Continuing Professional Development: the Impact of the College of Occupational Therapists' Standard on Dedicated Time

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The 2001 College of Occupational Therapists' Research and Development Strategic Vision and Action Plan (Ilott and White 2001) gave as an objective that 'managers will allocate regular, dedicated time within the work schedule for agreed research/quality-enhancement activities for all occupational therapy personnel' (p275).

This article describes a survey undertaken to establish the impact of the standard on the continuing professional development (CPD) activities of occupational therapy staff. The 1205 responses received demonstrated an increase in access to dedicated CPD time, which was used for individual study, group activities or service development. The monitoring of outcomes from this time investment was patchy.

Dedicated CPD time was found to be beneficial to the individual, his or her service and the service users, although additional work pressure and a lack of study skills were noted. Some respondents were prevented from accessing CPD time owing to workload expectations, whereas others preferred to undertake development activities in their own time.

Having a good CPD structure in place was found to contribute to clinical effectiveness and improved staff morale and recruitment. Creative approaches were described to manage competing time demands. It was evident that managerial support was crucial to the progress of development activity within the workplace.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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