|Institute of People Development Advisor - May 2009|
Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others - RL Stevenson
In this month's issue
Following an intense application process, 40 skills development practitioners qualified for bursaries from the SERVICES SETA and this week, from 11 - 13 May 2009, they are attending a planning session and their first continuous professional development lectures in Midrand. After nearly 18 months of preparation, IPD and SERVICES are excited about the prospects this project aims to bear on both the sector and the national training and development field. We wish Dr Miemsie de Jager, Dr Fanie von Solms and Melanie Bushney every success as they facilitate this process of developing strategic leadership in skills development across the country through this CPD programme
The newly updated IPD brochure is ready for you to download and print; we welcome you to have a look at it: download here
ASTD - 5TH GLOBAL CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION
Of the many conferences held across the country each year in the field of ETD Practices, for many there is one annual event as the highlight of the year. During 21 - 23 April 2009 the ASTD annual conference held at Cape Sun in Cape Town was a roaring success illuminated by inputs, presentations, feedback on research, patterns and trends in the field of Skills Development. Contributions from celebrities and authors, industry specialists and academics, amongst them Clem Sunter, Raymond Ackerman, Marius Meyer and our very own CEO, Mark Orpen shaped a 3 day experience that many left with a renewed vision of the field of ETD practices. Astounding statistics revealed that in 2008 there were more than 270 learners to 1 trainer against the more than 130 of the previous year and growing. This ratio raises a significant concern about the country's capacity to deliver skills and compromising quality of learning in chasing the numerical goals of the National Skills Development Strategy.
The fields of practice has been characterized by ghururism from both academic and business sectors and an increase in demand for contextual research based, benchmarked Good ETD Practice was presented by many speakers. Evaluation on the impact of learning across workplaces like SASOL, Eskom and UJ utilizing a variety of ROI models once again confirmed the commitment of corporate SA to implement quality workplace learning.
The emerging QCTO has stated their objective to rationalise NQF standards and qualifications as well as increase in the number of learning programmes and materials for providers of learning. Historically, there was a tendency for providers wanting to train but not being willing (or able) to develop the necessary learning material. Research conducted by Meyer and Bushney (2009) shows that an increase in the outsourcing of design and that this tendency can have an influence on the quality. Knowledge transfer needs to take place and the question to be asked is - who is going to take responsibility and manage the process. Ronnie Phillips describes knowledge management as the creation, archiving and sharing of valued information, expertise and insight within and across communities of people and organisations with similar interests and needs, the goal of which is to build competitive advantage.
Clem Sunter emphasized that in order to achieve a per annum economic growth of 6% plus, South Africa will need to embrace the characteristics of a winning nation that includes:
Prof Gert Roodt expressed the need for good quality education by highlighting the fact that South Africa has a critical shortage of 11 800 school teachers and 24 000 further education and training practitioners.
Building on the information following from conferences like these The Institute of People Development's CPD programme for Skills Practitioners is fast becoming a sought after sustainable approach toward improving good ETD practice both for the Workplace and the Skill Development Practitioners working there. Facilitated over 12 units with an average of 2,5 contact days per month - professionally designed blended learning lecturers and working group sessions assist participants to gain deeper levels of knowledge reflect on and improve on their own practice.
The ASTD in SA has again commissioned research into the patterns and trends in ETD 2009 and all workplace providers, public and private providers and institutions of learning are invited to participate in this research. IPD is encouraging all providers of work based learning to participate in this research: now available on www.astd.co.za
RESEARCHING FOR GOOD PRACTICES IN EDUCATION TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
In our previous newsletter we indicated that research is not only conducted by old absent-minded professors. According to Earl Babbie (2004) social research and science is a process of inquiry that we all use in everyday life. Observing and trying to interpret what we are observing is an inborn human activity. It has been the foundation of human survival. In our everyday life we are often only semiconscious in our observations and interpretations. On the other hand, scientists make these observations and interpretations, conscious and deliberate acts.
As an ETD Practitioner you may in future experience ETD performance problems in your working environment. This will necessitate that you will have to conduct research in order to find solutions to specific problems. Your research could include aspects like a target group analysis, a needs analysis, intended outcomes, an analysis of the relevance of content, perceived reactions of learners, and many other possible research projects. It is therefore clear that all ETD Practitioners will have to be able to conduct research on the level at which they are employed. This will enhance the quality of ETD in South Africa and ensure that ETD practices are based on a scientific approach.
The industrial world, particularly in the free-market environment, is based on competition. Steve Smith (1995) wrote, that the elite group of world class organisations which are outstanding in performance and distinctive in methods, have some common characteristics from which other companies can learn in order to enhance their competitiveness.
The notion of a good practice or better known as a best practice is not new. Frederick Taylor stated in 1911 that "among the various methods and implements used in each element of each trade there is always one method and one implement which is quicker and better than any of the rest". In the literature the definitions for best practice demonstrate two main aspects or approaches to this concept. Usually Best Practices are believed to be programmes, initiatives or activities, which are considered leading edge, or exceptional models for others to follow. It therefore means activities shown in practice to be the most effective and allow a business to outperform all others in a particular business process.
In some fields and government departments the term Best Practices is, however, described as the prescribed minimum standards. According to this view Best Practices are prescribed handbooks or documents to set standards of practice within a professional, government or municipal department.
Individuals and many organisations therefore do not really distinguish between "Best" and "Good" practices and even use these terms interchangeably (The Australian Human Rights Commission: 2009). Due to the belief that the best practice is impossible to determine or that the situation may require the use of different good practices, more organisations are implementing research to verify a range of possible good practices. These good practices are then presented as, Codes of Good Practice, Employee Guidelines, Manuals or Working Procedures. An example that could be mentioned is the Department of Labour (2009). Section 240 of the Labour Code provides that the Minister may publish codes of good practice after consultation with the Industrial Relations Council. A code of good practice is what is called 'soft law'. This means that the provisions of the code do not impose any obligation on any person.
Many researchers are presently joining the popular approach to conduct case studies in order to determine which activities or approaches could improve practice. Lessons learnt or recommendations for improvement are then formulated from each case study. The publication of Valency (2007) on disaster resilient communities is a good example of such an approach.
The Institute of People Development realises the value of researching for Good Practices in Education, Training and Development. The CPD programme for Skills Development Practitioners (NQF 6) includes offering participants the opportunity to achieve a unit standard in Research but also provides these participants an opportunity to be involved in determining and formulating good practices in the fields included in this programme.
PUBLIC TRAINING SCHEDULE
For more information about all our OD-ETDP training programmes, visit our website at www.peopledevelopment.co.za and embark on an exciting journey of Outcomes-Based Learning through IPD. All programmes are available in other Provinces on demand.
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|Institute of People Development - Accredited Education & Training Provider ETDP 0133|