CPD, is it really necessary?

Video image of webinar recording

Some time ago Ed Marshall, one of our regular contributors on CCL and coaching techniques, asked the question about CPD and why we should be bothered to do it. As you would expect, his presentation set out to explain the benefits of doing CPD and the different ways this can be achieved. Dile members can view the recording of this webinar in the video library on the site, non-members can still view it for free, as the first month of membership is free and can be cancelled before the first payment is made.

So why am I referring to this now? Well I have recently been reading rather a lot of Facebook posts referring to this question of why we should bother at all. After all, they say, hasn't the DVSA already given us the stamp of approval to deliver paid driving lessons? Why would they do that if we weren't good enough? We have been checked every 2 or 4 years to ensure the standard is being maintained, so surely that is enough?

But, now it seems the DVSA has moved the goal posts and, in order to comply with these new requirements, ADIs need to 'upskill' and learn all these new things suddenly foisted upon us! CCL, coaching, learning styles, listening skills, the list goes on!

But hey, let's just stop a minute and look at what we have always been doing. Haven't we always put our learners at the heart of what we do? So isn't that being 'client-centred'? Well, let me ask you a question: can you think of a time when you were in a learning role, probably at school, when the teacher was teaching in a way you couldn't learn, but they expected you to learn? Maths lessons? English? French? Science? These seem to be the most common subjects people cite and yet there were always those in the class who seemed to 'get it', they liked the teacher and thought they were good! Well, that's because the teacher taught in their preferred learning style, and there would always be pupils in the class whose learning style would match that of the teacher. The 'visual' teacher would show endless images, graphs, anything to explain their subject visually. The 'auditory' teacher might just talk at the class, or play audio recordings, and expect the pupils to listen and therefore learn. The kinesthetic teacher would have the class doing things, role-play, games, experiments etc, the one learning style that usually appeals to the largest number of learners. But, the very best teachers used a mixture of learning styles, so they would ensure that every lesson would present the learning content with visuals, listening activities and role-play/pair activities, games, and so on. Can you identify with each of these teacher types from your own experiences? Who did you learn best from and why? If you can answer this then you can probably identify your own learning style. Do you teach in your preferred learning style or do you try to deliver in a mixture of styles? Do you know your learners' preferred learning styles? If not, how can you find out?

This is just one aspect of client-centred learning, but a very important one. As John Brown ADI asks in his first book publication, "If he can't learn the way you teach, can you teach the way he learns?" learning to do just this is crucial, as your own learning experience will show. So, can you change? Yes, I'm sure you can, with help.

So, the next point made in these posts is that doing this extra learning costs money and is lining the pockets of trainers who are only interested in making money out of ADIs. Well, that is opinion that needs to be backed up with concrete fact, and then name and shame the b******s! But learning does not have to cost a lot of money. If you are a visual/auditory learner, then the Dile webinars (live events are FREE to attend) will fit the bill, as will Dipod podcasts. You can read for free, such as this blog, or FreshIdeas, or, if you are an ADI association member, DIA, MSA, ADINJC, then each of these associations has their own monthly publication designed to keep you up-to-date and help you to understand the things you need to know. The DIA, for example, has been running a fantastic series on the new standards check, looking at what you need to do to comply with each section of the SC form. There's the cost of annual membership, of course, but you get more from each of these organisations than just the magazine. So, if you're not a member of any organisation, then I urge you to join so you cannot be one of those who complains in the test centre, or on Facebook, that you weren't told about these changes until they happened!

Teachers, doctors, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, will all tell you they are required to keep up with the latest things in their jobs - for some it's seen as CPD, for others it's industry requirements, such as CORGI, but all accept it as part of the job. In fact most are doing regular CPD without realising it! They read, chat to others, attend meetings, all of which ensures they are 'in the know' and competent in their jobs, so why not driving instructors? if you believe your pupils' driving licences are just the beiginning of their learning to drive, then why should that be any different with the ADI licence? It's just the beginning of a never-ending journey learning to be the very best you can be.

There is a cost attached to viewing all the webinar recordings in the Dile video library (added to at an average rate of 2 per month!), which is £5 per month, exceedingly little when you can participate in a workshop without travelling or taking time off work!

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