Learning from helping others: HCPC audit

In the fourth in a series of articles on preparing for the HCPC audit, CSP professional adviser Gwyn Owen looks at how we can learn from helping others to learn.

My inspiration for this article comes from chatting to members about their experiences of running some in-service training sessions to help colleagues prepare for the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) continuing professional development (CPD) audit.
In the event, none of their colleagues was selected to participate in the 2016 audit. ‘That must have been a relief!’ I said. ‘Yes’ they replied. ‘Though I did feel quite cross that we’d spent time and emotional energy preparing for something that didn’t happen. But now I’m getting feedback from my colleagues about how the sessions made them feel more confident about maintaining CPD, I’m feeling much better about it. And have come to see that if I can help others learn, it also helps me.’
The relationship between supporting learning in practice and CPD is described more formally in the CSP code
Section 4.3 notes that all members support others’ learning and development by:
  • helping create a learning environment and culture
  • sharing their learning with others
  • creating opportunities to promote learning in practice

Helping others learn and develop 

The process of supporting learning in practice can have a multiplicative effect. It can benefit the learner as well as the person facilitating that learning. And as that learning is consolidated and developed in practice, it also benefits the service and people using the service (an expectation of HCPC CPD Standards 3 and 4). 
Another member explains how this worked in practice: ‘I’m keen to build on what the in-service training sessions have achieved so far. I want to help colleagues see that CPD isn’t just about the HCPC audit or something we have to do to tick a box, but that CPD is integral to our role. After all, CPD cannot only provide greater job satisfaction, but can also improve patient care. And surely that’s something we should be proud of.’ 
The potential CPD value of meeting our professional responsibility to support learning in practice is recognised by the HCPC too. The list of CPD activities on its website includes many of the opportunities to support individual and group learning that are part and parcel of our day-to-day practice as CSP members. 
It’s clear from chatting with members that the process of supporting learning in practice creates opportunities to:
  • apply and consolidate existing behaviours, knowledge and skills, and learn new ones  
  • develop and demonstrate your capacity to meet new challenges
  • develop capacity for leadership and facilitating change 
  • support development – of people and physiotherapy practice
  • meet the expectations of professional practice 
So next time you’re invited to give a lecture, provide a student placement, run a Tweetchat, support a colleague’s (re)entry into practice, hold a journal club, or another opportunity to support learning in practice – why not think about the CPD potential of the invitation? 

CSP resources

There are resources on the CSP’s website to help you promote learning in practice.   
iCSP: visit the learning and development, practice educators, and recruitment, retention and return to practice networks on iCSP to share information and ideas about helping others learn and develop. 
Do you want to become a practice educator? If so, see here
Are you interested in championing CPD? You’ll find more information about becoming a CSP learning champion here.  
The CPD in Practice series offers resources to help members meet the expectations of professionalism. 
This interactive resource contains downloadable templates to help you design and deliver a CPD session to meet specific learning objectives, and tools to help you evaluate the outcomes of that session.   
This resource offers information, guidance and case studies to support the ongoing development of practice-based learning. Work is underway to update this resource. Email learninganddevelopment@csp.org.uk for more. 
Returning to UK Physiotherapy practice: CPD Syd’s guide.  This resource is designed to help members working through the process of returning to the HCPC’s register following a break in physiotherapy practice/registration. 

How to use this article to support your CPD

This activity will help you recognise and record the CPD potential of helping others learn and to develop and create a record of how you’re meeting your professional responsibility to support others’ learning and development. 
The prompts are broad enough to apply to the wide variety of opportunities to help others learn and develop that are available in practice. 
Think back to a situation where you provided a successful learning opportunity. 

1.  Describe what you did to help someone else learn. You might find these prompts helpful to structure your record. 

  • what were you aiming to achieve?
  • what did you do to prepare for the learning opportunity?
  • how did you deliver the learning opportunity?
  • how did the learner(s) respond to you?
  • what feedback did you get from the learner(s) during/after the learning opportunity?
  • how effective was the learning experience? How do you know if it was?

2.  Does your record show evidence of your ability to

  • assess the learners’ needs and preferences
  • design materials and experiences that facilitate learning and development
  • deliver materials and experiences that facilitate learning
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the learning and development experience
  • reflect on the learning and development process

3.  What does your reflection tell you about your ability to help others learn and develop?

4.  How will you apply this learning in your future practice? 

Remember to add the date and a note of what the piece demonstrates before the record with any notes from the activity in your portfolio. And finally, set a date in your diary to evaluate how the learning from completing this task has changed your practice.  
Gwyn Owen

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