Thursday, 12 November 2009

CPD: no more excuses

Fairly quietly, and fairly uncontroversially, the IfA has just transformed the way that professional archaeologists must behave, by making it compulsory for their members to undertake 25 hours of CPD a year in line with a Personal Development Plan [templates for CPD log and PDP available on their site]. From a vague statement in the code of conduct that archaeologists have a duty to keep themselves well-trained and informed, identifying training needs and fulfilling them has become one of the key responsibilities of a professional worthy of the name. This is good news - I believe that those who claim to be unable to locate any skill gaps either are already in fact managing a lot of CPD or haven't thought about it enough, or at all. They should start with my Action Plan.

The impact of the rule change will vary - in organisations which are Investors In People , employees will already have PDPs which cover both employment-focused and personal development. For others, employers will probably have to accept that training their staff is something they will have to do, and possibly pay for.

But what if the employer can't or won't. Here are some suggestions for CPD activities that will cost little or nothing but will have a instant payoff:

* read the legislation and guidance - Planning Policy, the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Araes Act, the Valetta Convention, Environmental Information Regulations. These are quite interesting once you get into them, and will equip you with a much better grasp of the overall context of your work.

* Time management - Read Getting Things Done and implement it; make an iGoogle homepage ; or just read some advice online.

* Read some journals. Medieval Archaeology, PPS, Britannia, and Post-Medieval Archaeology contain interesting book reviews and reports as well as excavation accounts - now reading them is work.

* Attend one or two day-schools or events. Maybe ones you wouldn't normally go to.

* Generic skills: negotiation, assertiveness, project management, team leadership, effective meetings, report writing.

* Presentation skills: Powerpoint, html, Word

* Master digital photography - find out what ll those buttons actually do, nd see if you can take some photos that show what they are supposed to

That should keep you busy for the first two or three years.

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