What is CPD?

The acronym ‘CPD’ stands for ‘Continuous’ or ‘Continuing Professional Development’ and broadly signifies the process of continuing growth of a professional after joining the profession. In education, generally speaking, it seems that there are two views of CPD – the narrow and the broad. The narrow view considers CPD as the imparting/ acquiring of some specific sets of skills and/ or knowledge in order to deal with some specific new requirements (for example, training teachers to handle a new textbook or using a new teaching aid.) The broad view considers CPD as a much deeper, wider and longer-term process, in which professionals continuously enhance not only their knowledge and skills, but also their thinking, understanding and maturity; they grow not only as professionals, but also as persons; their development is not restricted to their work roles, but may also extend to new roles and responsibilities.

For our purpose we have chosen to define CPD in the following terms:

CPD is a planned, continuous and lifelong process whereby teachers try to develop their personal and professional qualities, and to improve their knowledge, skills and practice, leading to their empowerment, the improvement of their agency and the development of their organizations and their pupils.” [1]

Learning is a never-ending process”.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a platform that provides practical guidance for a teacher educator for his learning and growth. Continuing professional development (CPD) or Continuing professional education (CPE) is the means by which people maintain the knowledge and skills related to their professional lives.

For a teacher educator learning is a never-ending process that assures his student’s growth as per grounded and refined up gradation in education policy which is in turn an outcome of his struggle. To prosecute and execute these educational policies there is indeed a platform that provides practical guidance and theoretical overview and it is Continuing Professional Development Program (Megginson and Whitaker, 2003).

Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.”  Dylan Wiliam

Higher Education funding Council for England defines CPD as:

a range of short and long training programs, some of which have an option of accreditation which hasten the development of employment related knowledge, skills and understanding.”

Indiana College Network (ICN) reproduces just the sentence above as,

CPD is a continuous process of acquiring knowledge and skills throughout one’s professional life.”

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, CPD should:

  • be continuous - professionals should always be looking for ways to improve performance
  • be the responsibility of the individual learner to own and manage
  • be driven by the learning needs and development of the individual
  • be evaluative rather than descriptive of what has taken place
  • be an essential component of professional and personal life, never an optional extra

[1] Padwad, A & Dixit, K. (2011) Continuing Professional Development, An Annotated Bibliography, British Council, L&T Chambers, 1st Floor, 16 Camac Street, Kolkata 700 017, www.britishcouncil.org.in

The Teachers’ Standards set out a number of expectations about professional development; namely, that teachers should:

  • keep their knowledge and skills as teachers up-to-date and be self-critical;
  • take responsibility for improving teaching through appropriate professional development, responding to advice and feedback from colleagues;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how this has an impact on teaching;
  • have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject(s) and curriculum areas;
  • reflect systematically on the effectiveness of lessons and approaches to teaching; and
  • know and understand how to assess the relevant subject and curriculum areas. [1]

The standard [2]

  1. Professional development should have a focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes.
  2. Professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise.
  3. Professional development should include collaboration and expert challenge.
  4. Professional development programmes should be sustained over time.
  5. And all this is underpinned by, and requires that:
  6. Professional development must be prioritised by school leadership.

[1] Standard for teachers’ professional development: Implementation guidance for school leaders, teachers, and organisations that offer professional development for teachers (July 2016), Department of Education

[2] Ibid


http:/www.cpd-courses.org/law-cpdInstitute of Administrative Management website (Accessed 16 March 2007).

James. PM, Tom B (2007). Self-Development, McGraw Hill, 2007.

Megginson. D, Whitaker V (2003). Continual Professional Development, The charted Institute of personnel and development, 2003, CIPD house, Camp Road, London.

Nepoleon. H (2007). Think and Grow Rich, MANOR, Rockville, Maryland.

Cordingley, P., Higgins, S., Greany, T., Buckler, N., Coles-Jordan, D., Crisp, B., Saunders, L., Coe, R. Developing Great Teaching: Lessons from the international reviews into effective professional development. Teacher Development Trust. 2015.

Avalos, B. (2011) Teacher professional development in Teaching and Teacher Education over ten years. Teaching and Teacher Education 27, 10-20

Blank, R.K. & de las Alas, N. (2009) Effects of Teacher Professional Development on Gains in Student Achievement. How Meta Analysis Provides Scientific Evidence Useful to Education Leaders. Washington: Council of Chief State School Officers

Capps, D.K., Crawford, B.A., & Constas, M.A. (2012) A Review of Empirical Literature on Inquiry Professional Development: Alignment with Best Practices and a Critique of the Findings. Journal of Science Teacher Education 23, 291-318

Cordingley, P., Bell, M., Isham, C., Evans, D. & Firth, A. (2007) What do specialists do in CPD programmes for which there is evidence of positive outcomes for pupils and teachers? Report. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. [Online] http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/Default.aspx?tabid=2275

Cordingley, P., Bell, M., Rundell, B. & Evans, D. (2003) The impact of collaborative CPD on classroom teaching and learning. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. [Online] http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/Default. aspx?tabid=133&language=en-US

Teaching and Learning International Survey (2013). www.oecd.org/edu/ school/talis.htm

Timperley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H. & Fung, I. (2007) Teacher professional learning and development. Best evidence synthesis iteration (BES). Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education

Van Driel, J.H., Meirink, J.A., van Veen, K. & Zwart, R.C. (2012) Current trends and missing links in studies on teacher professional development in science education: a review of design features and quality of research. Studies in Science Education 48, (2) 129-160

Vescio, V., Ross, D. & Adams, A. (2008) A review of research on the impact of professional learning communities on teaching practice and student learning. Teaching and Teacher Education 24, 80-91

Yoon, K.S., Duncan, T., Lee, S.W-Y., Scarloss, B. & Shapley, K. (2007) Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement [Issues & Answers Report, REL 2007-No. 033]. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest.

Barber, M., & Mourshed, M. (2007) How the world's best-performing school systems come outon top. New York: McKinsey and Company.

Bolam, R., & Weindling, D. (2006) Synthesis of research and evaluation projects concerned with capacity-building through teachers' professional development. London: General Teaching Council for England.

Charlton, J. (2011) Profiling Pisa's high performers. Make the grade Spring, p. 34.

Cordingley, P., Bell, M., Thomason, S., & Firth, A. (2005) The impact of collaborative continuing professional development (CPD) on classroom teaching and learning. Review: how do collaborative and sustained CPD and sustained by not collaborative CPD affect teaching and learning? In Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

Crippen, K. J., Biesinger, K. D., & Ebert, E. K. (2010) Using professional development to achieve classroom reform and science proficiency: an urban success story from southern Nevada, USA. Professional Development in Education, v36 n4 pp. 637-661.

Doolittle, G., Sudeck, M., & Rattigan, P. (2008) Creating Professional Learning Communities: The Work of Professional Development Schools. Theory Into Practice, v47 pp. 303- 310.

Egan, D., & Simmonds, C. (2002) The continuing professional development of teachers in Wales: international and professional contexts. Cardiff: Cardiff Shool of Education, University of Wales Institute and PPI Group.

Field, S., Kuczera, M., & Pont, B. (2007) No More Failures: Ten Steps to Equity in Education. Paris: OECD Publications.

The future of the GTC. (2011). Retrieved 20 April 2011 from http://www.gtce.org.uk/gtc/gtc_future/

Gray, S. L. (2005) An Enquiry Into Continuing Professional Development for Teachers. London: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

GTC for England (2006) Using research in your school and your teaching. Research-engaged professional practice. TPLF06. Birmingham and London: General Teaching Council for England.

GTC for England (2009) Code of Conduct and Practice for Registered Teachers. Birmingham and London: General Teaching Council for England.

Hardy, I. (2008) Competing priorities in professional development: an Australian study of teacher professional development policy and practice. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, v36 n4 pp. 277-290.

Hargreaves, A., Halász, G., & Pont, B. (2007) School leadership for systemic improvement in Finland. A case study report for the OECD activity Improving school leadership. Paris: OECD Publications.

Hendriks, M., Luyten, H., Scheerens, J., Sleegers, P., & Steen, R. (2010) Teachers'

Professional Development. Europe in international comparison. An analysis of teachers' professional development based on the OECD's Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Union.

Jarvis, T., & Pell, A. (2004) Primary teachers' changing attitudes and cognition during a two year science in-service programme and their effect on pupils. International Journal of Science Education, v26 n14 pp. 1787-1811.

Kennedy, A., Christie, D., Fraser, C., Reid, L., McKinney, S., Welsh, M., et al. (2008) Key informants' perspectives on teacher learning in Scotland. British Journal of Educational Studies, v56 n4 pp. 400-419. London Challenge (2010). Manchester: Ofsted No. 100192.

McCormick, R., Banks, F., Morgan, B., Opfer, D., Pedder, D., Storey, A., et al. (2008) Literature review report. Schools and continuing professional development (CPD) in England - State of the Nation research project (T34718). Manchester: Training and Development Agency for Schools.

OECD (2005) Education at a glance: OECD indicators 2005. Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD (2008) TALIS 2008 Technical Report. Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD (2009) Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments. First Results from TALIS. Paris: OECD Publishing.

OECD. (2010). What students know and can do: student performance in reading, mathematics and science. Retrieved 6 May 2011 from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/54/12/46643496.pdf

OECD (2011) Building a High-Quality Teaching Profession. Lessons from around the world. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Pattie, L.-F. Y. Y. (2009) Teachers' stress and a teachers' development course in Hong Kong: turning 'deficits' into 'opportunities. Professional Development in Education, v35 n4 pp. 613-634.

Pedder, D., Storey, A., & Opfer, V. D. (2008) Synthesis report. Schools and continuing professional development (CPD) in England - State of the Nation research project. (T34718). Manchester: Training and Development Agency for Schools.

Rachal, J. R. (2002) Andragogy's detectives: A critique of the present and a proposal for the future. Adult Education Quarterly, v52 n3 pp. 210-227.

Stewart, W. (2011) The challenge now is to hang on to this success. Times Educational Supplement 25 March, pp. 34-35.

Timperley, H. S., Parr, J. M., & Bertanees, C. (2009) Promoting professional inquiry for improved outcomes for students in New Zealand. Professional Development in

Education, v35 n2 pp. 227-245.

Timperley, H. S., Wilson, A., Barrar, H., & Fung, I. (2007) Teacher Professional Learning and Development. Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.

Villegas-Reimers, E. (2003) Teacher professional development: an international review of the literature. Paris: UNESCO: International Institute for Educational Planning.