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Home > News > July 2005 > 22-Jul-2005

The Open University opens new CPD centre

With an estimated 6.1 million people in the UK undertaking study for continuing professional development, The Open University has established a new centre that it hopes will meet the needs of people looking to update and extend their skills for career purposes.

Announcing details of the OU Centre for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Centre Director Charles Edwards said: “We are developing a suite of new short non-accredited courses specifically targeting employees seeking post-qualification training and professional skills updating. The courses will be short and sharp – typically up to 30 hours in duration – and have specific skills outcomes.

The Centre for CPD is currently developing a portfolio of short courses in management, for example project management, leading in teams and creative problem-solving, as well as specific customised programs for major employers. CPD courses will be offered across a range of disciplines including IT, health and social care, science and technology.

OU Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Curriculum and Awards) Professor Linda Jones said: “We have the capacity – using multi-media including CD-Roms, printed workbooks, conferencing and virtual learning environments – to deliver quality continuing professional education to employers and their staff not just in the UK, but across Europe and around the world.”

The establishment of the new centre has been welcomed by the Head of Post Qualification Education at the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW), Mr Tony Osude.

“The Institute believes that knowledge and how knowledge is applied in the workplace is critical. CPD is integral to professional currency and like most professional organisations, the ICAEW believes that CPD needs to be appropriate to individual needs rather than overly prescriptive. Within a set framework, ICAEW members apply their own judgement to determine their personal continuing professional development needs.

"This is another impressive and timely initiative from the OU. With its considerable resources, knowledge, expertise and credibility the OU will be able to provide the sort of high quality offering demanded by today’s professionals. The ICAEW welcomes this contribution to the effort in positioning CPD at the core of what it means to be a professional.”

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