Professional Standards and Continuing Professional Development: constraining or empowering?

29 November 2005 - 30 November 2005
Location: Birmingham

This is SEDA’s 10th Annual Conference and we have chosen to focus our reflections on the key issues of professional standards and CPD in further and higher education. Colleagues in the further education sector have been working with standards based curricula for some time. More recently HEFCE and the Higher Education Academy have undertaken a major consultation exercise on introducing professional standards in learning and teaching in higher education. These developments clearly relate to SEDA’s championing of initiatives to enhance and professionalise teaching in higher education over the past decade and more.


  • Do professional standards limit notions of professionalism and lead to technical rationale approaches to education?

  • How do standards based approaches to learning and teaching enhance the student experience?

  • Are standards a move to regulate further and higher education teaching in a new consumerist era?

  • How can professional standards in learning and teaching be measured in a sector that values innovation, individuality and professional autonomy?

  • Do attempts to measure and accredit CPD actually constrain and devalue true life-long learning?

  • What difference has SEDA made to the debate over the past 10 years?

These are challenging questions for a sector that delivers many programmes that are underpinned by outcomes based approaches to curriculum design and assessment. This conference will explore competing notions of the role of professional standards in the context of further and higher education.

Conference Themes

  • The role of professional standards in further and higher education
  • The role of educational staff developers in developing and promoting professional standards
  • SEDA Values, the SEDA Professional Development Framework and their role in enhancing learning and teaching
  • Using professional standards to enhance curriculum design and delivery
  • Standards and assessment: moving to constructively aligned curricula
  • Standards for e-learning
  • Developing, implementing and evaluating frameworks for CPD
  • Possible tensions between creativity, innovation, standards and frameworks

The SEDA Conference ExperienceSEDA prides itself on creating a relaxed, welcoming and positive atmosphere at conferences, which encourages open, constructive and supportive sharing of ideas, experience and practice.

Feedback from participants at recent SEDA conferences:

  • Great efforts to integrate new people, much appreciated.
  • Format of sessions encouraged discussion and feedback and not just being ‘talked at’ with PowerPoint.
  • A thoroughly enjoyable time from first to last, inspiring, rewarding, great people, great venue!
  • An opportunity to present own work and discuss with others.

A new conference contributor recently wrote:

  • I attended last year and was thoroughly impressed and found it extremely useful. I’m impressed all over again that someone from the committee is making contact to provide some support for first time presenters – I’ve never struck that before with any other group!

ParticipantsThe conference will be of particular interest to all those involved in the development and application of standards or CPD frameworks in HE or FE. This includes:

  • Educational and staff developers         
  • Higher Education Academy staff
  • Lecturers and Teachers in further and higher education
  • National and institutional teaching fellows
  • Centre for Excellence and FDTL staff
  • Managers of academic departments
  • Educational technologists  
  • Quality assurance and enhancement policy makers

Conference VenueThis year’s conference will return to the Novotel, Birmingham Centre, located on Broad Street in the heart of the City Centre. Fully residential delegates will be accommodated on-site – all rooms are en-suite. Birmingham is well served by the motorway network and parking is available at the hotel. New Street station is a short taxi ride away with regular rail links to Birmingham International Airport.

Conference Programme

Tuesday 29th November 2005 – Day 1 (click here for day 2)Click on title to view abstract (Word docs):



10.00 – 10.30am Registration and coffee
10.30 – 11.00am Welcome and Introductions
11.00 – 12.00am Keynote: Trust and Accountability: a route to academic professionalism? Lewis Elton
12.15 – 1.45pm Discussion Groups
12.45 – 1.45pm LUNCH
1.45 – 2.30pm Parallel Session 1

  1. Professional Standards: learning to change in further and higher education – do managers and leaders constrain or empower?Wendy Allard
  2. The Technical or the Reflective PG Certificate: do you get what you pay for?Darren Comber and Stephen Brindle
  3. Developing Professional Standards and the CPD Framework for HERSDA FellowsKogi Naidoo
  4. Peer Observation of Teaching in HE: policy development trajectories, mediation by lecturers and development in response to professional standardsPeter Boyd, Lynn Roberts and Caroline Marcangelo
  5. Mission Impossible? Engaging the unengaged in Professional Development, lessons learnt from implementing PDPSally Bradley
  6. Excellent/Inspiring/Well Organised/Kind: exploring teaching excellence with staff and studentsJulie Hall, Chris Bond and Penny Burden
  7. E-learning Encourages “Good Pedagogy”, or Does It?Rowland Gallop
  8. Aligning Frameworks and Experience to Develop HE-ness: from training to student-centred learningVivien Martin

2.45 – 3.30pm Parallel Session 2

  1. Supporting Social Learning in Ghana: accommodating creativity and innovation within frameworks and standardsImelda Bates
  2. Tribes and Networks: discipline specific associate tutor teaching training in anthropology and informaticsAnne Hole
  3. Teaching Higher Education Programmes in Further Education Colleges: whose professional teaching standards?Fran Beaton and Janice Malcolm
  4. From Peer Observation of Teaching to Review of Professional Practice: a model for promoting CPDDavid Gosling and Kristine Mason O’Connor
  5. CPD: its value to professionals?Jenny Davies and Penny Russell
  6. Compering and Comparing: stand-up comedy and the seminar roomKevin McCarron
  7. Enfranchising E-tutors Through Professional StandardsRichard Hall
  8. How can I Make My Session Unmissable? A librarian s lamentSheila Browning, Carolyn Bew and Jane Gay

3.30 – 4.00pm Refreshments
4.00 – 5.30pm Parallel Session 3

  1. Being and Becoming: an appreciative inquiry into professionalismTony Brand and John Sweet
  2. Lecturer Development: does it work?Roni Bamber
  3. Using Standards and Frameworks for Freedom and InnovationDavid Baume
  4. The Strategic Staff Development Project: professional development for staff and educational development practitionersJohn Doidge
  5. A Team-Based Approach to Continuing Professional DevelopmentHelen King, Sue Burkill and June Harwood
  6. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: exploring the tensions between standards, innovation and creativity in the context of academic development orientationsSue Clayton and Neill Thew
  7. So What About the Professional Standards of Educational Developers?Ivan Moore and Karen O’Rourke
  8. How to Internalise a CPD Framework?Roy Seden

5.30 – 6.00pm Reading Group
7.15pm Drinks Reception