The award of each Certificate of Professional Development is based on your successfully completing a single learning module. You can complete as many modules as you wish and will be awarded a Certificate for each successfully completed module.
A full list of eligible modules and their learning outcomes is available here.
The grade or academic standard of each module is specified on the list and an explanation of the grades is available in the Qualifications and Grades Framework which is available here.
To complete a module it is necessary to complete each of the following three elements:
- a formal learning Pathway – Pathways are accessible in the Locus Learning Centre from either the Pathway link in the top menu or the Advanced Pathway link in the left menu. Each pathway will require approximately 20 hours of study and you can begin your study simply by selecting your chosen Pathway from the lists. To successfully complete your Pathway, you must achieve or exceed the pass mark (75%) in the Comprehension Exercise at the end. The exercise is assessed automatically as soon as you submit your answers and you will receive immediate feedback of your result. You may complete the exercise as often as you wish and the Locus will always remember your last answer.
- a period of work-based learning – Work-based learning is implemented by actively applying your newly acquired knowledge to your normal work situation with a view to testing its application for development of your own and/or your team’s work performance. In addition you are required to reflect on your experience of applying your new knowledge, evaluating how well it has worked, what you would reinforce or change in the future and thinking about how you feel about the change in your behaviour. This reflective process generates immediate feedback to yourself which enables you to enhance your learning. To help with the reflection process, the Locus provides an on-lineReflective Learning Journal which is accessible from the left menu. To successfully complete your period of work-based learning, you must undertake 60 hours of learning and to evidence this by providing at least one substantial entry in your Journal for each week of your studies in the Module. Guidance on how to implement and manage work-based learning is available here and on how to complete a reflective learning Journal here. Please note that this 60 hours is concurrent with your normal work and NOT additional.
- an assignment – After completing your formal and work-based learning, to complete your module you are required to research, write and submit an assignment for assessment. Assignments are designed to assess how well you have assimilated your new knowledge and how well you understand how to use it to good effect. Assignments may be in any format but typically they will require an essay response, the design and delivery of a presentation or an analysis and report of a case study. The whole process of researching and completing your assignment will take approximately 20 hours. Assignments, complete with their assessment criteria are available via the link in the left menu of the Locus.
When you enrol for a Certificate of Professional Development you will be allocated a personal academic tutor. The role of the tutor is threefold:
- to provide initial guidance and counselling on your study plans for completing your CPD module
- to supervise your study progress as you undertake each element of the module
- to make the initial grading assessment of your Comprehension Exercise, your Reflective Learning Journal and your Assignment.
At all stages during your studies, your tutor will have supervisory access to your exercise results and your reflective learning journal and may make comments on your progress and/or the quality of your work.
Please note that your tutor is not your teacher. He/she will supervise your learning. Your learning comes about through studying the materials in the Locus, reading books, talking with others and reflecting on your new knowledge and how you are using it.
You have a maximum of three hours access time with your tutor during the period of studying your module and this will always be via email contact unless you and your tutor make any other private arrangement. Please note that in addition to your tutor support you have unlimited general faculty support and peer support via the Locus Coffee Shop and any content/collaboration groups of which you are a member. You are strongly encouraged to make use of this additional facility.
Planning your learning
The regulations for the award of a Certificate of Professional Development set out a maximum of eight weeks study time for each module and a minimum of four weeks. Each of our modules has therefore been designed to be completed in six weeks of part-time study and you should therefore plan your learning on this basis. The six weeks accommodates different rates of learning or interruptions to your study programme.
However it is important to note that assignments cannot be accepted earlier than four weeks after your registered start date nor later than eight weeks after this date. In case of difficulties it is important to contact your tutor at the earliest possible opportunity.
You can start studying for your Certificate in Professional Development as soon as you wish simply by going to the Locus and starting on your chosen pathway. However, at the same time you should also contact your tutor – you will have received his/her contact details when you enrolled for your programme – to agree your registered start date and to establish the communication process.
Enjoy your studies …. And don’t forget to join your colleagues in the Locus Coffee Shop