The National Forum, in partnership with Ireland’s higher education sector, has engaged in the development of a Professional Development Recognition Framework, which has been identified as a high-level indicator of success under the key strategic priority of ‘The Professional Development of Those Who Teach’ in the National Forum Strategy 2019-2021.
An Advisory Group, working with the National Forum, will develop a professional development recognition model which will be shared with the sector later this year. Feedback will help build consensus and inform plans for an initial piloting of the model.
The Advisory Group’s work builds on the collaborative efforts of the 2019 PD Advisory Group which recommended further exploration of an approach to recognition of professional development that would acknowledge engagement in, and commitment to, teaching and learning enhancement at a range of levels including institutional, departmental and individual. This approach could potentially provide for increased coherence and alignment in terms of valuing teaching and learning across the various levels of higher education and ensure greater ownership by the sector. Any approach taken needs to align with existing institutional teaching quality and enhancement approaches, and there would need to be clarity around the purpose of recognition.
The development of a professional recognition framework represents a significant next step in the national approach to valuing teaching and learning in higher education. National Forum work in this space began between 2014 and 2016 and resulted in the publication of the ‘National Professional Development Framework for all Staff Who Teach in Higher Education’. Discussions around recognition and professional development in higher education as it related to teaching and learning were reignited in 2018 in part through a consultation with National Forum Associates on the development of the National Forum Strategy (2019-2021). That consultation stressed the need to increase the emphasis on ‘valuing’ teaching and learning across the sector as well as addressing the issue of recognition of professional development. These sentiments were reflected in the National Forum’s vision which is a valued and informed teaching and culture in Irish Higher Education and they resonate with the National Forum’s current VIT&L work – Valuing Ireland’s Teaching & Learning.
Advisory group members are from across the range of higher education providers in Ireland and have invaluable experience and expertise in the recognition space.