Headlines: April 13th, 2005

Guidelines for the continuous professional development of health care managers have been brought together in a single new publication, including a best practice guide for employers and a framework for the managers.”Developing Through Partnership” has been launched by the Institute for Healthcare Management. As well as incorporating the IHM’s Management Competence Framework and the guide for employers, it includes a continuous professional development portfolio for health care managers.

The portfolio is designed to help staff in management roles to make the most of their talents, by recording, reflecting and focusing their development needs so they continuously review and enhance their working practices and so improve service delivery. It offers those using it the chance to reflect on their knowledge and skills and prepare themselves for promotion or career changes.

The IHM says it is vital that health care managers are ready to adapt to new circumstances and challenges. Sections in the portfolio designed to help staff keep track of their development include, a personal profile and personal development plans, a learning into practice proforma, information on references and certificates and on feedback from colleagues, patients and clients. There are also reflections on future directions.

The Best Practice Guide for Employers has been developed to give health care organisations the tools to make the most effective use of their managers who, the IHM believes, are one of their most critical resources.

The Institute is keen to share its expertise with organisations and wants to see a coordinated approach to professional development. The guide invites organisations to join IHM in a ‘ Developing Through Partnership agreement’, setting standards for managers, and it includes information on development reviews, reflective practice and how to use the management competencies. IHM says that by using the guide, organisations will have access to the Institute’s kite mark, recognising a professional approach and commitment to CPD. This, it adds, is an opportunity for both large and smaller organisations to have access to a range of information and advice that will aid recruitment, selection, development and retention of managers.

IHM says that in putting together the guidelines it has been aware of the rapid pace of change and increased emphasis in development issues over the past year, so “Developing Through Partnership” is being launched as an evolving product. The range of tools will be reviewed, updated and added to over the next few years.