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Continual Professional Development Policy

York Learning
Author: Helen Clarkson
Date of Publication: 16 September 2020
Next date of review August 2021

Professional review and development is central to raising achievement and improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning. We believe yearly performance reviews offers a systematic approach to training and development, which leads to enhanced job satisfaction and better leadership and management of the teaching process.

We support CPD as an on-going, planned learning and development process, which:

  • improves the quality of teaching and learning from the perspective of the people who use our services
  • enables staff to expand and fulfil their potential
  • contributes to work-based and personal development
  • can be applied or assessed against competences and organisational performance
  • includes any activity that increases knowledge, experience and understanding and contributes to lifelong learning.

We recognise that the range of CPD activities covers the whole spectrum of learning and can include on-the- job development, formal programmes and qualifications through to informal opportunities and learning through experience. We provide opportunities for the most appropriate CPD to take place with the constraints of the resources available.

Our strategy is designed to ensure the following:

  • staff maintain and develop skills and knowledge to do their job
  • help to change practice for new roles or working in a different environment
  • provide personal development plans which promote lifelong learning
  • motivate staff to learn and build confidence and self-esteem
  • expand and develop new areas of competence, which might be for their existing job or to develop their careers
  • develop the skills to reflect on and improve their practice
  • provide opportunities for career progression, whether this is sideways, to another level or a different area.


Mandatory Training

All staff are expected to undertake Mandatory Training in the following areas and these are reviewed on an annual basis:

  • Safeguarding
  • Prevent
  • Health and Safety
  • GDPR

All Mangers and Operations teams are expected to undertake the additional Mandatory Training:

  • Equality in the Workplace
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Information Security

All Managers are expected to under the additional Mandatory Training

  • Safer recruitment
  • Finance
  • Recruitment and Selection


We recognise that lesson observations are a key tool for line managers to develop their understanding of how their teams are performing and provides a benchmark to allow for comparisons across the service. Where possible we try to provide joint observations and ensure that observations are cross curricula. We don’t grade observations, but share good practice, offer guidance on improvements and approaches to pedagogy and generally offer teacher and observer the opportunity to reflect together on their understanding of learning that helps to lead continuous improvement.

In line with the OTL (Observation of Teaching and Learning) policy all tutors can expect to have one observation at least once every academic year. New tutors will receive a support visit within their first half term of teaching. Where possible this will be followed by a further session observation later in the year.

We are mindful of the need to ensure a supportive climate within teaching and professional review. This then contributes to ensuring that reviews are effective.  In order to do this we endeavour to apply the following principles:

  • a professional commitment to building excellence at every stage of a teacher’s career;
  • clear purpose for all participants;
  • self-evaluation as the starting point with on-going personal reflection a key feature;
  • integrated with our existing arrangements for quality assurance;
  • supports the professional needs of each teacher/tutor;
  • balances individual and personal development priorities;
  • professional development is coherent and progressive;
  • the process is evaluated effectively.


Professional Development Review

Professional reviews offers an opportunity for not only recognising good performance but to encourage tutors to reflect on their practice as part of their CPD record and to share good practice with colleagues.

We are committed to using the iTrent process to record and review development. Where this is not possible, for instance where staff only work for a few hours per week and do not have access to the corporate systems, then appropriate recording systems are used.


CPD Activities

All tutors are required to keep and share with us a CPD Record for the current year. Whilst we do not insist on a particular format for recording CPD a suggested format is outlined as Appendix A.

We recognise the value of tutors passing on their knowledge from CPD activities to other colleagues. The feedback form for cascading training is outlined as Appendix B.

We recognise that a range of experiences contribute to teacher development and includes activities that can be undertaken during their normal working week.  We therefore encourage all staff to think about how activities they undertake can contribute to their CPD activity.

The list that follows is intended to be illustrative rather than exhaustive:

  • activity related to achieving national standards
  • recorded self-evaluation and personal reflection
  • subject-based activities including involvement with professional bodies and associations;
  • attendance at Staff Conferences
  • attendance at team meetings;
  • membership of committees and external professional networks
  • developing service, local authority and national policies;
  • visits to and from colleagues in other areas;
  • co-operative teaching and peer observation;
  • lesson observation and analysis;
  • secondments;
  • professional reading and research;
  • mentoring/supporting colleagues;
  • curricular planning/development;
  • management and leadership development opportunities