Continuing Professional Development
Guidelines for PHA Members
ACPHA supports continuing professional development (CPD) for state and territory PHA members. CPD in its various forms is something that any professional undertakes to maintain and enhance his or her knowledge and skills. In order to assist historians to retain a competitive position in the marketplace and to meet various competency and accreditation standards, ACPHA's CPD Guidelines aim to help association members to ensure that they maintain the professional competence required by clients and ACPHA's national Code of Ethics.
Your professional development is up to you
CPD is self-directed. Members' professional goals vary according to the type of historical work they practice and the media in which they work. You may be:
a sole historian writing commissioned histories;
the principal of a company undertaking a range of work (commissioned histories, heritage studies, exhibitions);
an author of electronic material or a film-maker;
an employed historian within a large organisation.
Only you can know what your professional needs are for the specific types of history work you carry out. Your university training (particularly when supplemented by an applied history course) may have given you a good grounding for your work. On the other hand, you may find it gave you good basic skills in history but left you wondering how to run a business, write heritage conservation plans or work in an unfamiliar medium.
What should you do?
First, you need to define your professional needs and goals. What is the nature of your work now? Do you intend to expand or change your fields of work? Do you have future objectives for your work? Do you have the skills for what you are doing now and what you plan to do? Write this down and shape it into a strategic framework for your future career or business plan. This does not mean everything is then set in stone for life. Obviously you will see new opportunities and change direction from time to time.
Second, identify your strengths and weaknesses for meeting your goals. Do you need to know how to present yourself or your business, do you need to know about museum work so that you can tender for jobs in that area, do you need better computer skills, and so on?
Third, overcome your weaknesses by further professional development.
What will your PHA do?
The state and territory PHAs aim to support their members' professional development through services which can include:
- general guidance for members;
- workshops and publications on topics where no appropriate external guidance is available;
- information on relevant professional development opportunities from external providers.
ACPHA and its member PHAs want to ensure that your skills acquired through CPD are recognised as part of your qualifications. To provide you with documentary evidence to add to your qualifications and curriculum vitae, the attached CPD Recording Sheet (link to pdf) is supplied. It is recommended that you update the Recording Sheet and keep it with your degree/s and PHA membership certificate as evidence of your level of professional qualification. Always include your professional development activities in your CV along with your qualifications and ACPHA accreditation.
What do you record as CPD?
The types of CPD which can be included on the Recording Sheet include history, history-related and non-history activities. Activities may be identified as being primarily related to the development of employment; education and training; the profession; and personal knowledge, skills and values:
- Employment knowledge, skills and values - work in history or a related field that involves the development of new approaches, applications, values or techniques;
- Education and training - formal short courses, part-time courses, external courses or conference programs that consolidate or enhance history knowledge, skills and values;
- Development of the profession - enhancement of the profession by committee, administrative or community service, verbal and written presentations, and professional and community workshops; and
- Development of personal knowledge, skills and values - activities in a non-history field contributing to personal development, for example human relations, communications skills, conflict resolution and cultural awareness skills.
Where can you get advice?
Contact your state or territory PHA for further information and advice.