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News: Blog: How Not­ting­ham Col­lege staff are ben­e­fit­ing from vir­tu­al CPD activities

Please note: This news story may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.

Pam Thomas, Organ­i­sa­tion­al Devel­op­ment Advi­sor at Not­ting­ham Col­lege has writ­ten a blog about how the Col­lege rose to the chal­lenge of host­ing con­tin­u­ing pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment (CPD) events vir­tu­al­ly. She talks about the range of activ­i­ties that have tak­en place to far, what’s planned for staff dur­ing this year’s Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week, and how we are sup­port­ing Learn at Work’ Week with a host of resources, allow­ing staff to ben­e­fit from a range of learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties from the com­fort of their own homes. 

When the world as we know it went into lock­down, many peo­ple thought that Con­tin­u­ing Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment (CPD) would be a casu­al­ty as tra­di­tion­al­ly activ­i­ties have been cen­tred around con­fer­ences, sem­i­nars and work­shops; but NO! Not­ting­ham Col­lege col­leagues are not that eas­i­ly defeated! 

When it quick­ly became clear that there was still an appetite for CPD. We talked to col­leagues inter­nal­ly and to exter­nal providers, and those who were tech­no­log­i­cal­ly enabled rose to the chal­lenge and before long a pro­gramme for a vir­tu­al CPD day emerged. Over a quar­ter of Col­lege staff were able to par­tic­i­pate in events on-line with many more par­tic­i­pat­ing in team events and peer learning. 

Hot on its heels fol­lowed a re-think of our Rolling Pro­gramme of Staff Devel­op­ment with teams across the Col­lege sourc­ing rel­e­vant train­ing on-line for staff – much of it free of charge. There are almost 20 events on the cur­rent pro­gramme for week com­menc­ing 18th May alone with more being added daily. 

National Learning at Work Week

18th24th May is Nation­al Learn­ing at Work Week. Again, this event has gone vir­tu­al’ with the slo­gan on Air, Online”. In part­ner­ing with Learn­ing at Work the col­lege has been able to give staff access to a wide range of learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties from the com­fort of their own home. As well as events to sup­port pro­fes­sion­al updat­ing and dig­i­tal upskilling there are resources to sup­port those who are home-school­ing. This is in addi­tion to our Rolling Pro­gramme events and, resources on our Learn­er Man­age­ment Sys­tem (LMS) and Learn­ing and Devel­op­ment Hub (staff moo­dle). We have also made it easy for staff to access the Government’s Skills Toolk­it. Staff cur­rent­ly fur­loughed are able to ben­e­fit from the full range of CPD on offer. 

Mental Health Awareness Week

Also hap­pen­ing this week is Men­tal Health Aware­ness Week. This nation­al event, organ­ised by the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion, aims to sup­port good men­tal health by aware­ness rais­ing, sup­port and research. Ordi­nar­i­ly across the Col­lege we would have a range of face to face activ­i­ties for staff and stu­dents to be involved in. Yet again we have gone vir­tu­al’ offer­ing on-line events and pro­mot­ing resources from with­in and out­side the Col­lege; such as our Employ­ee Assis­tance Pro­gramme, advice on man­ag­ing anx­i­ety from the Edu­ca­tion Sup­port Part­ner­ship, resources from the Asso­ci­a­tion of Col­leges and the NHS Every Mind Mat­ters cam­paign, as well as resources from men­tal health char­i­ty MIND.

Our 'staff cafes' have gone virtual too!

We haven’t stopped there! Pre-lock­down the Col­lege had already pro­gressed plans for a num­ber of Staff Cafes” to bring togeth­er staff with shared expe­ri­ences to dis­cuss, share and sup­port one anoth­er, and to sug­gest ways in which the Col­lege might bet­ter sup­port them to have ful­fill­ing careers along­side man­ag­ing some very per­son­al challenges. 

Two cafes were up and run­ning when we went our sep­a­rate ways – our Car­ers’ Café for col­leagues with car­ing respon­si­bil­i­ties for a family/​household mem­ber with a dis­abil­i­ty or long term ill­ness, and our Menopause Café sup­port­ing staff expe­ri­enc­ing the per­i­menopause and menopause, either for them­selves or want­i­ng to sup­port a part­ner or fam­i­ly member. 

Aware that there may be an even greater need for sup­port for staff in these groups due to the chal­lenges pre­sent­ed by self-iso­la­tion, shield­ing, increased stress and anx­i­ety at the present time the Cafes have also gone vir­tu­al’. They con­tin­ue to offer a safe space for staff to share their expe­ri­ences and learn from one another. 

If ever there was a time we could proud­ly say we pro­mote col­lab­o­ra­tion and inte­gra­tion through proac­tive­ly work­ing togeth­er across the whole organ­i­sa­tion” it would be now! 

Our mes­sage — Stay safe! Keep learn­ing! 

Published on:
  • 19th May 2020 (11:39 AM)
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