Posts By: Amanda Rosewarne

Royalty and CPD

Posted on May 25, 2018 by - CPD Sectors>News

The weekends Royal Wedding in the glittering Spring sunshine was a historical day for Britain; Windsor was on a world stage as an estimated 2 billion people from around the world tuned into watch the young couple’s ceremony and celebrations. A fresh, new approach to wedding nuptials and traditions (going back centuries) showcased how diverse our society has become in 2018, and how much good will, generosity and happiness can be nurtured when people from all corners of the globe come together.

Within the Professional Development Consortium (PDC), we have over 800+ members based in over 40 countries, we also share and celebrate the diversity of many cultures, religions and viewpoints of our educational providers. Having accredited 1000s of training, coaching and CPD activities that range from leadership skills for senior professionals, to charities training and educating about their courses, to coaches working with graduates, we’ve pretty much covered most professional topics and skills.

In the spirit of the recent Royal Wedding, which showcased how diverse our society is becoming and the benefits and positivity that can radiate from that inclusiveness. Here at PDC and the CPD Standards Office community, we have the same culture and approach. As US Pastor Michael Curry said during his speech:

‘Oh, there’s power – power in love. Not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love.’

What can we learn from this extraordinary event?

The Royal Wedding has reminded us that a diverse society can inspire creativity and drive innovation.

We would like our community to stop, take a breath, and consider how as educators you should celebrate diversity in your classrooms, cohort groups or via online platforms. It’s important as an educator or figure to take the time to do this and explore how diversity can be celebrated in the classroom.

For further reflection, see this inspiring speech about designing life’s blueprint and journey, and why it’s important for us to always keep moving forwards. Click here to listen to Martin Luther King Jr.

https://www.goalcast.com/2017/02/28/the-most-important-time-of-your-life-martin-luther-king-jr/

Promoting and educating everyone in diversity and equality is increasingly becoming a cornerstone within the professional development arena. It is exciting and refreshing to see this area progress at the Royal Wedding, and indeed at society generally.

The PDC Community has diversity in it’s heart and soul – our member event last week was testament to that with members flying in from various countries and interesting discussions from Rosetta Stone about the importance of bilingualism and embracing learning languages to be inclusive of all cultures in this increasingly ‘small’ global world we live in.

Now…. Take a breath and reflect

So… take a breath and lets embrace the CPD the British Monarchy has indirectly provided us by staging such a happy, diverse and inclusive event.

How to generate leads from LinkedIn or Facebook

Posted on January 12, 2018 by - CPD Sectors>News

We’ve all used social media in our social lives, but when it comes to business, the usual approaches don’t work so well.  But sites like LinkedIn and Facebook can be great sources of leads for your business if you approach them correctly.

You will see many different ways to use social media to promote your business; we have shared here a simple 7 step guide to getting started using social media to generate leads.  This is not the only approach that will work and we’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you find other methods that do or don’t work…

  1. Should I use LinkedIn or Facebook?

The easy way to decide where to start is to consider your audience.  Do you define them based on “hard” factors such as:

  • Industry
  • company size
  • location
  • job roles

Or on “soft” factors such as:

  • Their interests
  • Their hobbies
  • The sport they play
  • Their music or artistic choices
  • What they like

As a big generalisation, those that use the top list should focus on LinkedIn and those that use the bottom list, Facebook.  If you fall into both camps, do both!

  1. Where to start on LinkedIn?

You probably already have a LinkedIn profile that you built years ago and use sometimes.  Well now is the time to start using it properly.  LinkedIn has recently updated its user interface, so it’s cleaner but a lot of useful stuff is now hidden away.

Start by taking a good look at LinkedIn and learn where everything is.  If you can’t find something, google what you are looking for.  There will always be an answer…

Next get your profile in order.  LinkedIn.com helps you with this, suggesting extra bits to add to your profile.  Load as much content onto your profile as you can then regularly do the following:

  • Post updates every week
  • Write a new article as often as you can but at least every fortnight. Share knowledge rather than talking about you and your business
  • Identify your target audience by creating an advanced search using the criteria available to you: industry, company size, job role, etc.
  • Review your second-degree contacts in the results of this search and send appropriate people a connection request. Never more than 30 per day.
  • Accept appropriate connection requests you receive then send a personal message to each person thanking them for requesting you as a connection and asking them a bit about themselves and what they want from LinkedIn
  • When someone accepts your connection requests send a personal message thanking them and asking them a bit about themselves and what they want from LinkedIn
  • Regularly message your connections through LinkedIn just sharing knowledge that you feel may be relevant to them.
  • Start a LinkedIn group and invite your contacts to join it then share relevant knowledge and links with them.

This may sound like a lot of work, but if you spent 45 minutes each day following this process, you could get an additional 3500 contacts on LinkedIn within a year.  That’s 3500 perfectly targeted (because you have hand-picked them one at a time) business contacts to influence towards becoming your customers.

You can also export contact data for your LinkedIn connections, including their email address.

3) Get social on Facebook

If you have decided that your business is better suited to Facebook then your style and approach are going to be less formal and more social.

Start by establishing a Facebook page for your business and a Facebook group.  Then join groups relevant to your business.  So if you run cookery courses, join “foodie” groups and contribute to these groups, join in the conversations and encourage members to join your Facebook group.

One very powerful way to use Facebook is to run adverts.  You can target people based on what they have liked, where they are and a range of other factors so the only people to see your adverts are well qualified already.

Unlike LinkedIn, where there is a best way to work, there are many different ways to take advantage of the services that Facebook offers and the best way to decide where to start is to use Facebook’s own training.  It’s free and available here:  https://www.facebook.com/blueprint.  Try signing up for their SMB courses, some are very good.

4) Other Social networks

Many social networks may work for your business and if you are lucky enough to be in a niche with a dedicated network, use it to your advantage.  However many people try and develop business using Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest with less than great results.  You get followers, but turning your following into leads and sales is difficult.

Our advice is to focus your time and energy on LinkedIn or Facebook for your business, whatever your personal preferences.

Please do let us know your thoughts on this advice and share any successes or challenges that others can learn from.

Thoughtful Friday: Think Like Einstein

Posted on June 23, 2017 by - CPD Sectors>News

Continuing Professional Development shouldn’t be a chore – but to many it is. Spending time training to brush up on your skills, when you have a job to do, can be stressful and tiresome.  It’s easy to lose your passion for learning.

Albert Einstein was a great Physicist and Nobel Laureate. He had a way with words that would make you look from a different perspective. Here’s some words from the wise:

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects”

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted”

“Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it”

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think”

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”

Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate

Think like Einstein; what does your Professional Development mean to you?

The 7 things a training provider should never do

Posted on June 7, 2017 by - CPD Sectors>News

Everywhere you look, there is great advice on how to run training courses, what to do and how to do it. But no one tells you what not to do – those things that are guaranteed to disappoint or detract from your training.

So here is the top list of 7 things to never do:

  1. Don’t do Monday mornings or Fridays
    Obvious really, but it’s amazing how often courses are agreed without checking which day of the week they are on.
  2. Don’t create a 5 day course
    Delegates simply won’t put aside a full week to attend your training course. Their boss simply won’t allow it and if they are the boss, they won’t want to take a week out. Condense your 5 days content into 3 days.
  3. Don’t pin your hopes on public courses
    You won’t get the take up you are expecting, the training market has moved on – sorry!
  4. Don’t isolate your delegates
    Introduce your delegates to each other, get them to network together and create ways they can carry on their conversations after your training. Share their contact details with each other – with their permission.
  5. Don’t set overnight assignments
    Rather start the next day with a summary of the previous day. You avoid embarrassing those that didn’t have time or were not staying over, forgot or could not be bothered.
  6. Don’t immortalise one delegate
    Constantly referencing one of your delegates because you happen to know they are good in an area is guaranteed to embarrass that person and alienate the rest of your audience.
  7. Don’t overrun
    With child care charges of up to £5 per minute for overtime, you’re not making friends by overrunning. Finish 10 minutes early and offer your delegates the chance to join you for an informal coffee or drink.

How to manage disruptive delegates in your training

Posted on June 6, 2017 by - CPD Sectors>News

One person can ruin a course if they are not carefully managed. Disruptive delegates are something that you will have to deal with. So here is a fool proof way to deal with them.

Start by figuring out how a disruptive delegate behaves that makes them disruptive. They are not necessarily loud boorish characters, they can be:

  • Disinterested. “I’ve been sent along, so I’m here”.
  • Interrupting.  They have to show what they know – constantly
  • Questioning.  Appropriate questions are great, but yet another question from the same delegate every 5 minutes will drive your group nuts!
  • Drunk
  • Argumentative

How to deal with these people?  At the first available opportunity, take the offending person to one side, well away from the rest of the group and explain to them how their behaviour is impacting on the rest of the group.  Many will not be aware that their behaviour is inappropriate and will immediately change.

For those characters that show no inclination to change after a second request, removing them from your course is the only option left.  Politely ask them to leave, again well out of sight of the rest of the group.

Should you fail to act on a disruptive delegate, the rest of the group will feel that you have let them down and will mark you down as a poor trainer.  So be strong and control disruption in groups early and firmly.

Which of your trainers are bored? The 3 tell tale signs…

Posted on June 4, 2017 by - CPD Sectors>News

Imagine (or maybe you don’t have to imagine) sitting through a training course where the trainer is just going through the motions… It’s not good for the trainer or their company and a poor experience for the paying delegates.

So here are the three tell-tale signs that a trainer is getting bored delivering a course.

  1. Talking about themselves
    It’s important that a trainer develops credibility with their delegates, but that can be achieved in a few minutes. The trainer that is still talking about themselves 15 minutes later is a real cause for concern.
  2. Dress code starts to slip
    You have a dress code for a reason, whatever it may be. If trainers are starting to “dress down” it’s another sign that they need a change.
  3. Trainer does not interact with delegates
    This is the big one. The trainer finishes a session, the delegates wander off to get a coffee and the trainer is still sat at the front of the room ignoring everyone. If they are not willing to network and engage with delegates during the breaks it’s a sure-fire sign that their interest is waning and it’s time for a change.

Micro-learning- fast, effective and high quality

Posted on February 5, 2016 by - CPD Sectors>News

Micro-learning- fast, effective and high quality
E-Learning platforms and micro-learning tools may be quick ways for your employees to learn but we believe at the CPD Standards Office, training must still remain high quality in order to make online learning strategies effective.

Search, click, and learn
The rise of handheld mobile and tablet technology makes it possible for anyone anywhere to learn on the go. Deloitte’s 2015 annual mobile consumer survey found that ‘76% of UK adults now own a smartphone’ and ‘collectively, UK consumers look at their smartphones over a billion times a day’.

In 2016 and going forward, technology is advancing the way people learn online and can provide easy access to e-learning and micro-learning tools. These tools are being used by businesses to develop learning strategies to close skills and knowledge gaps of their employees.

By developing online micro-learning tools for mobile technology, organisations can update learning content quickly to keep apace with changing information. In short, mobile and micro-learning give short perspective in a course and the learner studies in short bite-sized chunks over an extended period.

With this trend there must be high standards which ensure the provision of micro-learning are conducive to how people learn. Trainers, mentors and coaches must avoid developing online micro-learning modules that fail to help their clients learn anything and be ineffective for businesses.

The quality of micro-learning courses must not digress to keep apace with the demand of technology. Bite-size micro-learning does not mean cutting up already established course content and emailing it out. What is more strategic is to develop content that is designed to help the learner plan and evaluate his or her own learning.

It is important to think about the learning outcomes and what the learner will take away from each bite-sized chunk in the micro-learning course. It is widely reported that a timeslot of 3-7 minutes maximises learning and matches working memory capacity. Therefore, people will benefit over a longer period, if studying is completed in short bursts and on-the-go.

Keeping learning activities short and concise will enable your learners to retain small amounts of information in their continuously demanding and modern lifestyle.

Five tools, five standards

Here are five online micro-learning tools and tips to ensure high learning standards are maintained: Learning Tools
The future
Although micro-learning per se is not a new term, phrase or terminology, it is becoming increasingly popular on newer technology. Online platforms are revolutionizing the way people choose to learn at work and online micro-learning tools are here to stay.

Alongside the technology trend is the driving force of the tech-savvy millennial workforce rising through the ranks. It is crucial to develop a micro-learning strategy to fit their needs of this generation. Forbes (2015) said that by 2020 the millennial generation will be 46% of the working population but they have short attention spans and are super confidant and digitally driven.

Grovo (2015) a mobile e-learning platform says 60% of millennial generation will leave their workplace within 3 years. Keeping this generation involved in their learning particularly through micro-learning courses which can be accessed anytime anywhere will promote learning on a daily basis and keep them engaged with their own career development. It will justify their purpose inside the organisation.

Keeping learning going, on-the-go
The CPD market is growing and for many professional areas there is increasing regulation. Micro-learning constitutes as ‘CPD’ which can be added to CPD records and help retain learners in an organisation. To keep a professional engaged, micro-learning courses should ensure the learner can log their CPD points and hours through the online platform to gain something tangible after completing the course.

In the CPD Standards Office, we value making training accessible and quality assured and provide accredited trainers with certificates that state the number of CPD points and hours their course offers learners.

We assess online trainers who provide online micro-learning courses that meet high standards and if they add value to the learner’s knowledge. The training provider should give clear learning outcomes, objectives and help properly evaluate performance and the learner must feel they have achieved and remembered the content and able to effectively contribute to their role and organisation.