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9. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The programme of regional training events to support and promote the use of CPD Now continued, although the majority of national councils and regional committees had received most of their training allocation in the previous year. The upgraded version of CPD Now was launched in January 2009 and was well received by users and union learning representatives. Development work continued throughout the year and the use of the application for the accreditation of advanced and consultant practice will be launched in 2010. A new section of the application will also handle the endorsement of CPD programmes and events.

The total number of users actively engaging with CPD Now – defined as having selected a CPD framework and recorded at least some learning activities against this – was around 6,000 at the end of August 2009. The web statistics for CPD Now use show some potentially interesting trends, although these should be interpreted with caution and there is a degree of variation from month to month. Surprisingly, activity is much higher mid-week than at the weekend. A significant number of users visit for an average of ten to twenty minutes, although the largest group uses the site for over an hour at each visit. The number of page views per visit is also higher mid-week. The initial impression gained is that a majority of users visit the site during the week and spend over an hour at each visit looking at different parts of the application. Weekend visitors tend to spend as much time but visit fewer pages, which might suggest that this group is more intent on completing the portfolio than exploring other features of the application. Further work is planned to establish how this type of data might benefit CPD Now users and support planning for CPD resources.

The endorsement of CPD programmes has continued to show steady growth, although, as in previous years, the largest group applying for this service remains the commercial sector. Eighty four applications were received during the periods covered by this report. These included multi-submissions under the same speciality heading from certain companies.

April 2009 saw the preliminary launch of the College of Radiographers e-learning programme, CORe-learning. This is delivered in partnership with Philips Healthcare and the College of Radiographers currently endorses 90 units covering a range of science topics and imaging modalities, as well as radiotherapy and some ‘soft’ skills development. A further 80 are currently under review. User uptake is favourable, with over 300 users registered before the formal launch at UKRC in June. By the end of September 2009 there were over 600 registered users of CORe-learning with approximately 200 certificates of completion awarded. User comment (which can be submitted directly on completion of each module) is generally positive, although some users would prefer more user interaction with the materials. It is envisaged that more modules will be endorsed and that in due course modules will be commissioned and developed in the UK.

A successful bid by the College resulted in funding from the Department of Health to develop fifty e-learning modules in image interpretation of the adult skeleton. This is crucially important to the development of many diagnostic radiographers and will enhance significantly the contribution made by radiographers in imaging services. Preliminary research has shown that training in this aspect of practice can result in a large reduction in the number of fractures/ pathologies ‘missed’ during initial presentation.  The modules are developed by expert practitioners under the auspices of the e-Learning for Health programme and in partnership with the College. The programme will be available to radiographers and other healthcare practitioners throughout the NHS in 2010.

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