Professionals, CPD and employability
This thesis presents the findings of a study of U.K. Human Resources professionals, and factors relating to their Continuing Professional Development or CPD. The study has investigated their attitudes to CPD (CPDV), what CPD they actually engage in (CPDE), and the statistical relationships between employability, CPD, and a number of biographical and attitudinal variables. As a subsidiary aim, the study developed and tested a scale of employability, as no appropriate measure was discovered prior to the field research being undertaken. While the respondents engaged in CPD, they did so for reasons of professional commitment rather than a concern for their employability, and that the CPD undertaken tended to be either informal or organisationally-driven. Examination of relationships between the study variables using multiple hierarchical regression saw biographical variables explain 4.1 % of the variance in the perceived value of CPD, and attitudinal variables a further 13.5%. Biographical variables explained 10.7% of the variance in employability, and attitudinal variables a further 30.3%. The study has concluded that professional organisations may have some way to go before they achieve the comprehensive engagement with CPD that may become (and is already in some organisations) mandatory, and that this gap relates to individual's self perceived needs in addition to aspects of record keeping and attitudes to the profession generally. More encouraging has been the development of a new measure of individual employability that compares well against the limited empirical literature in the field, and appears to be a distinct construct to SUbjective career success. Overall, the study has contributed to our understanding of professionals, their attitudes and values, and especially their attitude to and engagement with CPD. Although it was not an original aim, the development of the scale of individual employability may well turn out to be the principal theoretical and practical contribution of this research, as a concept that becomes part of a new paradigm of the psychology of work in the 21st century.