by Dr Brían Ó Donnchadha, CPD Development Officer
How does the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development (CALPD) work with Industries and Organisations?
Adult Learning has developed a wide range of part-time courses in collaboration with industry, community organisations and professional bodies. The courses provide practical, real-world knowledge & skills that are career-focused, industry-relevant and can be tailored to suit the needs of a particular organisation. For the past five years, we have gone a step further and offer modules on a standalone basis through CPD – Continuous Professional Development.
What is your role at the Centre?
My current role is CPD Development Officer, working across campus to meet the needs of professionals to stay fully trained in their field in accordance with the requirements of their professional accrediting body. Most professionals have to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date to maintain their ability to practice within their profession. The Centre draws on a wide range of expertise available within the University to provide modules and courses to professionals so that they can hone their skills and improve their employability.
What does the role of CPD Development Officer involve?
I work with employers and professional bodies to find out what their training needs are and then liaise with the relevant experts on campus who can meet those needs. Having a background in academic programme management helps me to assist stakeholders in drafting new training modules that professionals can take on a part-time basis. These could be as short as one day or could be spread out over a semester. There is already about 600 modules that are available on a part-time basis across the campus and I am structuring them so that they are more accessible to busy professionals.
What type of skills are employers most interested in for their employees?
Key skills in project management, quality assurance and regulatory affairs are currently in high demand. Meanwhile, the often misnamed ‘soft skills’ are core to how any business or organisation is run, as it is rare indeed for someone to work entirely in isolation. Emotional intelligence is vital to interacting well with co-workers, to better understand the messages one receives in addition to the spoken or written word. Communication skills are not limited to delivering a Powerpoint and employers always seek the ‘well rounded’ individual. These skills can be developed like a muscle through training and practice until they become natural. We always include opportunities to exercise and develop these skills in our CPD modules so that the continuous development of the professional is as broad as possible and meets the needs of employers and representative bodies.
How can I apply for a CPD course?
All the modules currently available through CPD are listed on our website at www.nuigalway.ie/cpd
There are modules in a variety of fields for example: business & management, engineering, science & technology, nursing, marketing among others. The modules are updated on a regular basis with new modules being added all the time.