In our last QP newsletter, we talked about the limitations of the mandatory continuing education model for professional development and as a proxy for assessing continuing competence.
Another approach that is commonly used with continuing competency or quality assurance programs is a competency assessment. We tried this approach with the RCA (in 2015 and 2018) and as you know, that approach was difficult. Not only did it present some technology challenges, but also it highlighted the challenge of assessing competence given registrants’ many different practice areas and career stages.
We need to ensure that the professional development program is flexible, relevant across the career life span, and is a meaningful process regardless of your practice setting.
As part of the professional development program of the Quality Practice Framework, there will be both a college-selected activity and a self-directed activity.
One of the challenges inherent with self-directed activities is that it can be difficult to know what to focus on. Often the looming renewal deadline can result in choosing an activity that is ‘low hanging fruit’ – quick to complete in a short amount of time. However, the activity may not actually make a meaningful difference for your professional growth.
After reviewing existing research, including approaches taken by other jurisdictions, we developed a quality improvement pathway that forms the basis of the Professional Development program we will pilot this spring. This pathway provides a structure for reflecting on key areas that impact your ability to improve knowledge, skills and abilities relevant to your practice area and career stage.
It is meant to answer the question:
Where should I focus my professional development efforts to improve myself and stay engaged and growing in my career?
The quality improvement pathway looks at four key areas:
- The ability to identify and process learning inputs
- Monitor and manage one’s self-state
- Improve one’s knowledge base and learning processes
- Engage with peers to support learning and growth
The quality improvement pathway will help pinpoint potential areas that will maximize opportunities for growth and engagement as well as guide next steps to defining and tracking self-directed professional development activities. Learn more about each of these four areas by downloading a PDF from our website.
Our aim is that reflection on these areas will help you to identify more robust, practice-focused activities for your self-directed component of the Professional Development program.
In a couple of weeks, we’ll invite you to participate in the upcoming pilot for the Professional Development program. We hope you’ll participate in the pilot to give us feedback on what we have been working on and help shape this important aspect of the Quality Practice Framework.
The Quality Practice Team at CPTBC