Certificate Of Personal Development (CPD) 

Some exciting new topics are being introduced for 2019-20.

There are three titles in this scheme:  Communication, Personal Effectiveness and Leadership. 

To achieve a Certificate of Personal Development (CPD) you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Download the Personal Progression Record applicable to each programme, from this website.
  • Before attending each workshop state on the record why you wish to attend that particular title.
  • Attend and actively participate in 5 workshops (units) in the group you have chosen.  Each workshop is between 90 minutes and 2 hours duration.
  • Upon completion of each workshop state on the record what you have learnt.
  • Send the record to SDS@cf.ac.uk when you have been alerted on having completed 5 workshops.

We keep records of your attendances and following completion of 5 units you will be asked to complete a short optional evaluation.  Doing so provides us with very important feedback. 

You may work towards achieving these over several semesters or even academic years. 

Each certificate is signed jointly by the Pro Vice Chancellor, Student Experience & Academic Standards and the Head of Training & Development, Skills Development Service. 

There are three subject areas in this scheme.

  1. Communication (download the progression form here) 
  2. Personal Effectiveness (download the progression form here) 
  3. Leadership (download the progression form here)

Click on a group heading to find out more

Group 1: Communication

To be an effective verbal communicator the following competencies should be sought:

  • Ability to keep feelings and opinions neutral especially when under pressure  
  • Assertiveness
  • Confident in making presentations
  • Empathetic and tactful customer skills
  • Negotiation to mutually succeed in transactions
  • Sensitive listening
  • Welsh Language Skills if employer is based in Wales, even if it is so that you can briefly answer the phone or greet clients through the language.

Assertiveness - “Say what you mean, mean what you say”

Assertiveness - an essential skill for everyday interactions. Do you ever wish you had that little bit more self-confidence to be able to delegate or make yourself heard? This unit explores the different kinds of behaviours which have an adverse effect upon working and personal relationships. It also aims to help improve your confidence so that you will be able to state your points in a firm but assertive way.

Business Communication Skills – “Saying the right things at the right time” 

The emphasis on communication skills relates to the growing importance of the customer. All businesses have customers, internally and externally, and being able to both behave in a professional manner and communicate the correct information in user-friendly language is considered to be of vital importance to the service being provided. A recent survey showed that employees performed badly in areas such as “going the extra mile”. This unit concentrates on how communication plays its part so that you will be able to overcome difficult customer behaviour and bring transactions to successful conclusions.

Groeso i'r Gymraeg - "Welcome To The Welsh Language" 

This session is for any student wishing to learn the basics of the Welsh language, whether as a new learner or have never spoken Welsh before! Learn how to introduce yourself, give personal details and describe yourself to others.  More and more employers, whether they are based in Wales or serve a Welsh audience, value the ability to speak Welsh, even if it is just to briefly answer the phone or greet clients through the language. If you want a quick taste of the Welsh language, or aim to learn Welsh to proficiency, this session will provide the first steps on your journey!

Having Challenging Conversations – “It doesn’t have to be this awkward”

A difficult or challenging conversation is one where you have to manage emotions and information in a sensitive way. These could be related to addressing the behaviour of a peer, investigating complaints as a leader or dealing with grievances. This workshop helps you develop the skills and techniques needed so that you can face those difficult conversations not with trepidation, but with confidence.

Interview Techniques – “Win it, don’t wing it”

Many people dread the thought of having to attend a job interview, but with the right preparation it can be your best opportunity to show potential employers why you are the right person for the job. The skills you display at your job interview play a critical role in whether or not you get that job offer. And with interviews in short supply given the current economic climate it’s probably never been more important for you to make the right impression and succeed when you have that interview. What should you say and do? How do you strike an employer-candidate balance with the dialogue? This unit is designed to help you with your confidence so that you’re able to maximise the opportunity to sell yourself when the need arises.

Listening Skills– “We hear, but do we listen?” 

This unit is designed to make you aware of how constructive active listening can be. It’s very easy to lose the thread of a discussion in meetings, lectures, tutorials and transactions. You will be taking part in many scenarios over the coming years where these skills will be invaluable.  At the end of this session you will be better equipped to listen actively rather than selectively.

Managing Anger & Communicating More Effectively – “It takes more muscle power to frown than to smile” 

Everyone gets angry. It is one of many different emotions we all experience throughout our day to day lives.  Anger is a normal emotion in response to when we feel under threat, physically or psychologically (defending ourselves or others), or when we feel frustrated (motivating us to fight injustice).  This workshop focuses on the problem that arises when our anger is frequent or excessive, which is then having negative effects on our lives. Come along and learn some communication and coping mechanisms that avoid spoiling relationships with loved ones or friends, limiting life experiences and the ability to achieve happiness.

Negotiation Skills – “Get what you want, when you want”

Many of you will encounter situations such as wanting to be able to get the best room in your student house or persuading your tutor to defer an assignment deadline. In future you may have to persuade a manager or client. This unit aims to improve your negotiating skills so that you can set goals, plan and converse in order to get more of what you want and less of what you don't want.

Practical Presentations – “Preach what you practice”

This unit is accredited to students who, as part of their academia or work experience, complete a presentation speaking for at least 5 minutes followed by a self-reflection.  Students who opt for this unit will need to prove their presentation took place in the form of an assessor record or witness testimony and a copy of the self-reflection.  Contact SDS@cf.ac.uk for more details.

Speaking & Presenting – “Happy talking, talking, happy talk” 

Designed to make you aware that good speaking and presentation skills are essential in all environments. Most graduate jobs today will require a presentation as part of the interview process so this is a skill well worth mastering. This unit covers preparation, the route of your talk, speaking techniques and creating a positive attitude towards your presentation. The overall purpose of this unit is to help you increase brevity, confidence and fluency; attributes which help keep you going when undertaking presentations.  The session thus provides practice to help you get your message effectively across to your audience.

If you have worries concerning your presentation to the point that you feel unable to communicate effectively on the day, you might like to try one of our Wellbeing workshops:  

Dealing with Presentations' Anxieties. "Feel the fear and do it anyway" (Jeffers S.)

This workshop will teach you effective strategies to gain control over your anxiety, so that you are able to concentrate and think clearly when preparing for and delivering a presentation.

Group 2: Personal Effectiveness

Personal Effectiveness is about you having the "get up and go," a "can do" attitute and a sense that you can make things happen.  These are essential must haves for any organisation.

Coaching Skills – “Helping others to help themselves” 

When you are coaching, whether you regard it as such or not, you are likely to develop a special relationship with the other person. This unit aims to help you mentor, motivate, and inspire others without harming their self-esteem. It will help develop sensitive skills and techniques so that you can  show someone that every little piece of effort is a significant step in leading to greater achievement. This workshop is designed to use your personal effectiveness to help others become effective.  “When selecting candidates, we look for people who will have a positive impact on others.” (Ed Fox, Barclays Bank). 

Commercial Awareness – “The world of work and your role in it” 

A CBI survey recently found that 35% of employers were dissatisfied with the business and customer awareness of graduates. Put simply "commercial awareness" is the ability to view situations from a commercial perspective. It is an understanding of what makes any business or organisation successful and the factors that influence this success. Graduates from all disciplines need to show business awareness of their market, not only to beat the competition for jobs but to perform in that role and deliver value for money. By attending this workshop you will learn simple steps you can take to help you become commercially aware during your time at university and so that, when the time comes, you’re all set to wow employers and turn that dream job into a reality.

CV Masterclass - "Make it stand out"

This is an interactive session on how to present yourself effectively in your CV. After attending you will be equipped with the skills to develop your CV into a lean but meaningful and purposeful document. We recommend you do this to ensure your CV is ready to stand out to employers!  The Employability Advisers offer a drop in for students to  discuss their CV’s, application forms, cover letters and their linkedin profiles. This drop in runs Mon – Fri between 1pm and 4pm at 51a Park place.  Throughout the summer vacation, this drop in runs between 2pm and 4pm. Students can book an appointment from 12.00 on the day by calling 02920874844, or asking at reception.  Alternatively, students can submit their documents to be reviewed via the ‘Profile’ tab in your Careers Account.

Dealing With Perfectionism – “You don’t need to put the cherry on top of the cake”     

Sometimes the desire for perfection can cause stress, anxiety and depression. This workshop will help you to understand the process that leads into, and maintains perfectionism, and the effect it is having on your well-being. You’ll be taught techniques and strategies to help you to re-evaluate and change your perfectionist beliefs and behaviours.  Strategies that you learn in this workshop will stand you in good stead for coping with the demands of your academic work and in the workplace so that you will have a healthy balance between high standards and your psychological well-being.  You should then be able to not only achieve your goals, but enjoy life more whilst you are achieving.

Discrimination Awareness - “Stand up for equality and challenge discrimination and disadvantage through awareness” 

This training is aimed at individuals who want to increase their effectiveness of highlighting and challenging discrimination.  Focus will be on the  Equality Act 2010, Protected Characteristics and types of discrimination.  The session defines equality and diversity; will allow time for discussion alongside group work/activities to share thoughts.  Only available in Autumn semester 2019 due to funding so book early if you are interested in this topic.

Introduction To Managing Projects - "Instigate and oversee your own idea".

Heard the statement "Never confuse what I do for business with what I do for pleasure?"  Chances are you will have planned a birthday event or had sole responsibility for arranging a trip/holiday full of activities and options for everyone?  Therefore, most people have probably been involved in some form of project even if it might not have been viewed under such a title. So from a business point of view, this workshop will take you through the roles required that make up a project team, and a prominent tool to help you schedule, monitor progress and ensure that your project is ultimately successful.

Managing Procrastination – “Why not do it now?”

This workshop will help you to understand the process that leads into, and maintains, your procrastination. You’ll be taught techniques and strategies to challenge and change your procrastinating behaviour.  Working to deadlines, planning your time, and working well with others are all skills that many of you will use every day throughout your working life. Gaining control of your procrastination will enable you to develop these skills effectively and thus improve your employability.

Motivation – “Re-light your fire” 

Why are we able to accomplish some tasks with relish yet abhor others?   Why do we sometimes lose interest in something initially considered important?  How can we be driven to accomplish those things we don’t like doing. This unit is an interactive journey to help you understand how to create drive and energy in order to raise your standards and accomplish all tasks with enthusiasm.

Situational Judgement Tests & Game-based Assessments - delivered by PwC

This interactive session looks at key hints and tips on how to successfully complete application forms and prepare for on-line tests, such as situational judgement tests and game based assessments.  
 

Successful Networking – It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you”

Networking has been referred to as the “new way of working” and is thus a critical skill that everyone should master. There are going to be occasions where you need the confidence to sell yourself and the ability to ask the right questions at the right time. This unit will teach you how to create a positive impression and recognise and quantify your assets in order to maximise the opportunities to get yourself known by potentially influential people.

Time Management – “Time is on my side - NOT” 

Ever wondered why you’re always doing that essay, assignment or research write up at the last minute, or you’re always late for meetings? This workshop is designed to help you prioritise and organise your life so you can get the most out of all of your commitments.  The content covers how to work smarter rather than harder, the question of doing the right things or doing things right, how to prioritise and how to overcome procrastination.

Group 3: Leadership

All University students must gain leadership skills, says a recent report. 70% of employers believe leadership modules should be integrated into all degree subjects to boost employability.  So we have these here for you - don't delay.  

Leadership Styles – “Be a leader not a follower” 

This unit covers the roles and functions of leadership, the different types of leader and how to develop leadership qualities and characteristics within you.  At the end of this sesssion you will have identified your own leadership style and learnt to adapt according to the situations you face.

Leadership In Difficult Situations – “It doesn’t have to be this way” 

Many people are put off from aspiring into a leadership role because they fear possible confrontation and adverse reactions from the members of staff they will be responsible for. Others handle these situations indifferently resulting in a bad working environment.  This workshop will help you understand effective supervision and how to it can help smooth the transition from team member to team leader.  You will also learn some tips to overcome some interpersonal challenges you may face in the leader role.

Problem Solving – “I don’t know what all the fuss is about” 

How do you react when you encounter a problem? The most successful individuals, departments and organisations change the word problem into “opportunity.” You will be entering environments where the buck will stop with you.  This workshop introduces you to a range of methods which help identify the sources of problems, provide both theoretical and practical advice to help solve them and help you learn how to reflect upon the successful outcomes of problems faced.

Teamwork – “Play your best role” 

The ability to work effectively with others is one of the key competencies that graduate recruiters prioritise, so it's important to complement leadership potential with examples of how you thrive in a team. Teamwork is thus effective when qualities which individuals possess are harnessed in order to contribute to team success.  During this interactive unit you will have the chance to take part in a team challenge and provide the chance of reviewing how effective teams should work.  You will also look at all the “roles” required to make the “ideal” team in order to understand the benefits of team dynamics.

Team Briefing (e-learning)  - “They never told me that”

More and more organisations recognise the value of passing on vital information to subordinates in an effective fashion. Team briefing is about good face to face communication between three parties – the manager, the team leader and the team.  This unit will inform you of how to select appropriate material and the actual briefing process so that you will feel authorative, confident and and competent when leading team meetings.  As this unit is completed in e-learning format there won’t be any dates and times advertised but you will be emailed the link upon request or once you have completed the other 4 workshops in this group.


Recording Attendances

While we keep records of attendances, you are responsible for managing your learning including ensuring you arrive punctually for each session and signing the register, and it is recommended that you keep copies of all the exercises, activities and notes featured in each of the units.  It will be necessary for you to keep the Personal Progression Record (mentioned at the top of this page) updated before and after each workshop.  Once you have completed 5 units in the same group you will be asked to send in your completed PPR.  

Certificates  are issued in e-format and will be emailed to you around 1-2 weeks after receipt of your PPR.  You can print the e-certificate at a library, University print centres or print it off yourself. 

We will invite you to complete an optional online evaluation which provides us with some key information appropriate to the units undertaken.

Timetable

The timetable for the 2019-20 academic year, autumn semester is available here.