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Policy Paper on Continuing Professional Development [July 2006]

1)What is CPD? Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is defined by the LAI as a “planned and systematic approach to the maintenance, improvement and enhancement of knowledge competencies and skills, including personal mediation skills, appropriate to the needs of its members, their employers and society”.

2) Why engage in CPD? The LAI believes that all levels of staff in the information and library sector require to engage in CPD on a continuing career-long basis in order to maintain and update knowledge, skills and competencies appropriate to the dynamic information environment in which they work

3) What counts as CPD? CPD comprises a wide range of learning activity both formal and informal, including activities which take place within a Group structure or in a personal / private context. These may include for example: 3.1) Group Learning

  • Formal training programmes (on and off the job)
  • Academic Studies based in formal learning institution, full or part-time, with/without distance learning components,
  • Research Activity,
  • Engagement in Mentoring Programmes,
  • Personal Professional Development,
  • Service to the Profession resulting in professional development of others,
  • Attendance at or contribution to, Conferences, Seminars, Lectures, Workshops,
  • Study Visits of short or lengthy duration.

3.2) Private Self-Directed Learning:

  • Verifiable structured learning, reading, research or writing,

3.3) Informal Learning:

  • Visiting libraries, museums or galleries,
  • Membership of local reading groups or local history groups,
  • Learning focused field trips or site visits.
  • Development of personal academic, inter-personal or management skills through personal challenges.

4) Providers of CPD

Many organisations, for example, Universities, Local Education Groups, An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (The Library Council), Local Authorities, Institute of Public Administration, and The Irish Management Institute, provide courses appropriate to the CPD needs of the Information and Library sector. Such courses may be validated by the organisations concerned either directly or by arrangement with external organisations. The LAI may approve such courses for CPD purposes. It may also enter into partnership arrangements with existing course providers, including by inviting them to seek LAI approval for their courses.

5) The role of the Library Association of Ireland in providing courses which afford CPD opportunity.

Sections or Groups of the LAI may offer courses or programmes of learning for which LAI Certificates of Attendance, subject to meeting certain criteria as determined by the Education Committee, are issued. The validation of courses provided directly by the LAI will be consistent with Rules and Regulation of the LAI currently in force. Relevant documents are available on the LAI website.

6) CPD leading to Award of Associateship (ALAI) and Fellowship (FLAI).

Participation in approved courses provided by Sections or Groups of the LAI may be taken into account by the Education Committee in assessing applications for Associateship or Fellowship of the LAI. The LAI may also take into account attendance by its candidate members at formal courses of study provided by relevant professional or other bodies. Other evidence of Continuing Professional Development ( CPD) including developmental activity of an informal nature as noted in 3 above, may be taken into consideration in assessing and recommending Associateship or Fellowship. In this context the Education Committee advises LAI members that they should maintain a Personal Portfolio to include certificates and other documentary evidence which indicate commitment and progression in a continuing learning process throughout their career.

July 2006