London Metropolitan University Research Institutes


Becoming Professional: an investigation into the experiences, perceptions and aspirations of new Institute for Learning members

Funded by

Institute for Learning


June 2008- June 2009


The new Institute for Learning was officially established in 2007 as the professional body for those working in Further Education. All teachers working in an FE college were required to register by 31 March 2008, and teachers and trainers in other parts of the learning and skills sector by 30 September 2008.
All members must undertake and record at least 30 hours of CPD in order to continue registration with the professional body, and the first statements by members of completed CPD activities were recorded during 2008-09.

Aim of the research

This research aimed to provide in-depth data relating to the experiences and aspirations of new members as they sought to address the CPD requirements. These insights into the IfL members’ experiences during their first year to help inform the IfL’s strategic and operational decisions and to provide additional data to be considered in conjunction with findings from audits of CPD that had begun in August 2009.

Findings and Conclusions

A copy of the Report to the IfL can be found here

The key findings of the report were:

  • Respondents welcomed the advent of the IfL, without exception, and their hopes of what it will achieve both for the sector and for its members were high.
  • The organisation is expected to bring enhanced status for Learning and Skills
    teachers and greater visibility to the sector as a whole.
  • Respondents’ conceptions of ‘professionalism’ varied, but by the end of the study, most respondents believed that membership of the IfL had enhanced their sense of their professional identity.
  • Some individuals were very much enjoying the opportunity to address their specific professional development needs in a formal way, with some respondents are using ‘Reflect’  (an online personal learning space for members of the Institute for Learning) regularly; for others it is a more occasional resource.
  • Teachers on part-time or fractional contracts had much less support and fewer formal opportunities in the workplace for undertaking CPD. They reported significant constraints and generally used their own resources and time for these activities.
  • In some institutions, it appeared that the purpose and activities of the IfL were not
    well understood, especially by managers.


Project team

Professor Jocelyn Robson (Project Leader)

Ayo Mansaray

Sumi Hollingworth


Jocelyn Robson


   Company Information    Page last updated 24 August 2009     Contact Page Owner (Angela Kamara)