Lydia Mishelle Maurice-Gill
1.1 Explain the importance of continually improving knowledge and practice
I am a firm believer in lifelong learning. I have been in academia since I was 4 years old and that is something that I simply enjoy. From a professional perspective and especially in the field of health and social care I do feel it is important to ensure that you are continually improving your knowledge, skills and practice. The field is quite dynamic, often changing as legislation and government initiative change. It is therefore essential for all who are working in this field to keep abreast with changes in practice and legislation. There is also an unspoken expectation that organisations ensure that the changes and recommendations are included in policies and procedures; and to ensure that the relevant training opportunities are available to staff and managers to build on their competencies and learning.
Continuing Professional Development is essential in helping individuals, organisations or entire industries to keep skills and knowledge up to date. Providing CPD enables organisations to become a knowledge bank to key stakeholders of your organisation. It shows a clear commitment to self-development and professionalism. CPD provides an opportunity for an individual to identify knowledge gaps and to resolve these in a recognisable approach to improvement.
1.2 Analyse potential barriers to professional development
One of the barriers that I have encountered in my professional career for progression has been the lack of resources and funding. There have been times when I needed particular training and professional qualifications which would improve my knowledge but due to financial constrains within the organisation this could not be provided. In these cases, I have either funded courses myself or have moved to another organisation where I could get the training I needed to develop further.
Another barrier is that there is no role available for someone to move upwards within a company; perhaps the role is not available, or the company is not in a position to expand and create opportunities and new roles.
A significant barrier is personal life (work/life balance); some of my current staff would like to do more/be more however due to personal commitment such as family and caring commitments, they are unable to prioritise professional development.
People who have not had a solid educational foundation have also stated that moving forward and undertaking more complex training and educational projects is difficult. This has been the case for one of my staff members who finds it extremely challenging reading complex documents and articles.
Language barrier can also hinder progress and prove to be challenging for some to move up the career ladder in particular fields.
I currently have staff member who has some learning difficulties and developing professionally has been a challenge for him mainly because he does ...