Continuing professional development formats

The educational format used should be the most effective and efficient method for meeting the learning objectives (UHPC 2008). Approaches such as on-the-job training and blended learning can be used to minimize the amount of time health workers must spend away from their jobs (Schaefer 2005). Distance learning opportunities and information technology can be used to address the limited professional development experienced by health workers in remote locations (Ndege 2006).

Similarly, follow-up of trainees after the CPD intervention is an important step in the process, one used to determine if the intervention was effective and to learn what changes might improve it in the future.

Key components of continuing professional development training

  • Content should be evidence-based and relevant to the area of practice (WFME 2003).
  • Desired learning outcomes should be communicated to the target audience before the activity is conducted (UHPC 2008).
  • Two-way communication between learners and training facilitators, and between learners, is necessary for effective learning and should be incorporated into CPD (Khan and Coomarasamy 2006).
  • The best CPD systems are multifaceted and provide different types of formal and informal learning opportunities and support, such as structured courses supported by on-the-job training, mentoring, and peer support (WFME 2003).
  • In order to transfer clinical skills, hands-on teaching is more effective than classroom teaching and should be used when feasible (Khan and Coomarasamy 2006).

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