Professional Standards and Continuing Professional Development: ideals and realities

20 November 2007 - 21 November 2007
Location: Birmingham

 Four years ago the Government stated its expectation that there should be an overarching framework to structure professional standards in higher education. This controversial issue was the focus of the November 2005 SEDA conference where key themes of working with Professional Standards and Continuing Professional Development frameworks were explored. What has happened since then? The new national framework for professional standards in teaching and supporting learning was launched by Universities UK (UUK), the Standing Conference of Principals (SCOP) and the Higher Education Academy on 23 February 2006. The framework was developed by the Academy on behalf of UUK, SCOP and the four UK higher education funding councils with the intention of enabling a sector-owned approach to learning and teaching standards. Has this worked? Has the sector welcomed the framework as an opportunity to mesh practises and policies and overtly enhance its status? Or have the standards proved to devalue and limit professionalism? Have they produced any measurable benefits to the students’ experience?

Two years on, the annual SEDA conference revisits this theme and invites you to report on your experiences within the further and higher education arenas or offer sessions which explore the extent to which your institution has adopted the framework. We welcome sessions which problematise the relationship between the standards and continuing professional development and the extent to which the underpinning ideals have translated into reality.

Conference Themes

The conference will seek to address the following themes:

  • Working with others to raise awareness of the professional standards
  • Values, standards, CPD practices and university processes that reward and recognise staff
  • Have professional standards limited notions of professionalism and led to technical rationale approaches to education?
  • Standards-based approaches to learning and teaching and enhancing the student experience
  • Can professional standards in learning and teaching be measured in a sector that values innovation, individuality and professional autonomy and if so what are the methods used?


The SEDA Conference Experience

SEDA 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:

  • “Discussion and mutual support the best I’ve ever encountered at a conference “
  • “It was useful to share experiences and to suddenly find the commonalities within our roles”
  • “This is my first SEDA conference and I have found it excellent ”


The conference will be of particular interest to all those involved in promoting effective change in HE learning, teaching and educational development. This includes:

  • Educational and staff developers
  • Staff developers and human resources personnel
  • 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 Programme

Tuesday 20th November 2007 – Day 1 (click here for day 2).

Click on title to view abstract (PDFs):



09.15 – 09.45

Registration and Coffee

09.45 – 10.00

Welcome and Introductions

10.00 – 11.15

Keynote: Judging the Value and Values of Continuous Professional Development, Sally Brown and Phil Race

11.15 – 11.30

Coffee Break

11.30 – 12.00

Discussion Groups

12.00 – 12.45

Parallel Session 1

  1. Critical Conversation: ethics, professional and organisational development and cultural change

    Alex Carson, Colette Bleakley and Ros Harrison

  2. Standards in Action: are they working hard enough? A Case Study from the University of Birmingham

    Maxine Lintern

  3. Developing a Staff Development Framework for a Wide Range of Learning Supporters

    Carol Baume

  4. Freedom in Sweden and Standards in England: a comparative study of two courses

    Rosalind Duhs

  5. Using Professional Requirements/Standards in England as a Learning Activity Framework

    Pam Shakespeare

  6. Practices and Support – the issues for part-time teachers

    Richard Atfield, Valerie Anderson, Colin Bryson, Carolyn Gibbon and Arthur Morgan

12.45 – 13.45 Lunch
13.45 – 15.15

Parallel Session 2

  1. Reflections of a Pilot Study: what have we learnt from implementing our CPD Framework?

    Sandy Cope and Roy Seden

  2. Developing Futures for Professionalisation and Accreditation

    David Baume

  3. Kinetics and Myths Set Against the Academy Standards Document

    John Sweet

  4. The Portfolio – problem or panacea?

    Marion Webb, Stephanie Aiken and Jane Gay

  5. Moved to session 6
  6. Part-time Teachers in HE and the New UK Professional Standards Framework

    Lois Kennedy and Anne Morris

15.15 – 15.30

Coffee Break

15.30 – 16.15

Parallel Session 3

  1. CPD Frameworks: dancing to the rhythms of institutional life

    Sue Clayton

  2. Review of Professional Practice: issues in implementation

    David Gosling and Kristine Mason O’Connor

  3. Grasp the Subject, the Words will Follow: a sharing of the extent to which the terminology may erect barriers for the FE/HE interface

    Jenny Eland and Geraldine McManus

  4. Academic Staff Development as a Creative Activity

    Lewis Elton

  1. Recruitment to Retirement: using the UK Professional Standards Framework to support teaching quality enhancement through human resource processes

    Corony Edwards

16.15 – 17.00 Parallel Session 4

  1. Learning Teaching and Assessment Orientation: filling the gap

    Sally Bradley and Graham Holden

  2. Continuing Professional Development in Higher Education: the ideals and realities of engaging academic staff

    Karin Crawford

  3. Joined-up CPD: expectations, attitudes and behaviours

    Andrew Rothwell

  4. What are University CPD Frameworks For?

    John Peters

  1. The Asset Strip of Nurse Education and the Inequalities of Contractual Status

    Kevin Corbett and Jenni Craig

  1. Developing Professional Standards in Research SupervisionAnne Lee

17.00 – 17.30

Reading Group / Discussion Group

19.00 – 19.30

Drinks Reception

19.30 – 22.00

Conference Dinner