International Journal of
Educational Administration and Policy Studies

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Educ. Admin. Pol. Stud.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6656
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEAPS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 227

Full Length Research Paper

Challenges in organisation of college-based departmentalised continuous professional development in colleges of education for academic staff: A case study in selected colleges of education in the Volta Region

Benedicta Awusi Atiku
  • Benedicta Awusi Atiku
  • Dambai College of Education, P. O. Box, 84, Dambai. Krachi East, Oti Region, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 09 September 2021
  •  Accepted: 08 November 2021
  •  Published: 16 November 2021


Continuous professional development for workers is a sure way of keeping staff with up-to-date knowledge, skills and values for effective and efficient delivery on their jobs. The case of colleges of education, the trainers of teachers, cannot be underrated. Every major decision taken by the tutor on what to teach and how to teach it, when to teach could be positively impacted if the tutor is updated on trends of events at the sector. Even though the realization of importance of CPD is getting its root among stakeholders, a number of factors militate against successful hosting of the programmes. This research was therefore conducted in 2017 to unearth the challenges and to help discover their root cause. The study employed case study approach under qualitative design. Data were collected from four principals through semi structured interviews whilst four vice principals and twelve college tutors participated through open-ended questionnaire. Manual coding was adopted under thematic analysis. It was found among other things that training logistics /inadequate funding, limited time, poor attitude due to resistant to change among staff members, inadequate supervision and motivation are the challenges confronting college-based departmentalised programmes. It was concluded that multi factors come to play in challenging the success of any CPD programme organised for the staff of the colleges of education. It recommended that a holistic approach is adopted through involvement of all stakeholders and a comprehensive study initiated into ways of combating the challenges in order to ensure sustainability.


Key words: Continuous professional development, college tutors, challenges, college management. 


All endeavours are bound to have stormy moments. The agenda of building and implementing sound professional policies and practices boil down to the ability of crafters to envision and dilate the subject matter. The practice of provision of continuous professional development (CPD) to workers especially those located in the educational industry cannot be overemphasized. Providers and administrators of educational institution must have interest in exploring the possible challenges that can bedevil their CPD practices. That way, the possibility of unearthing plans for sustainability would be high. Barriers to CPD have employer’s perspective which often boils down to two factors, which are integrally related: money and other resources (Kennedy, 2005). Kennedy further maintained that CPD can be very costly, especially if, as previously mentioned employers have to bring in employees from long distances, hire venues and accommodation, organize food and bring in speakers and trainers. To Kennedy, organizing CPD through one-off events that take place once or twice a year often creates logistical problems. Lack of definition is a barrier to wider acceptance and implementation of CPD (Friedman and Phillips, 2001).


Mullins (2010) identified resistance to change as a factor that could be a real challenge to CPD activities. He emphasized that despite the potential positive outcomes, change is often resisted at both the individual and the organizational level as a result of heads and managers ignoring the needs and expectations of institutional members, not serving insufficient information about the nature of the change to members and/or if they do not perceive the need for the change.


Time constraint and inadequate commitment by participants could militate strongly the success of CPD programmes. Most at times, employees feel their core mandate is to deliver on their schedule of work, their immediate responsibility, and they commit much time and energy to activities in such areas. The tendency of an employee feeling that attendance to professional development session is an extra duty and not core to him is very high. Personnel could think that they do not have time due to such a perception that their core mandate is to teach the students and mark their assignment and examination scripts. It could be true that activities of time table or schedule of duty could be overwhelming to an employee to such extent that he only has to sacrifice personal rest time to attend such events. Inadequate communication to respective participants, feeling of too knowing on one’s subject area on the part of the personnel, and poor decision making process by management in the issue of engagement of staff could be real factors affecting implementation of CPD programmes. A research by Ashebir (2006) on challenges in engaging in CPD programmes revealed majority of respondents alluding to shortage of time for teachers to implement the CPD actions. An evaluation study in Addis Ababa by Desta et al. (2013) on school-based continuous teacher professional development: practices, opportunities and challenges had findings that the CPD structure was absent or inadequately organized in most of the schools and further reported that although interviewed teacher ascertained that the programme had brought significant changes in their attitude towards the profession, lack of readiness to participate actively in the programme was found to be an overarching problem.


A procedural deficiency such as ambiguity, over the fundamental purpose and CPD programmes ownership. In delving into the challenges of CPD, Kennedy (2016) pointed out that teachers often see CPD as a top-down process normally run by school management especially when a survey conducted showed that head teachers generally dominate the decision-making process within schools concerning CPD, making the CPD seen as management goals rather than for the individuals concerned. Ashebir (2006) alludes to less commitment of leaders; shortage of time for teachers to implement the CPD actions; lack of trained CPD facilitators to coordinate the actions of CPD; lack of arranging training on CPD programmes; absence of motivation for teachers by the concerned bodies on the actions of CPD; lack of resources or budget to implement CPD; and absence of commitment of teachers to implement the CPD programme, contributions of school principals to the CPD programme implementation were not sufficient as they thought that the programme was structured for teachers whilst their responsibility was only to give a command for attendance of teachers. Many organizations tend to stall in implementing CPD programmes because knowledge gap in the instance that they do not have technical knowledge or experience to craft a proper CI/CD solution, thus, it is difficult to establish best practices or even to take off first steps in implementing the programme to the workflow (Gollan-Gutin, 2017). An evaluation study in Addis Ababa by Desta et al. (2013) on school-based continuous teacher professional development: practices, opportunities and challenges had findings that the CPD structure was absent or inadequately organized in most of the schools and further reported communication gaps among stakeholders which militated against success on the programme. Making learning a fundamental value in the CoEs was found as a major challenge confronting CPD (Yaqub et al., 2020). These were attributed to factors that include lack of commitment from management that may result in institutional bottlenecks in policies, inadequate resources and funds as well as the selection process being discriminatory to others.


Inadequate planning and involvement of stakeholders pose threat to the success of CPD programmes. The general success and the level of success of every programme depend absolutely on the quality of planning that goes into executing the programme. The adage goes ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. So it is with the implementation of every CPD programme for any organisation. The fact remains that all stakeholders must be factored into planning CPD programme. By so doing the voices of the people anticipated to be stakeholders would fairly be represented and ownership is claimed for the programme. An evaluation study conducted by Haramaya University and Mekelle University in 2009 in Ethiopia on school-based CPD recommended that a new CPD programme to be implemented should consider the importance of awareness based understanding of all stakeholders on the essence of CPD, active involvement of teachers in planning and implementing the CPD programme, relentless effort to bring change in students’ learning through continuous improvement of teachers’ teaching methodology.


Furthermore, poor quality of the CPD programme and inconsistencies in implementation could have much negative bearing on CPD programme organization. Kennedy (2016) stated that a challenge to organizing CPD is quality. He reiterated that many organizations bring in outside speakers and trainers to CPD programmes who have very little idea of the needs of an institution and employees or school and its teachers. He associated this to lack of planning in terms of the sort of CPD that an organization needs and the best people to provide it. To him, some organizations do very little to highlight where training is required and what skills their workforce lack or need hence outside trainers are not able to respond to genuine needs of the members of the organisation. Organizations that strictly enforce internal policies, such as manual approval and an excessive documentation processes, can hinder the adoption of their continuous integration process into the developers' workflow (Gollan-Gutin, 2017).


Absence of impact factor analysis, evaluation and continuity would lead to failure of CPD programmes. Weston (2013) maintained that a frequent criticism of the outstanding of CPD is that trainers often come in, do their training and then disappear and the training tends to be superficial; there is no back up, and no planned system of evaluation of impact. He added that the problem of evaluation is critical from the employer’s perspective and lack of demonstrable impact means that some organizations perceive CPD as an additional expense with very little return. To avert the challenge, Kennedy (2016) emphasized that in his personal engagement on recent CPD with Northern Irelands, sponsoring organizations established ways of evaluating the impact of the training.


If a CPD programme would achieve its set objectives and targets, there is the need for planners to well ahead of time envision the challenges that could be encountered and that way, readiness to combat such challenges could be assured. This necessitated the research into the theme.


Statement of the problem


Educational endeavours must have sound foundation to be able to make the needed development and transformation in the lives of students and society at large. The case of continuous professional development (CPD) programmes for staff of educational institutions must be given its fair attention to achieve success. Educational heads and their management teams are at a command of the law to ensure value for money in their entire decision making. This behooves that all resources to be expended on educational ventures must have positive returns to the economy. In that expectation, CPD for staff must have positive impact on the performance of both staff and students. The sure way of achieving the expected positive impact is to plan the programme in such a way that introspection will be given to challenges the CPD endeavour could face in order to plan and combat such challenges ahead of time. This is expected in Act 847 of Ghana which is the Colleges of Education Act, 2012 that spells various organs and structures with committees in ensuring smooth running of academic and professional programmes of the colleges. It is with this concern that this research has interest in delving into possible challenges that can bedevil CPD programmes of the colleges.


Purpose of the study


The research aimed to unearth the challenges that could be experienced in the implementation of college-based departmentalized continuous professional development. It also aims to contribute knowledge to the theme in the broader discourse of CPD engagement in institutions.




The objectives of the study were to:


1) Discover challenges college-based departmentalised CPD programmes could face at colleges of education.

2) Unearth specific factors responsible for specific challenges of departmentalised CPD programmes at colleges of education.


Research questions


The specific questions that guided the study are:


1) What challenges could college-based departmentalised CPD at colleges of education face?

2) What factors are responsible for the specific challenges of departmentalised CPD programmes at colleges of education?


Ontological and epistemological stances of the study


The study implored interpretivists’ ideology of knowledge as a product of man’s construction and not in existence for discovery forms the epistemological stance whilst the nominalist school of thought of existence of things was the ontological standpoint which described social reality as not having external existence for objective assessment by man rather things exist as a result of human thinking (Kusi, 2012). These stands agree with social constructivism which according to Johnson and Christensen (2012), has the basic argument that human beings as social animals make their own knowledge through socialization and interaction based on experience of prior knowledge and new events (Elliott et al., 2000).


Research approach


Among the three research designs, quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method, the study adopted qualitative approach as the theme relates to the ontological and epistemological assumptions of creation of knowledge rather than discovery and acquisition ideological standpoint, realism. Qualitative research is naturalistic enquiry as it studies a group in their natural setting (Johnson and Christenson, 2012). Kusi (2012) in citing Creswell (1998) asserted that qualitative research takes place in the socio-cultural environment of the participants by the researcher engaging in interaction with the researched purposely to understand and discover people and the socio-cultural context within which they live. Jaikumar (2018) confirmed this when he stated that qualitative research goes with inductive analysis as the researcher has to deduce some meanings from the feelings and expressions of the research participants.


Some of the characteristics have been buttressed by Jaikumar for qualitative research as he mentioned that qualitative research holds holistic perspective of participants by studying a group comprehensively in light of the research theme; dealing with personal contact and insight between the researched and the researcher; its unique case orientation in pursuit of discovering society; and its inherent context sensitivity such that various ethical perspectives are carried on board in preserving rights and responsibilities of the researched whilst meaningfully gathering relevant data for its findings.


Qualitative research belongs to the interpretive paradigm in search for knowledge. It uses purposive or non-probability sampling techniques in data collection with emphasis on usage of verbal communication mostly as the medium of getting data (Creswell, 1998). Convenience, snowball, quota maximal variation, homogeneous, and judgmental sampling are available to any qualitative research to choose from based on the research theme and the purpose, any could be made use of in getting participants for the research.


Recommendation for qualitative research sample size by various authors cited by Kusi include: 8-15 (Polit and Beck, 2010) and 2-5 participants (Creswell, 2002). Most suitable instruments for data collection for qualitative study include observation which could be semi-structured / unstructured; interview with individuals / or focus group(s) documents such as diary / journal of record; photographs; and audio-visual materials, (Kusi, 2012). Qualitative researcher could adopt thematic, content, or question by question analysis or any other recommended form of analysis of data depending on the situation on hand as dependents on the objectives and design of the study. Qualitative research produces language data mostly, hence such data are non-numerical and descriptive hence cannot be graphed (Kusi, 2012).


Advantages or merits of qualitative research are that it helps the researcher and society to understand attitudes of people, it is a content generator, if planned well could save money, can provide insights that are specific to industry, allows for creativity to be a driving force, always adopts processes that are open-ended and incorporates the human experience very well in its findings (Opdenakker, 2006; Tetnowsk, 2001). Its main weakness is the level of compulsory direct involvement of the researcher with the researched in such that without ample time, the study may not generate factual and adequate information for the findings.


Research design


This research adopted the case study design in gathering data. Case study explores an instance or few instances of a phenomenon by interacting with the participants in their socio-cultural setting in order to get an in-depth knowledge and understanding about the particular situation (Polit and Beck, 2014). The reasons for the choice of the case study for the research are not far-fetched. First of all, the research topic lends itself to the approach because the topic is clearly indicative of its case nature and the possibility of data collection through exploration of the phenomenon from the point of view of the participants of the specified sites. The processes involved in the acquisition of knowledge are relative to every individual and until such individual’s perspectives are understood from their own point of view, provision of solutions to existing conditions could be difficult.


Furthermore, case study by its nature has the strength of being able to capture and explore the complexity of a phenomenon for a better understanding. Denscombe (2003) and Yin (2003) all have the view that the case study design uses multiple methods to collect data, and thereby enabling findings to be validated through triangulation, a characteristic that has enormous benefit in domain of reliability of findings of a qualitative research. Moreover, one would understand that case study design is action-oriented, since it compels intrinsically for action and therefore making the findings useful for improving practice (Cohen et al., 2000). Case study is also useful for theory building and theory testing (Denscombe, 2003).


Though case study is noted for its tendency of generating voluminous data, its numerous strength and data collection and analysis techniques were employed in handling such a challenging phenomenon within this study. Data production in all qualitative research assumes subjective nature, and that internal weakness could be felt in case study too. However, the researcher treated every data with the objective interpretations such data deserve through low reference quoting as supporting evidences, as recommended by Kusi (2012).


The choice of study site


The research was conducted in four selected CoE located in the Volta Region of Ghana. CoE was used for the study because the researcher saw the need for the college system to improve its workforce especially the academic staff as the colleges were practically undergoing transition from non-tertiary into tertiary system practices and needed to beef up the capacity of their staff in delivery of quality tertiary education to student teachers. The choice of the region was directed by some factors. In the first place, it is the region of the researcher’s experience in the college system where she felt she could join other professionals in improving on the teaching industry through the advocacy of college-based departmentalized CPD for the academic staff. The significance of the study would also be better felt in the region because the findings would contribute to knowledge and improvement, making it more remarkable than conducting the research at a catchment area that she did not strongly have the sense of belongingness to. Moreover, limiting the case to one region is commendable as it makes it more manageable so as to comprehensively tackle the issues on hand by getting the participants exhaustively engaged in getting enough information for the findings of the research. The choice of the four CoE: Akatsi from southern zone of Volta Region, E. P- Amedzofe and St. Teresa’s Hohoe from the central zone and Dambai from the northen zone, was directed by the interest of the researcher to widely discover the case across the entire region thereby making information more readily accessible to the other unserved CoE spread across the zones of the region, to enable them situate their cases within the findings of the research.




Population is an aggregate or totality of all the objects, subjects or members that conform to a set of specifications (Polit and Hungler, 1999). Johnson and Christensen (2012) maintained that research population is generally a large collection of individuals or objects that is the main focus of a scientific enquiry, and usually this well-defined collection of individuals or objects have similar characteristics in relation to the focus of the research. In this regard, the population for this research consisted of people who had similar features in terms of their experience in the colleges of education system and specifically, in the domain of professional development practices of tutors. The Principals, Vice Principals, and the Tutors of the Colleges of Education in the Volta Region constituted the population of the research.


There were a total of 210 tutors from the seven colleges in the Region. Thus, estimated population of tutors in one college was 30. Four colleges put together had an estimated population of 120. Johnson and Christenson (2012) advised that 10% of population should be used in a large populated environment of a case study because saturation point would have been reached. Thus, any additional participant would just lead to repetition of the same ideas, an incident that creates excess load or burden on the researcher and can also lead to boredom. Thus, 12 are the 10% of 120 estimated populations. A total of 4 Principals representing 100% of the principal population of the four colleges with their 4 Vice Principals have been added to give a total of 20 for the research population. Details of population sampled are presented under Sample and Sampling.


Sample and sampling procedures


The sample size of this research was 20. Patton (1990) holds the view that there are no specific rules when determining an appropriate sample size in qualitative research; rather the size would best be determined by the time allotted, resource available, and the study objective. However, Morse (1994) suggests 30 – 50 participants for an ethnographic study and same figures for grounded theory whilst he suggested at least 6 participants for the other types of qualitative study. Creswell (1998) recommends 5 to 25 as the sample size in a phenomenological study. Yin (1994) suggested 15 to be the least sample size whilst 8-15 was recommended by Polit and Beck (2010).

In carrying out any sampling, eligibility criteria were considered. These criteria specify the characteristics which people in the population must possess in order to be included in the study (Polit and Hungler, 1999). The main sampling technique depended upon was homogeneous sampling in getting respondents that had deep work experienced at the CoE system. In qualitative research, the research typically defines a set of criteria or attributes that the people to be studied must possess and uses these criteria to distinguish the people of potential interest from those people who should be excluded from consideration (Johnson and Christensen, 2012). According to these authors, once these inclusion boundaries are set, the researcher knows whom he or she wishes to study and can attempt to locate and obtain the sample. Thus, a non-probability sampling technique, homogeneous sampling, was used to select persons with specific characteristics to participate in the study (Johnson and Christensen, 2012).


To Johnson and Christensen, homogeneous sampling has the same limitations as any non-random sampling method and that specifically, the ability to generalize from a sample to a population on the basis of single research study is severely limited. The optimal situation for generalization would be when the researcher specifies the criteria that potential participants must meet to be included in the research study. Thus, in this study, the criteria set for selection of participants was that, to be qualified to give information for the study, one must be a:


1) Principal of a sampled College of Education in the Volta Region,

2) Vice Principal of a sampled College of Education in the Volta Region, and

3) Tutor of a sampled College of Education in the Volta Region.


All the seven CoE in the Volta Region were considered as a regional cluster out of which sub-clusters were created by grouping the colleges into southern, northern and central belts of the region. Akatsi College is located in the southern belt, Dambai and Jasikan located in the northern belt, whilst St. Teresa’s, Hohoe St. Francis, E. P- Amedzofe and Peki Colleges are located in the central belt of the region.


From the southern Volta, Akatsi College was automatically chosen through census sampling since it was the only college in that area. St. Teresa’s Hohoe and E. P. Amedzofe were picked from the Central belt whilst Dambai was sampled from the northern belt. Homogeneous sampling was used to select Principals, Vice Principals and Tutors who were the senior-most heads of department, hence more experienced in the academic departments to help elicit the right information for the study.


The homogeneous sampling was the most appropriate because it included people of common characteristics in the case and excluded unnecessary agents (Creswell, 2008). For instance, all the groups of people sampled were directly in the domain of decision making concerning the kinds of professional development programmes that could best benefit their departmental members. Kusi (2012) also supported the idea of homogeneous sampling by indicating that in a qualitative study, it requires that the researcher establishes the traits that are relevant in the study and sample people who exhibit such traits.




The interpretive research acknowledges the feelings, experiences and viewpoints of research participants (Creswell, 2013). The research gathered data through semi-structured interviews and open-ended questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed for Vice Principals, and Heads of Academic Departments (Tutors). A set of interview guide was designed for the Principals. All the instruments sought pieces of information that related to challenges CPD programmes could at the colleges of education. Semi-structured interview guide was designed and used in interviewing Principals to help the research in eliciting information to buttress, confirm or disconfirm earlier responses of Tutors and Vice Principals and to also help generate any additional information for beefing up the findings from tutors and the vice principals. This was designed in the same pattern as the questionnaire but probing for further information happened within the interview process itself. As noted of qualitative research, additional data is generated as and when necessary to clarify issues of earlier participants. This was the essence of interviewing Principals. This provides validity value in the data collection process.


Validation of instruments


Experts carried out editing on the instrument in checking mistakes of any kind for the correction in ensuring content validity of the instruments before administration was done. To ensure construct validity, I carefully developed the instruments based on the research questions and the available relevant literature to make sure that relevant data were elicited for the research findings.


Piloting instruments for dependability


Piloting instrument involves steps taken to test research protocols, data collection instruments, and other methodological consideration of the research in order to locate best practices that would lead to the success of the actual instrument administration. Therefore, it is meant to guide the researcher into spotting potential problem areas and deficiencies in the research instruments and protocol prior to full implementation / data collection for the full scale research. In considering participants for pilot testing, the characteristics of the actual research participants must be considered in order to have the replica of the actual sample to test the instrument on. Again, the type of analytical framework to be implored on the actual sample analysis must be carried out on the pilot test data to ensure consistency in methodology that finally would be a factor of success to the full scale research (Hassan et al., 2006). Considering pilot testing of instruments in light of the recommended practices revealed by literature above, this research undertook the pilot testing of the instruments at Peki CoE which had all the characteristics of the sample of the actual site of this research. The Peki CoE is a mixed institution, with a sitting Principal, Vice Principal, and tutors working in the institution more than a decade. The Peki CoE too was located in the same region, Volta; hence so much geographical differences did not exist between the pilot sample and the actual. The college being a mixed institution also had the similar background knowledge with the actual sample. The same instruments meant for the actual samples were the instrument pilot tested. Another reason for using Peki was also the fact that it was situated almost at the middle of the region for the purposes of not having a vast background difference from the actual sites. The college too was running the same programmes / curriculum with the other colleges in the actual study. Their practices as far as CPD was concerned were the same because they were all being mentored by one university, UCC, hence every engagement on the CPD of tutor, other policies on capacity building had been the same for all of the colleges likewise their workers / tutors.


The participants were contacted by the researcher on the issue of the conduct of the instrument pilot in connection with their involvement after permission was sought from the College management. The participants consented to the proposal and were then duly engaged in the exercise. The data from the questionnaire instrument was coded directly based on a coding regime that was developed. The interview data was first transcribed and then coded similarly. Thematic analysis was adopted in interpreting the data. The results of the analysis showed that majority of the participants understood the themes carried up in the instruments. The main area of difficulty was the unfamiliar nature some terminologies relating to CPD concept. This was observed with both the open ended questionnaire and the interview participants. Based on the results of the instrument pilot, the final restructuring of the instruments was done before the actual full scale data collection started.


Data collection procedure


The researcher carried out the data collection with the questionnaire in three weeks’ duration. The administration of the questionnaire happened by the researcher visiting the various sampled colleges and with immediate permission from the college management; the questionnaire was shared to the participants. After each sharing session, the researcher asked permission and left the college on the agreement with participants that would be coming back to collect the filled questionnaire in a week’s time.


The researcher went back for the filled questionnaires as agreed upon and at such meetings expressed her appreciation to all the participants and the college management before departing from the colleges. The researcher conducted the interviews in two weeks. On reaching agreement with the Principals, the researcher issued messages of confidentiality to interviewees by telling them the step-by-step procedures being adopted to secure their identity in the process. The researcher mentioned the estimated duration of the interview session in each case. The researcher was directly involved in a face-to-face interview session with all Principals by making use of audio tapes for recording the responses as a support system for data protection management. The interview sessions lasted between 45 to 50 min. The face-to-face interaction with the interviewee helped in achieving interpretive validity. In the opinions of Johnson and Christensen (2012), interpretive validity refers to portraying accurately the means attached by participants to what is being studied by the researcher. The interview protocol developed to remind the researcher of what to do before, during, and after the data collection sessions was very useful in keeping her in focus (Kusi, 2012).


Data presentation and analysis framework


Qualitative research produces language-based data and the methods of analyzing such data were many (Easterby-Smith et al., 2002). These authors maintained that the technique a researcher chooses to analyze such data must be in line with the philosophical world view that underpins the study, the researcher’s own skill and preferences. Ward (2012) pointed out human coders (manual analysis) and computer assisted analysis as options in analysing qualitative data.


Kusi (2012) corroborated Ward (2012) when he stated that qualitative data can be analysed either by using software such as Nvivo or manually (by hand). The method of analysis chosen for this study is thematic through the following processes. Preparation of data was done where the researcher was immersed in the data by reading the questionnaire scripts over and over to familiarize with the presentations. The researcher then took time and wrote on sheets of paper the main ideas presented by the participants for further familiarization for categorization. In the case of the interview data, the researcher transferred the audio information onto sheets of paper by listening to the audio tapes over and over and writing exactly what the participants said in the interview. After this stage, she defined the themes for the analysis to get my coding regime / framework. Kindly find attached the sample of the coding regime at the appendices column of this manuscript. Pre-tested the coding scheme on samples of the data and also engaged a colleague researcher to co-code with her so she could compare the codes to be verified for consistency and inter-coder reliability. After this stage, the researcher concluded based on the consistency that resulted in the joint coding results. Thus, coding of the rest of the data was done. Drawing of inferences from the results of the codes was based on comparisons among the responses of the participants. Following this stage was results presentation. Here, the researcher took time and presented the findings of the questionnaire data and did same for the interview data. The discussion of the results was done on code basis in order to have the topical issues outstand clearly as individual sub-structures of the research questions.


Questionnaire respondents – Vice Principals and Tutors


Challenges in organising college-based departmentalised CPD programme for the academic staff (Field data, 2017)


One tutor, QRT4 did not see any challenge associated with the institution of college-based departmentalised CPD programme in the CoE in the Volta Region of Ghana. QRVP2 stated that inadequate training logistics, inadequate funding, limited time and unwillingness of the staff members to embrace the CPD are the challenges that are likely to confront the implementation of college-based departmentalized CPD programme.


Two Vice Principals and seven tutors maintained that inadequate commitment or resistance to change is the main constraint of CPD. QRVP1 and QRT6 stated that the challenge faced by the institution of CPD programme is the fact that the aged staff see no need for further training and so do not participate in the programme.


Inadequate supervision and motivation are constraints identified by QRT3, QRT4 and QRT5 also highlighted the motivation factor. Wishes for external motivation (expectancy and its motivation complexities) may affect people’s participation, maintained by QRT5. QRT9 was of the view that inadequate competent resource persons pose a challenge to the institution of college-based departmentalised CPD programme in the CoE in the Volta Region of Ghana.


Some tutors stated that if the promotional agenda of the departments are not tempered with through favouritism, thus confidence is built at that grass root; almost all tutors would be serious with issues of CPD at the departmental level. Some tutors alluded to infrastructural deficit in the colleges as one of the challenges in getting a serine atmosphere for organisation of the CPD programmes. Four stated that there are no heads of department offices so that even members of the department could sit comfortably to take their decisions let alone departmental conference rooms for such engagements as the departmental CPD programme.


One tutor put a rhetoric question ‘what about if more than one department want to use a common facility meant for the general staff at a time? He added that aside the staff common room and probably where council meetings are held, there is no other room for the purpose. He reiterated their call to government to address the infrastructural deficit in the colleges. Another tutor in lamentation opined that the assembly hall and maybe a classroom or the library could be adopted by some departments in organizing CPD programme should there be a crush over venue issues. One tutor also in a state of anxiety had the view that all the colleges are not endowed equally and that this disparity is among both government and mission institutions where one could find discipline at its peak in some mission colleges because of the strict enforcement of the religious principles of such institutions, other mission colleges too have so loose institutional lifestyle when it comes to discipline.


That tutor also stated that similar trend is observed with the government colleges and that to put structures in place for the hosting of the departmental CPD, the policies of the colleges in respect of the issue must be enforced with the help of the Council, when constituted.


Four tutors maintained that they have enough capacity to accommodate departmental CPD because their basic institutional principle of inclusive decision making would get everybody on board; the conference hall would be managed so departments could alternate in the usage to satisfy their needs and that the only thing is for the general coordinator to structure the schedule of CPD activities well. One of such tutors asserted that their disciplinary issues are not on the ground from the central administration hence no tutor could easily take himself or herself out.


A vice principal maintained that some of the heads of department must make themselves more proactive in handling their departmental issues because sometimes, it is the Vice Principal that would have to be pushing forth the agenda of a department and also making a lot of follow ups for implementation of such issues. He made mention of some workshops organized for tutors in various subjects by the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast to come back and cascade such workshops but the departments had not done that.


Interview respondents - Principals


Challenges in organising college-based departmentalised CPD programme for the academic staff (Field data, 2017)


A Principal complained about inadequate commitment. He had this to say:


Inadequate commitment of some members as a result of consideration of their age is a challenge. They may think they have just a year or so to go on retirement so why worry themselves with such programmes, hence may be adamant or other younger staff that feels that they may not stay in this system-college system or tertiary system also put up similar behaviour (IRP2).


A Principal identified inadequate financial resources at the colleges as a challenge. He pointed that:


Financial challenges are there but staff could be encouraged to source financial help from the Faculty Development Fund of GETFund through the College and NCTE. (IRP2).


Another Principal laid emphasis on the financial factor when he voiced out that:


As you know the usual thing ‘Vitamin M’-the money, money, money and money factor. If the financial resources are not there, it would be difficult for somebody to attend a workshop, even a very important workshop outside the country to help him learn and come back to impart, so, however laudable or good the project might be, it would still not work if the financial resource is not there to implement it effectively. (IRP1).


The Principal also lamented on the challenges of organizing CPD. He categorically stated that:


Inadequate commitment of the beneficiary themselves is an issue. Some feel they have one year or two years to go so why bother themselves. So a kind of apathy or sit on the fence may occur (IRP1).


Another Principal reiterated the challenge of staff inadequate commitment when he said that inadequate commitment of some members as a result of consideration of their age is a challenge. They may think they have just a year or so to go on retirement so why worry themselves with such programmes, hence may be adamant. Younger staff that feels that they may not stay in this system-college system or tertiary system also put up similar behaviour. He also maintained that getting the personnel with the right skill for the training could be a challenge. A Principal also narrated challenges that could be associated with CPD for the academic staff as comprising staff resistance to such programmes if not well sensitised, financial challenges in catering very well for the programme, time factor as colleges are implementers of the curriculum drawn by the mentoring University, University of Cape Coast and hence are conscious of the time factor in order to be able to complete teaching loads embedded in the curriculum within the stipulated time allotted for the curriculum delivery.


It is evident from both questionnaire and interview data that inadequate training logistics and inadequate funding are the challenges that majority of respondents alluded to as confronting the implementation of the CPD programme. In the CoE, internally generated funds are mostly the main source of funding activities such as CPD. The GETFund bursary has been supporting the staff members on further studies and the amount allocated for a college annually is disbursed among the personnel on such programmes. In most cases, the fund is not able to support such staff adequately as the amount does not suffice the expenditure of staff on the programme.


This demands extra effort by college management in seeking for external funds or donors in support of scholarship for further professional development agenda of the staff. Participants’ view here about the issue has elements that relate closely to what Researches also revealed similar findings which cannot be isolated from the findings of this research. Another research captioned as an evaluation study in Addis Ababa by Desta et al. (2013) on school-based continuous teacher professional development: practices, opportunities and challenges, had findings including resource limitations within the programme that hindered smooth progress. In citing from his own experience, Kennedy (2005) added that if CPD is done in school time then there is the problem of finding teaching cover and that he recently worked with a group of teachers from Kazakhstan who had visited the UK for a week of training ELT and information communication technology (ICT) at the Norwich Institute of Language Education. In fulfilment of the programme, he alluded that not only was there the substantial cost of bringing 25 teachers to the UK, but all the teachers needed cover for their own classes while they were away. Thus, CPD can be a very costly experience.


Participants also explained that limited time and unwillingness of the staff members to embrace the CPD are challenges confronting CPD programmes. Though abnormal, it is common finding some staff members paying lip service to CPD programmes. At the discussion stage, such staff members may be seen actively partaking in the discussions, however, at the time of implementation, people begin to look for factors of extrinsic motivation. Such factors become determinants of such people’s participation. In the case of issuance of certificates of participation, younger staff seem to be more conscious of the dividends whilst older staff do not see value in gathering ‘paper’ evidences of attendance down because they want money that could be paid them in solving part of their economics challenges. The CoE are currently implementing the curriculum approved for the University of Cape Coast and all the end of semester examinations are externally conducted.


Hence, the attention of both students and tutors is always on the ability to finish treating and learning the topics in order that students would be able to pass the examinations. In this direction, any extra demand on the time of tutors to work outside the classroom is seen as a waste of the time and this becomes the point of temptation for some tutors to dodge the activities of CPD anywhere. Even if the CPD is to take place in particular lesson, it would be viewed as a waste of part of the instructional time. Participants’ thoughts are consistent with the findings of Ashebir (2006).


The findings of this research in respect of challenges in organising CPD is also reflective of the findings of an evaluation study in Addis Ababa by Desta et al. (2013) on school-based continuous teacher professional development: practices, opportunities and challenges, had findings that the CPD structure was absent or inadequately organized in most of the schools and further reported although interviewed teacher ascertained that the programme had brought significant changes in their attitude towards the profession, lack of readiness to participate actively in the programme was found to be an overarching problem.


All the three Vice Principals and seven heads of department maintained that lack of commitment or resistance to change is the main constraint of CPD. According to Mullins (2010), despite the potential positive outcomes, change is often resisted at both the individual and the organizational level and the forces against change include: ignoring the needs and expectations of members; when members have insufficient information about the nature of the change; or if they do not perceive the need for the change. Fears may be expressed over such matters as employment levels and job security, de-skilling of work, loss of job satisfaction, wage-rate differentials, changes to social structures and working conditions, loss of individual control over work, and greater management control (Mullins, 2010).


A Vice Principal and a tutor were of the view that stated that the challenge faced by the institution of CPD programme is the fact that the aged staff see no need for further training and so do not participate in the programme. This point was also stressed by the Principals. According to one of them, such aged staff members do not only refuse to participate in CPD programme, but also try to lure younger staff members who are their associates into such habits, and that becomes the point of danger for the institution. This is why the purpose of the programme must be well communicated to stakeholders so that if the staff gets the picture of the importance, nobody can disturb their participation or influence them negatively towards any aspect of the programme. In that way, the right attitude could be projected at every angle.


Inadequate supervision and motivations are constraints identified by QRT5, QRT6 and QRT10 also highlighted the motivation factor. Wishes for external motivation (expectancy and its motivation complexities) may affect people’s participation. CoE leaders like all other educational institution leaders provide curriculum leadership. In this leadership, the leader defines the vision, identifies the tasks, designs plan, implements the plans and evaluates the results (T-TEL, 2016). The plans that this leadership is so much concerned with mostly centre on the performance and learning experiences of students, the core mandate of the existence of educational institutions.


One factor that is instrumental in producing maximum learning outcomes of both in-service training for tutors and pre-service training of students is motivation. Martin (2005) mentioned that a major element that managers of organisation could employ in constantly seeking ways of improving performance at every level of the business, in order to raise productivity and reduce cost, is contained in motivational properties. Respondents in this research highlighted this observation by corroborating this ideology when they asserted that if managers want to improve the work of the organization, attention must be given to the level of motivation of its members. This is also consistent with the findings of (Oettrngen, 2000; Mullins, 2010). Oettrngen (2000) in analyzing this self-directed and involuntary action maintained that motivations are periodic and whenever a stimulus or a particular need increases again, the process of ‘doing’ repeat itself. Pakdel (2013) asserted that motivations and goals have interaction on each other and if the motivation is high in individual, long-term goals will be chosen and if the value of such a long term goal is too high, the level of motivation will also increase in the person.


It was also evident from the research data that inadequate competent resource persons pose a challenge to the institution of college-based departmentalised CPD programme in the CoE in the Volta Region of Ghana. The challenge of having people with the required skill or capacity for the actual training as resource persons was stressed by the professional coordinator interviewed. In the CoE Act, Act 847(5), the colleges are to develop local, national and international relationship to help them better their lots. This relationship coupled with the support of the mentoring universities could help provide the technical support in programming CPD of the staff and its delivery so that the gap could be filled.


Summary of key findings and conclusion


The challenges likely to come up with colleges in organising college-based departmentalised CPD programme for the academic staff are inadequate training logistics, inadequate funding, limited time, inadequate commitment or resistant to change and unwillingness of the staff members to embrace the CPD, inadequate supervision and motivation and inadequate competent resource persons are the challenges likely to confront the implementation of the CPD programme. Poor attitude to CPD activities by some staff especially the aged staff was a challenge. This resulted in apathy or sit on the fence attitude among such staff members.


The conclusion to the study is that multi factors come to play in challenging the success of any CPD programme organised for the staff of the colleges of education. This implies that various stakeholders must play relevant key roles in their various areas as concerned a particular CPD to be organised and hence calls for all hands on deck to achieve success. 


The following suggestions are made for stakeholders’ consideration in tackling the issues more seriously to combat challenges bedevilling CPD programmes of the academic staff of the colleges of education:


1) College Councils and Management should ensure that the Academic Board carries out effective planning of CPD programmes for the academic staff to make sure that all key players are brought on board during decision making, sensitisation and implementation.

2) Alternative funding/additional funding should be sought for organisation of CPD at the colleges of education to make the programme robust and successful. A cue could be taken from the teaching universities in Ghana and elsewhere on how funding is sought / got for the CPD of the staff.

3) A comprehensive look has been given to factors of sustainability of CPD programmes of the academic staff in a related research that is yet to be published by the author. It is suggested that colleges of education leaderships get access to that research finding and other related researches to abreast themselves with issues of sustainability as a means of combating the challenges to CPD programmes.


The author has not declared any conflict of interests.


Ashebir M (2006). Practices and challenges of school based continuous professional development in secondary schools of Kemasi Zone. A doctoral dissertation.


Cohen L, Manion L, Morrison K (2000). Research methods in education (5th ed.). London: Routledge Falmer.



Creswell JW (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.


Creswell JW (2002). Educational research. London: Sage.


Creswell J (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.



Creswell J (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design. New Jersey: Pearson Education.


Denscombe M (2003). A good research guide for small scale social research projects. Buckingham: Open University Press.


Desta D, Chalchisa D, Lemma G (2013). School-based continuous teacher professional development in Addis Ababa: An investigation of practices, opportunities and challenges. Ethiopia: Addis Ababa University. Journal of International Cooperation in Education 15(3):77-94.


Elliott SN, Kratochwill TR, Littlefield CJ, Travers J (2000). Educational psychology: Effective teaching, effective learning (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill College.


Easterby-Smith M, Thorpe R, Jackson PR (2002). Management research. Retrieved April 26, 2018.


Friedman AL, Phillips ME (2001). 'Leaping the CPD hurdle: A study of the barriers and drivers to participation in Continuing Professional Development' University of Bristol. Bristol: PARN


Gollan-Gutin A (2017). Challenges of implementing a continuous development process.


Hassan ZA, Scattner P, Mazza D (2006). Doing a pilot study: Why is it essential? Retrieved from



Jaikumar M (2018). Introduction to research methodology.


Johnson B, Christensen L (2012). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative and mixed approaches (4th ed.). London: Sage.


Kennedy A (2005). Models of continuing professional development: A framework for analysis. Journal of In-service Education 31(2):235-250.


Kennedy L (2016). What are some challenges to continuing professional development? Britain: British Council.


Kusi H (2012). Doing qualitative research: A guide for researchers. Accra-New Town: Emmpong Press.


Martin J (2005). Organizational behaviour and management (3rd ed.). Singapore: Seng Lee Press.


Mullins LJ (2010). Management and organizational behaviour (9thed.). England: Pearson.


Oettrngen G (2000). Expectancy effects on behaviour depends on self-regulatory thought. Journal of Social Cognition 8(4):101-129.


Opdenakker R (2006).Advantages and Disadvantages of Four Interview Techniques in Qualitative Research.



Pakdel B (2013). The Historical context of motivation and analysis: Theories and individual motivation. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 3(18):35-53.


Patton C (1990). Qualitative sample size.


Polit DF, Beck CT (2010). Generalization in quantitative and qualitative research. Profett-McGrath.


Polit DF, Hungler BP (1999). Nursing research: Principles and methods. (6th ed.).Philadelphia: Lippincott.


Tetnowsk JA (2001). A demonstration of advantages of qualitative research.



Ward JH (2012). Managing Data: Content Analysis Methodology. Unpublished manuscript, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Weston D (2013). Education for sustainable happiness and well-being. New York: Routledge.


Yin RK (1994). Case study research design and methods. London: Sage.


Yin RK (2003). Case study research: Design and methods. London: Sage.


Yaqub EN, Owusu-Cole C, Ofosua CF (2020). Challenges facing continuing professional development (CPD) of academic staff of the colleges of education in Ghana. International Journal of Educational Administrators and Policy Studies 12(2):112-120.