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  • Lloyd Bullard

Intentional Professional Development – Part 1

Let’s talk a little about Intentional Professional Development, which involves external and internal service trainings, work experience, formal and informal supervision, the performance evaluation process, group/team meetings, and projects. How many of you thought about including all of these different elements into professional development?

What’s the methodology associated with each of these approaches?


External trainings – should be used to augment in-service trainings. External trainings include seminars, conferences, symposiums and courses. Think about creating a bigger bang for your buck ($) by having staff who attend external trainings to conduct an in-service training on what they learned. Agencies should also consider developing a system to assess and implement those approaches that are considered best/promising practices.


In-service trainings – identify those skills and information that will help staff increase their effectiveness and competency. This can also include introducing new skills and approaches. Evaluate what resources are available in-house before seeking outside consultation. Use outside consultation to build the agency’s capacity to develop internal experts (employees). Survey staff annually – have them to identify their training needs. Also, have supervisors to identify their staff’s training needs.


Work experience – provides the most significant approach to staff development because it allows staff the opportunity to implement the skills (application of practice), information and knowledge acquired. However, it’s important that the supervisor guide this process and provide constructive feedback throughout.


Intentional Professional Development – Part 2 will discuss the final four areas related to intentional professional development, one-on-one formal and informal supervision, the performance evaluation process, group/team meetings, and projects.

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