- Employers as partners
- Learning with UNISON
- Learning locally
- Learning in Action
- Learning in the workplace
Work pioneered by UNISON in Northern Ireland has shown that health service members are very interested in attending a wide range of courses on continuing professional development. UNISON has recently run very successful sessions on: reflective practice, palliative care, tackling elder abuse, getting started on your PC and supporting people with dyslexia. The OU has in some cases provided the visiting speaker for these sessions and we are currently working on ways to extend this facility. Speakers have also come from local specialist organisations.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility of setting up such a session in your region, you should contact your local OU office and speak to one of the locally based staff tutors.
One of the new and exciting possibilities of this site is to give you free access to a range of OU course materials provided on the OpenLearn and iTunesU websites. In time we also hope to host a range of filmed expert lectures on this website, which anyone will be able to watch, download and use in a locally organised CPD session. As this site develops you will be able to access an increasing range of filmed talks and lectures.
Organising a CPD session
Finding out what people are interested in is vital. It is often a good idea to carry out a short survey to help with this. When you have decided on a suitable topic you can start your detailed planning.
Tip 1: Planning a short CPD session
When planning your session you will need:
- Some good publicity
- A venue
- A convenient time
- Someone to chair the session
- Some useful resource materials
- Equipment; e.g. a laptop or a computer; internet connection; projector
You will also need to consider:
- How to explore the topic. Are there resources from OpenLearn or iTunesU that you could use? Will you present the materials or will you need someone to help you? Should you show a film from iTunesU and have a guest speaker?
- Getting an expert speaker. You may decide you need a specialist speaker. The OU may be able to help you with this so it’s worth contacting your regional OU office and speaking to one of the local staff tutors. Otherwise you could look for a local specialist – experienced UNISON members may be able to help.
Tip 2: Running your session
Some useful tips on running your session are:
- Keep it simple and informal. Don’t try to cover too much in one session.
- Introduce your speaker.
- Try to keep the presentation to around 20 minutes (most people only concentrate fully for 20 minutes at a time).
- If you are using a film for your session use a short clip, no more than 15 minutes long.
- Leave time for questions – capture the key points that are made and discussed. It may be useful to have an experienced educational worker present to help answer the questions or guide the post-film discussion.
As we develop films for the site we will also develop ready-made sets of questions to accompany each film – these questions may be useful in sessions with your members.
Tip 3: UNISON and OU resources
At the end of the session there will be an opportunity to interest people in the union and in OU courses. Make sure you have resources to help you do both! Your regional branches of UNISON and the OU will be able to help you get hold of these resources. You can find contact details for them both in Local, Region and Nation Organisation.
At any taster session you will want to point people in the direction of further courses. The OU will be able to give you advice on this. You can contact your local regional centre to discuss your plans with one of the local staff tutors and get their advice on the most appropriate OU courses for your group.
To get you started some courses suitable for taster sessions are listed below by topic.
Children and young people
There is also a range of appropriate Level 1 courses such as:
An introduction to health and social care (K101), which is appropriate for anyone with an interest in how care is provided.
For courses around paramedic sciences, the first course will be the Openings course Understanding health (Y178).
There are also several appropriate Level 1 courses such as:
Also available is a range of short courses that focus on the understanding and management of long-term conditions (for more information please see our Short courses in Health Sciences section).
For courses around social care, the ideal starting point is An introduction to health and social care (K101). This course provides an authoritative overview of the health and social care sector and as such is appropriate for anyone with an interest in how care is provided.