The TDA National CPD Database is designed "to promote high quality CPD courses for all school staff". The pilot database is a free resource which can be used in two ways, either as a search for cpd information on provision, or as a platform on which providers of CPD can register and then upload the opportunities offered. Opportunities for CPD can be browsed by topic or easily searched for and the results filtered by geographic location.
The resource is at its early stages of development and features mainly day courses from commercial providers. It has, however, great potential as a marketing and brokerage tool for CPD especially if longer accredited courses are included on the database. If you are offering programmes of CPD, it is worth ensuring that your portfolio of courses is represented here.
The TDA press release gives the following background to the project:
"The database aims to establish an authoritative source of information about the huge range of CPD in England for members of the children's workforce in schools by being a site for providers of any kind of CPD for education professionals to list the opportunities they offer. It already has over 300 opportunities on the database, from a similar number of different organisations, from Universities, to Local Authorities, to private companies.
Members of the children's workforce in schools who are looking for CPD either for themselves, or for others as part of their role (if they are in charge of CPD for their school or department for example) can easily search and browse the database through the user friendly interface, to quickly find what they are looking for, and get more information. They can compare things like cost, where it is delivered, and what the links are between the opportunities on offer and professional or occupational standards.
All providers who sign up to the database must adhere to a TDA developed code of practice, which sets out the minimum expectations the TDA and its partners have for good quality CPD. This means that users can look through the site with the confidence that any opportunities they do decide to pursue, will meet this standard".
The browse facility allows the user to improve their results by filtering through location, the standards (for both teaching staff and support staff), delivery method, role, phase and curriculum subject. This enables the user to gain a clearer idea of the content and suitability of the CPD offered. The price is also included. A further section of the site, the CPD providers area, is devoted to providers, who after free registration can input details of courses that they provide in CPD.
The website also includes an informative area called the ‘knowledge base'. Here the user is provided with a variety of information including future plans for the database, the target audience, and national continuing professional development priorities for teachers. There is advice on how to use the website and an opportunity to give feedback.
This database is part of a wider TDA launch to improve CPD within schools, and a link to their recent promotion of the site can be accessed below.