares with a traditional Business School MBA. The answer is it doesn't!"

For further information visit the CPD Business School website or e-mail Richard Hale.

Back to ICPD.

Article posted by Graham Guest.

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