STaR blog: Dr Jane Wray, Director of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences writes:
I was very excited to attend the launch of the new European Centre of Excellence for Research in Continuing Professional Development at the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland on 26 February. It is a real honour to be part of this exciting new venture and represent the Faculty of Health Sciences and the University of Hull.
This Pan European network of researchers, clinicians, regulators and professional bodies has come together with shared interest in, and passion for advancing the science of continuing professional development (CPD) through research. Ensuring that healthcare staff have opportunities to maintain, develop and update their skills is fundamental to the delivery of high quality, safe and effective care. As healthcare professionals, we have an obligation to ensure that we practice in line with best available evidence (The Code, Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2018), and this can only be achieved by acquiring the new knowledge and skills needed to meet the future changing needs of the people we care for and support. Healthcare organisations invest in a range of CPD activities for their staff to achieve this. We do know that staff consider CPD to be important, opportunities to develop both personally and professionally help create an organisational culture that values staff learning and wellbeing, aiding retention and workforce productivity. However, despite this investment and commitment, the evidence base for CPD in terms of its impact on clinical practice and patient outcomes remains poor.
The launch of this Centre of Excellence is an important step in developing the evidence base through cross-disciplinary collaborative research activity and knowledge exchange. The Centre is the ‘brain-child’ of Professor Thomas Kearns, Executive Director, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery (RCSI) and currently has members from over 20 countries including; Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, UK, and USA. The centre has already established three working groups that are focused on evaluating the impact of CPD, digital pedagogies for CPD and the economic impact of CPD. The centre will act as a catalyst for new ideas and guide future standards.
For more information about the centre, please contact Dr Cathy Fitzgerald, Research Fellow email@example.com