ASPIRE Symposium 2013

On 13 September I attended a symposium at the University of Exeter that aimed to provide an opportunity to share practice in relation to the continuing professional development of staff who teach (ASPIRE is the name of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme at Exeter).

As the member of the Educational Development team who is leading on the implementation of the University of Liverpool Teaching Recognition and Accreditation (ULTRA) Framework, it was interesting to hear how colleagues are addressing CPD in their own institutions. The focus of the day was the successful implementation of accredited CPD schemes, and there was a lot of interesting discussion and debate in the breakout sessions. One of the main themes was the need to explore ways in which staff can evidence excellence in teaching, and the role that a CPD Framework can play in supporting staff to do this effectively. Other key issues included:

  • the importance of ensuring that Frameworks for CPD are located firmly within existing University structures
  • the need to involve all staff who support learning and teaching, including lecturers, professional services staff and technical support staff
  • the potential for recognition through accredited CPD Frameworks to be linked to promotion criteria

The universities represented at the symposium are at varying stages of the development and implementation of their CPD schemes. Some are at the early stages of gaining support for the idea from senior management, while others had recently had their scheme approved at institutional level, and accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Here in Liverpool, the details of the ULTRA Framework are being finalised currently, and we have been working with a small group of staff to ensure support will be available within each Faculty. We hope to submit our Framework for HEA accreditation this semester, and to recruit the first cohort of applicants for ULTRA Fellowship soon. Please contact me at the Centre for Lifelong Learning if you would like further Information.

Janis McIntyre, ULTRA coordinator, Educational Development Division, Centre for Lifelong Learning