An important part of the IFST CPD standards is that CPD is wide-ranging and that the activities undertaken should reflect a balance of learning activities. A balanced portfolio of CPD activities should include a selection of activities in at least 3 of the following categories:
Work based learning
Formal / Educational
It is not possible to develop guidelines to cover every conceivable type of situation which would qualify as CPD. In the vast majority of situations, the base for a good CPD requirement should include activities, which provide opportunities to interact with other professionals.
The way in which an individual scientist takes part in CPD will also depend on their specialty, the opportunities available, their priorities, and their personal learning styles and preferences. This diversity of activity is encouraged, as without it CPD activities would be less effective.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of activities which may be part of the continuing professional development of food scientists and technologists. Your CPD may be made up partly or wholly activities not themselves scientific, but are demonstrably relevant to your career, eg management or computer studies.
Work based learning
Work based learning is professional development that takes place by fulfilling the current job role. Such development naturally takes place as experience is gained in the role, greater independence and responsibility is given, and the complexity and scope of work undertaken increases.
Work based learning also includes in house learning activities and development opportunities that are provided by the employer as part of staff orientation and development in support of organisational performance and objectives.
Work based learning – examples:
- Experiential learning: Pre-preparation before commencing a new role or expanding an existing role
- In service training – includes orientation programs, standard operating procedures and employee development
- Receiving coaching from others
- Work shadowing
- Peer review of own work, including presentations to colleagues
- Review of case studies and literature
- Participating in journal club
- Discussions with colleagues – idea generation, problem solving, etc
- Presentations to external clients, regulators, policy makers
- Supervising colleagues or students
- Job rotation, secondments and sabbaticals
- Involvement in the wider work of employer – beyond scope of role
- Postmortem and lessons learnt activities following significant projects, events
- Requesting and analysing feedback on performance from colleagues, clients
- Participating in the employer’s performance appraisal and goal setting process.
Professional activities that support professional development include participating in the management and organisation of a professional body; and also participating in activities that develop the professional skills and knowledge of other professionals and participating in activities that apply scientific expertise in the wider community.
Professional activity – examples:
- Involvement in the management of a professional body – officer, organiser, committee member, working group member
- Organiser of a conference, scientific meeting or course
- Being an examiner
- Being a referee for a journal
- Supervisor of research
- Membership of a technical expert group – e.g. special interest group, section or study group
- Being an expert witness
- Preparation for lecturing or teaching (new material)
- Preparation for giving presentations or being a discussant at conferences or scientific meetings
- Networking with professionals in other organisations
- Coaching or mentoring
Formal / educational
Formal/educational professional development includes the participation in activities that lead to gaining academic/professional qualifications and the attendance at structured learning activities organised by professional bodies, learned societies or training providers; and also the preparation of papers, articles or presentations for a professional audience.
Formal / educational – examples:
- Undertaking a program of learning or research for an academic qualification
- Attending training courses
- Attending conferences or scientific meetings
- Undertaking distance learning or e-learning activities
- Reading to understand the legal, regulatory framework for professional work
- Maintaining or developing specialist skills
- Writing articles or papers
- Preparing presentations for conferences or scientific meetings
- Preparing material for training courses
Self directed learning
Self directed learning takes place when the individual takes the initiative in diagnosing learning needs, formulating learning goals, designing learning experiences, identifying and using human and material resources and evaluating learning outcomes.
Self directed learning – examples:
- Reading books, journals and articles.
- Reviewing and summarising books and articles.
- Upgrading knowledge through internet searches and the use of electronic information sources
- Reflective practice – assessing benefit of CPD activities to self, client or employer – identifying next steps
Activities which may not require scientific expertise, but which help develop transferable skills and gain experiences that are valuable in the current professional role or in future career directions. These would include involvement in strategic activities for the employer; and activities carried out outside of professional life.
Other – examples:
- Strategic thinking (e.g. projects for employers such as organisational restructuring, strategic planning and resourcing, external/community relations, facility development)
- Leadership skills (eg managing a children's sports team, leader of a scouting/ guides activity, Chair person for a club or society)
- Organisation and planning skills (Secretary for a club or society, school governor, Parent Teacher Association organiser, church parish councilor)
- Finance skills (e.g. treasurer for a club or society)
- Coaching and counselling skills (e.g. sports coach, Samaritans volunteer, mentoring, tutoring)