This week I am talking to Lorna Trent from Parrot Enterprises about CPD and networking.

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Networking and CPD



Welcome to session 004 of the Kaz johnson show

Hi and welcome to the Kaz johnson show, my name is Kaz johnson and I am the founder of the assessor academy which is a website that trains, supports, trainers and training business.  Its also a job board for educators, this week I am speaking to Lorna Trent of parrot enterprises regarding cpd and networking, Lorna owns parrot enterprises, it’s all about networking this week…

Karen    Hi Lorna and welcome to the show

Lorna     Hello. Thank you for inviting me

Karen    Before we get into the nitty then of the CPD, can you tell me a little bit about you, and who you are and what you do?

Lorna    Yes, my name is Lorna Trent, my company is Parrot and basically we are a networking company, we can either network on behalf of other business, or we can teach people how to network successfully themselves.

Karen    Excellent! And how did you get started?

Lorna    Well, I have been networking for over twenty years now.

Karen    Blimey, you don’t look that old!

Lorna    (laughing) thank you! I started off, I used to work Dorset Chamber of Commerce and I used to help plan and run their networking events, and all my working life networking has played a really big part in that, and is sort of a natural progression really that  I set up the business helping others to network.  A lot of people find it scary, a lot of people don’t want to do it, or can’t but it’s so beneficial to them, if you can get it right, it can make a big difference, so I thought I would help other people to do that!

Karen    Excellent! So let’s get onto the CPD then, what actually is CPD and what does it stand for?

Lorna    CPD is continuous Professional Development, and the dictionary definition is basically the term used to describe ‘conscious and proactive learning activities, that professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities’.  Basically what it is it’s helping to keep your skills and qualifications up to date, I suppose an easy way to describe it I would say, if you thought about a doctor, if you have got a doctor who qualified 50 years ago, and never did any continuous learning, you would be a little bit wary about their skills with all the changes that have happed, so CPD helps people in their professionals to stay up to date.

Karen    So, is it just for people who are in a profession, what about people who actually has not entered into a profession at the moment?

Lorna    CPD is actually for everybody because what it is it’s something that you can do yourself, and you can note all the training activities that you do it could be formal, it could be learning from colleagues, there’s load of different things that could sort of, reading relevant materials, books, coaching, there is lots of different things that you could do, but it’s about logging that and being conscious of what you have done and how it’s enhancing your skills, and that can help you if you have not got a job, it can help show that acutally you are interested and that, it can help with career progression, so you can prove to employer, look, I am keeping up to date, I am being proactive, and it helps you to have confidence in what you are doing.

Karen    So how do you actually log your CPD learning then?

Lorna    No…!, I have just started looking at CPD then because of my organisation its something that whilst I was doing the training I was requested to have CPD accreditation so there is organisations that can actually accredit training courses so that you have a set amout of points that you get from that, but it is something that reading all about it that I am going to do, there is an awful lot of training that I have done over the years and I have got a record of what I have done, but I have never logged it in that was easy and I have consciously looked at how it’s helping me progress with my career, but looking at the benefits it’s something that is really worth doing.

Karen    You mentioned CPD points, what actually are they?

Lorna    CPD points basically are for different learning activities, points are awarded depending on the level of activity.  So typically for a training course you might say if you did three hours training you would get three points.  However, there are exceptions to that because if the training is accredited by three CPD points so that it is actually going to satisfy an organisation, if that learning is particularly level, or you are getting certain quality of training they may actually increase those points, so you may get more than one per hour, depending on the level and complexity, but in general its one point is one hour, so some people will call it CPD hours and some people will call it points.

Karen    And how do people actually get started then with CPD training?

Lorna    Well basically, start a log, start logging what you are doing, look for courses that if you want it accredited with CPD and then you got points, you will get a certificate, if you go on a training course with CPD points on it or you can just, look at what you are doing and evaluate what you are doing and just log it so you have that continuous record.

Karen    So I noticed then that you started doing CPD accredited courses, can you tell me a little bit about the courses that you run with CPD training?

Lorna    Yes, basically what I have done is that I have got a networking master class, which is CPD accredited and that is because a lot of professional organisations that have to network, there is a lot of people that don’t’ really know what they are doing, its, very unusual networking, it’s a skill that people need, it’s a skill that people very rarely training people for., they just through people in the deep end and expect to get great results, and that is not always the case, but if you know what you are doing, and you have a plan that’s great, so I wanted my course accredited so that people that would understand the value of it, would see that it’s had some external verification, it’s not just me, saying this is what you should do, somebody has actually accredited the course and it’s something that has been requested.

Karen    So where do you run these courses?

Lorna    I run them at the moment, in Bournemouth, and I will be running them on a regular basis, I have got one coming up one the 22nd September, and basically I will be putting them on as demand comes to me, but I have already had a request for people who are potentially looking doing in-house courses, so I would be happy to do that, and you know, there will be continuous courses throughout the year and again, I am hoping to take it out to different regions of the country as well.

Karen    And how long is the course that your are running?

Lorna    The course that I am running is about 6 hours depending on the number of attendees, so that it’s a day’s training and very interactive,

Karen    And when you mean interactive what exactly are the sort of things that the learners will have to cover?

Lorna    Well, there are all sorts of things from your planning, there is lots of activities and exercises around how you actually plan what you are going to do, for your networking because there is no point in just turning up and hoping for the best, because how do you know if you have succeeded? And then how to interact with people, how to break into groups, how to break out of groups, how to join conversations, it’s about body language, it’s about making sure that you achieve your aims, there is a whole raft of things that we go through and we look at why it’s scary because a lot of people are scared about networking and so there is a whole, we cover the whole event from preplanning, to the follow up afterwoods and include everything you need to think about in between.

Karen    And where can people find more about your CPD course that you are going to be rolling out in September?

Lorna    All the details are on my website, which is www.parotenterprises.co.uk.

Karen    Is there anything else you would like to tell us about CPD training and yours particular?

Lorna    Basically, give it a go, if it’s not something you are doing it’s something that’s well worth doing well worth noting and could really help with your career or if your employer, think about for your staff it’s a way of making sure that your staff are keeping up to date that they know what they are doing and are properly trained.

Karen    Thanks very much Lorna, I appreciate that!  Thank you, bye bye,

Lorna    Thank you very much

Karen    Thank for joining me and Lorna on this weeks session, if you would like to get the transcript for this session if you would like to go to www.kazjohnson.com/session004, I look forward to speaking with next week.