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About the AUA CPD Framework

Introduction and background

AUA is in the forefront of professional development in higher education administration and management. We are delighted to present the continuing professional development framework to the sector, as the culmination of a highly collaborative two year project jointly funded by AUA, HEFCE (Leadership, Governance and Management funding), LFHE and HEA. The aims of the project were to develop and implement a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) framework supporting HE professional services staff across the UK in their career development in order to:

  • enhance institutional performance through high quality staff
  • develop management and leadership capability
  • enable succession planning
  • provide a framework for sustainable practice in career planning
  • foster equality and diversity of development opportunities across the sector.

 

The CPD framework offers:

  • a broad structure within which individual HEIs can identify the CPD needs of professional services staff in their organisation and plan and deliver development activities to meet those needs
  • a broad structure within which individual members of professional services staff can identify their personal CPD needs and plan their development
  • a model of professional behaviours (described below)
  • flexibility for institutions to substitute their own CPD processes and documentation, capability frameworks, organisational values and behaviours whilst still benefiting from the broader framework within which to support CPD in their organisations
  • the basis for a common national approach to CPD for professional services staff in UK Higher Education

The flexibility for local tailoring inherent in the framework is one of its key strengths.

The underpinning principles of the CPD Framework (which build on the CIPD key principles of CPD1) are:

  • CPD is essential for maintaining the standard and integrity of HE professionals
  • professional development is a continuous process that applies throughout working life
  • individuals are responsible for managing and undertaking CPD activities and ensuring that their learning is integrated into their professional practice
  • individuals should identify for themselves their learning needs and determine how best to fulfil them
  • learning objectives should reflect the needs of the institution and its stakeholders as well as the individual’s goals
  • learning should come from a wide range of activities, both formal and informal
  • learning is most effective when it is acknowledged as an integral part of all work activity rather than as an additional optional activity
  • all professional services staff should have equality of opportunity to engage in and benefit from CPD activities

 

How the professional behaviours can be used

The professional behaviours framework will help individuals to:

  • identify the behaviours that are relevant to their job
  • identify their personal CPD needs
  • develop those behaviours and improve performance
  • identify ways to build upon and maximise existing strengths
  • seek structured feedback from others
  • provide structured feedback to colleagues

Some other ways in which the professional behaviours can be used include:

  • for self assessment of potential and in career planning
  • as a basis for the design of specific learning and development activities - to improve individual and organisational performance
  • for recruiting and selecting - to focus on the behavioural requirements of the job in an objective and specific way
  • for succession planning – to develop staff within the sector to prepare them to compete for more senior roles

There are exemplar behaviours listed for each behavioural group and these are divided into three aspects:

Self:
Behaviours that may be observed whatever the working situation

Others:
Behaviours that may be observed when interacting with and influencing others, or when managing colleagues

Organisation:
Behaviours that may be observed when influencing at organisational level or representing the organisation

 

Using the Framework

The CPD Framework is the first time that a generic framework and sector benchmark has been created which will support PSS in their continuous professional development and career progression. The framework has already made a significant impact on the HE administration and management community, not least because of its inherent flexibility. For example:

  • it works equally well at individual, team, departmental and institutional levels
  • it is applicable to staff at all stages in their career and across the full range of diverse roles in the sector
  • it complements existing CPD requirements associated with some specialist roles 
  • it may be tailored by the organisation to address specific local needs Guides on using the Framework for individuals, teams and organisations can be found here.

 

Implementation of the framework

It is for HEIs to determine their own criteria in the application of the framework. It is recognised that the diverse nature of the sector and the institutions within it means that each HEI needs to tailor the framework and its implementation to meet its own specific needs. It is for this reason that no fixed period within which the framework will be implemented has been specified.

Several HEIs representative of the diversity of the sector piloted implementation of the various components of the framework. The AUA worked closely with those institutions, and the insights gained during the pilot phase have informed the development of supporting online resources and future CPD initiatives.

 

Further information

The full CPD Framework document and supporting documentation can be accessed using this minisite of resources.

Browse our full range of resources or download a document covering the project in full.

 

1 Megginson, David and Whitaker, Vivien, Continuing Professional Development, CIPD, 2007 with the permission of the publisher, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, London (www.cipd.co.uk).

  • it works equally well at individual, team, departmental and institutional levels
  • it is applicable to staff at all stages in their career and across the full range of diverse roles in the sector
  • it complements existing CPD requirements associated with some specialist roles
  • it may be tailored by the organisation to address specific local needs