Friday, March 14, 2008

CIPD - Chartered Institute for the Prevention of Development

A money-making machine
I gave a keynote on Informal Learning this week and something interesting happened during the Q&A session. There were grumblings about young professionals being drowned in old and outdated techniques and practice through CIPD courses and accreditation. The complaint was that they hold progress back by touting the same old theories and models. They were also accused of being no more than a money making machine. I triggered this off by mentioning that the CIPD run NLP courses. This is the equivalent of the Royal Astronomical Society running courses in Astrology. Far from preparing us for the future, the CIPD may be imprisoning us in the past.

Profession at low ebb
Their own CIPD survey in 2007 showed that only 12% of managers take L&D very seriously, only 30% report that L&D is involved in the early stages of organisational strategy planning processes and less than half of all organisations have any sensible evaluation strategy for L&D (thanks to Charles Jennings). Hasn’t it occurred to them that they themselves may be one of the reasons for this sorrowful situation; rooted as they are in a petty, unscientific, technophobic, Kirkpatrick obsessed world of flogging their own courses.

The Top Ten list of interest its own website tells the whole story. What people are interested in is merely their qualifications and membership. When an organisation becomes more interested in itself than the profession it serves, or even worse, becomes an end in itself, something has gone horribly wrong.


Barry Sampson said...

It just goes to reinforce what most of us already know - the CIPD is irrelevant if you work in Learning & Development.

It's an outdated organisation tied up in its own importance.

Does anybody actually take it seriously?

Anonymous said...

And they didn't participate in learning technologies. I wonder why?

Clive Shepherd said...

I don't want to defend the teaching in typical train the trainer courses of what are now regarded by cognitive scientists and neuroscientists as little more than pseudo-scientific nonsense, but I'm not sure the CIPD is any more to blame than anyone else providing this sort of training. The soft skills branch of the learning and development profession, which makes up most of the CIPD's l&D membership, has always been more attractive to romantics than rationalists.

The CIPD is a symptom of the problem not the cause. Historically, the enlightenment came before romantic period; let's hope that in learning and development, the sequence is reversed.

Barry Sampson said...

To give this some context, I was the one who asked the question of Donald at the recent conference.

My query was whether he, like me, had noticed a disturbing trend amongst young people (and here I'm mostly talking graduates) joining the L&D profession; that the majority had no interest in the use of technology within learning but seemed determined to run classroom courses as the solution to everything.

These are people with HR (or related) Degrees and a CIPD qualification (by which I mean the PDS or whatever it's called these days).

It may not be to blame for the issue per se, but as an organisation that advertises itself as the professional body for anyone working in our field it should be an exemplar, and I therefore feel less inclined to forgive it!

Anonymous said...

It strikes me that, unfortunately, the CIPD aren't an irrelevance because of the influence they wield.

Now that really isn't probably a great thing. It stymies innovation and evolution.

But, if they are a monolith of self interest, tradition and complacency and they hold the reigns on a swathe of new learning professionals - that's something that needs to change... It's also incumbent on all 21st century learning evangalists to help them change...

As the old adage goes... If your not part of the solution your part of the problem.

So, rationally, what happens next....

Anonymous said...

I think it is broader than just the CIPD.

A lot of traditional management techniques make the challenges of working in today's complex companies worse, particularly the obsession with teamwork and everyone being involved in everything.

In my book Speed Lead I propose reducing cooperation, communication and control to get more done.

Companies have changed, they are matrixed, virtual, global etc.. but L&D keeps perpetuating skills that were developed for simpler times.

Time to wake up HR