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The CPD Research Project

The CPD Research Project is an ongoing university based research project exploring a number of issues around Continuing Professional Development.

The project is part of the Professional Development Consortium. It is supported by Kingston University Business School, as well as an increasing number of professional bodies and employers.

Answering Our Questions

We are conducting research through “CPD Conversations” involving a variety of professionals and organisations.

Our CPD Conversations will include:

  • Focus groups and pilot studies on innovative ways of undertaking CPD
  • Interviews with regulators, professional bodies and employers

The findings will be fed into the practice of CPD via professionals, employers, training providers and institutes with the aim of bringing improvements to the workplace.

Organisations we have, or are currently, working with:

  • Association of Project Management
  • Aviva
  • British Psychological Society – Department of Occupational Psychology
  • CPD Institute
  • Engineering Council
  • Financial Skills Partnership
  • Global PA Network – A membership organisation representing over 5000 PAs and Secretaries
  • Kingston University Business School
  • Memberwise – A network of over 1,250 professional associations and membership bodies
  • Nationwide Building Soceity
  • Redland Solutions
  • Royal Statistical Society
  • Science Council
  • The Professionalism Group – A group which helps individuals and organisations to develop professionalism

“This research has given me a whole new perspective on CPD”  – Steve Billingham, Director of Steve Billingham Consulting

 The CPD Research Project:  A Phased Approach to Research


Stemming from the field of organisational and industrial psychology, this research project is being conducted at university level by researchers with advanced qualifications such as BSc and MSc degrees, PhD’s and Professorships.  The research project is being run by colleagues and academics at the Professional Development Consortium, with support from its Expert Advisory Board, which include various leading academics, representatives of professional bodies and regulators as well as CPD experts.

The research project is inviting 50 ‘Pioneer Partners’ to engage and participate within its data capture.  Each Pioneer Partner is an individual or organisation who have been carefully selected by researchers at the Professional Development Consortium, and participation is strictly by invitation only.

Phase 1

The first step of our research is to understand where learning and development has been heading over the last 5 years. We will review other studies and articles to gather insight into the direction that internal training has taken in recent years as the importance of employee progression and wellbeing has been brought to the forefront of the industry.  

Phase 2

Secondly, we will conduct semi structured interviews and focus groups with CEOs and HR professionals to understand what learning and development initiatives are being implemented across corporate organisations to their employees.

We will aim to find out how these initiatives are developed, delivered and measured.

Phase 3

We will run an online questionnaire aimed at employees across industries to see how the training and development opportunities they are offered and subsequently undertake are received.

Project Outcomes and Resources

It is anticipated that the research project will find interesting and insightful data, leading to the production of useful resources.  These will include the following, and the research team are open to ideas for the development of further / alternative resources to share the data and findings:

  • A PDC Research Event in central London.  To include presentations on the Pioneer Partners Group data, and opportunities for the Pioneer Partners to present separately
  • A 30 minute business documentary – including interviews with keen Pioneer Partners.
  • A book on emerging technologies within learning and development – with Pioneer Partners given the opportunity to contribute to the book through comment, or writing certain chapters
  • Whitepapers and presentations which will encompass the ‘headline findings’, presented at PDC events and other relevant industry meetings, events or conferences.