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: 218

Full Length Research Paper

Challenges facing continuing professional development (CPD) of academic staff of the colleges of education in Ghana

Entsie Nasir Yaqub
  • Entsie Nasir Yaqub
  • Pro Vice Chancellor’s Office, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
Clement Owusu-Cole
  • Clement Owusu-Cole
  • Department of Education and Professional Studies, Presbyterian College of Education, Abetifi, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar
Clara Frempong Ofosua
  • Clara Frempong Ofosua
  • Department of Languages, Presbyterian College of Education, Abetifi, Ghana.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 06 April 2020
  •  Accepted: 02 July 2020
  •  Published: 31 July 2020


Professional development is critical in the life of every organization in positioning workers to meet changing trends of globalization. This study seeks to look at a critical analysis of the challenges facing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of academic staff of the colleges of education in Ghana. The exploratory, descriptive and evaluative case study approach that combined both qualitative and quantitative methods were used which basically adopted the questionnaire and the interview schedule in the collection of data. The census and the purposive sampling techniques were used in collecting data from 364 respondents constituting tutors, Human Resource Management and Development (HRMD) committee members and chairpersons, vice-principals and quality assurance officers. Primary data collected through the instruments used were analysed using the mean and standard deviation techniques. Text analyses were also done for the interview schedule data. The results of the study revealed that colleges of education do not maximise the full potential of benefits that accrue from CPD programmes due to some profound challenges such as lack of a systematic and comprehensive training needs analysis and weak interaction between the institution seeking the training and the institution providing the training. The study recommended that CPD programme be linked to the learning needs analysis and integration of knowledge with everyday practice. Management of colleges of education must endeavor to have an appraisal system linked to personal development planning of tutors.


Key words: Challenges, continuing professional development, colleges of education, training, development.


Professional development is critical in the life of every organization in positioning its human resources to meet changing trends of globalization. Human resource (HR) is the organisation’s most crucial resource whose behaviors,  talents   and   aspirations   affect   the   other resources that the organization uses, the organizational efficiency and its effectiveness (Agyenim-Boateng, 2008). DeSimone and Harris (1998) as cited in Owusu (2011) put it that “people are an inimitable asset and that their skills  are  one  thing that competitor organisations cannot
imitate” (p. 1). It can be deduced from many reports that the competitive strength of companies, social organisations and countries are no longer strictly tied to physical assets or resources, but to the intellectual attributes of their knowledge workers. This was confirmed by Dixon and Hamilton (1996) when they upheld from their analysis that HR constitutes between 40 and 80% of wealth worldwide while natural resources are only a little more than 10% of wealth in most parts of the developing world.
Now, the argument is that after expending a considerable outlay of the organisation’s efforts to obtain suitable employees, works that organisations have to do are to ensure that human resources are maintained, refined and utilised. These are achieved through adoption of systematic approach to training and development (T&D) of staff which invariably per its orientation has metamorphosed to a new concept currently referred to as continuing professional development (CPD). The need for such approach emanates from the fact that survival and growth of organisations in a constantly changing and increasingly complex environment depends on the existence of observed and nurtured knowledge and skills.
CPD of employees is an issue that has to be faced by every organization. The quantity and quality of training carried out may vary from one organization to another. Cole (2002) has outlined some factors that influence the quantity and quality of training and development activities to include: degree of change in the external environment (For example, technological change, new legislation amongst others); degree of internal change (For example new processes, new markets, etc.); Availability of suitable skills within the existing workforce; adaptability of existing workforce; the extent to which the organization supports the idea of internal career development; the commitment of senior management to training as an essential part of the economic success; the extent to which management sees training as a motivating factor in work; and knowledge and skills of those responsible for carrying out the training.
In educational context, the European Union as cited in Newman (2013) opined that “within educational institutions, teaching professionals are the most important determinants of how learners will perform; and it is what teachers know, do and care about that matters” (p. 1). It could be deduced from the European Union’s assertion that the indispensability of the human capital (staff) of the colleges of education (CoEs) cannot be overemphasized in the governance structure. A regular investment of time in learning and development should be seen as an essential part of professional life, not an optional extra, with learning an integral part of work (Owusu, 2011). However, no matter how well qualified or successful the professional may be, further development is always necessary.
Ghansah (2009) in making reference to the three eras in the economic history of the world believed that with the emergence of knowledge-based economies, human capital had become a significant source of wealth for individuals and organisations. This reflects equally in Schultz (1994) assertion as cited in Afreh (2018) that “the knowledge and skills which people bring to their jobs as a result of their education and training, should be regarded as a form of capital which is capable of providing returns and therefore requires investment to develop” (p. 3).
Assessing needs for HRD
For organization to meet the needs and aspirations of CPD, there is the need for an indebt assessment of peculiar needs, aspirations and directions of an organization. The concept of need according to DeSimone and Harris (1998) typically refers to a discrepancy between what an organisation expects and what actually occurs. Gilley et al. (2002) further stress that it is useful to think of need as a gap between a current set of circumstances and some desired change or desirable set of circumstances. Discrepancies may become the foundation of a training or CPD need. Needs identified in this sense may help focus on correcting substandard performance and in some cases, a CPD intervention such as coaching or skill training may be necessary to correct the discrepancy.
Noe (1999) as cited in Owusu (2011) postulated that need assessment typically involves organisational analysis, person analysis, and task analysis. Organisational analysis involves considering the context in which training will occur. It determines the appropriateness of training, given the company’s business strategy, its resources available for training and support by managers and peers for training activities. Person analysis helps to identify who needs training and what kind of training they need. It involves: determining whether performance deficiencies result from a lack of knowledge, skill, ability (a training issue) or from a motivational or work design problem; identifying who needs training; and determining employees’ readiness for training. Task analysis is the first most criteria that helps in identifying critical knowledge, skills and behaviours demands for training of employees with knowhow to complete their tasks.
Finally, Ampomah-Mintah (2017) studied how management T&D needs are assessed in Libyan industrial companies and the criteria used in selecting trainees for management courses. Data was collected through the administration of questionnaires and interviews with managers. It was revealed that the techniques used were mostly dependent on indications from performance reports and the views of supervisors. It was discovered that administrative functions were practiced without regard to acceptable standards and decisions related to management were mostly dependent on  personal  relations,  family  ties,   tribalism,   nepotism among others rather than established procedures.
Performance appraisal as an essential component in CPD
Management must take decisions on employee remuneration, transfer, promotion, discipline as well as CPD. Due to the importance of these personnel matters, organisations attach great importance to the official assessment which management make on their employees. To this end, performance appraisal has occupied the attention of human resource management, organizational behavior and industrial researchers.
To start with performance appraisal is essentially a formal mechanism of reviewing individual employee performance. Performance appraisal which is variously termed performance review, annual appraisal, performance evaluation, employee evaluation and merit evaluation is an on-going process of evaluation which gives management the opportunity to measure both the behavior and outcome of employees in the workplace, collection and analysis of data on the overall capabilities and potentials of individual worker in an attempt to make decision in tune with a purpose (Agyenim-Boateng, 2008). Thus, it could be deduced that basically performance appraisal can be conceptualized as “activities through which organizations seek to assess employees and develop their competence, enhance performance and distribute rewards” (Fletcher as cited in Agyenim-Boateng, 2008).
Evaluation of training and development programmes
Given the importance of training programmes, one might expect that HRD programmes are regularly and carefully evaluated. Many articles have been written about the importance of conducting evaluations, but more organisations pay lip service to evaluations than actually conducting them. Gilley et al. (2002) intimated that successful training programmes must meet specific learning objectives, measure the effectiveness of learning specialist and the competencies of programme design. The question is: did the training programme enable the learner to develop adequate knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to close the gap between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’? Again, why is not evaluation done more frequently? There are several possibilities. Evaluation processes require time, resources, procedures and expertise, thus making it difficult to indulge in.
On the basis of a research by Manghan and Silver as cited in Owusu (2011) which suggest very few of organisations assessed the full cost of training activities and therefore were unable to evaluate the benefits. This is supported in a study of 80 of the largest business organisations in the United Kingdom in which  Hussey  as cited in Owusu (2011) found that only 33% of the respondents felt that their organisations evaluate CPD programs.
Several studies have been conducted on the benefits of CPD in the universities. For example, in a study conducted by Chikari et al. (2015) on lecturers’ views towards performance on private high educational institutions in Botswana. They found that lecturers viewed CPD as a panacea for professional growth, efficiency and teaching effectiveness. They recommended that CPD implementation is essential and required stakeholder involvement. Another study by Melesse and Gulie (2019), on teacher CPD and its impact to quality in education in Ethiopia. They found out that CPD implementation helps teachers to access new ideas, share experience and engage in professional interactions. A similar study conducted in Ghana by Mensah (2016), examined the influence of teachers CDP on their classroom practices. Their findings revealed that CPD programmes were relevant to teachers’ classroom management practices, hence capacity building programmes should be promoted regularly in basic schools.
With CPD importance to performance of teachers in educational institutions, there was need to conduct studies in CPD in the CoE. However, little is known about CPD in the CoE in Ghana. Therefore, this study wants to assess what criteria are used in selecting staff for CPD activities and what are the challenges facing CPD programs in the CoEs?


The study used an exploratory, descriptive and evaluative case study approach that combined both qualitative and quantitative methods (Blaikie and Yin as cited in Agyenim-Boateng, 2008). The population of the study comprised all tutors and assistant tutors; committee members responsible for HRMD and their chair persons as well as vice-principals in the CoEs in the Eastern-Greater-Accra (EAGA) sector. Traditionally, the CoEs had been grouped into seven zones. The EAGA sector of that stratification comprised seven colleges representing 17.39% of the entire CoEs. To ensure representativeness, all the eight colleges found in the EAGA sector were used for the study. There were 371 respondents composed of 355 tutors for which 63 equally serve as HRMD committee members and chairpersons, 8 vice-principals and 8 quality assurance officers.
The tutors as well as the HRMD committee members did not require any sampling technique but the census approach was used in selecting all of them whereas the purposive non-probability sampling technique was used in selecting the HRMD chairpersons’, vice-principals and the quality assurance officers. There was however, a return rate of 364 representing 98.1% of the total respondents used for the study. Two instruments (questionnaire, interview schedule) were used in the data collection. The questionnaire was used for all the teaching staff as well as the quality assurance officers. The questionnaires were personally distributed in all the 7 colleges with six trained tutors who served as ambassadors in the various colleges. A structured interview schedule was used for the HRMD committee chairpersons to elicit information basically on varying issues that bother on the study that actually   emanated   from   the  questionnaire  that  needed  further  clarifications as well as documentary evidence of CPD situation in their respective colleges. The interview was personally conducted by the researcher. The study used the mean, standard deviations as well as percentages in analyzing both research questions.


Criteria used by CoEs in selecting staff for training
Results on criteria considered by CoEs in CPD development programmes were assessed and the results shown in Table 1.
In sharp contrast to what literature stipulates in relation to the selection of staff for CPD activities, the results from Table 1 deviates from the established norms and standards. For instance, it could be seen clearly from the mean as arranged in a hierarchical order in Table 1 that the criterion that had mostly informed and influenced CPD activities in the colleges was national/organizational policy. The Colleges of Education Act, 2012 (Act 847) stipulates through the statutes that the minimum qualification requirement for teaching was a master’s degree. It was therefore incumbent on teaching staff to up-grade their respective qualifications to meet the new organizational requirement. In as much as this was a national policy and an organizational requirement, it should have been executed taking into cognizance the factors that necessitated the change in policy. Thus, this policy was executed blindly without any form of formal assessment by management to ascertain how employees were progressing and the sort of improvements necessary to build on their strength and enable them to perform more effectively. This contradicts what literature says that training needs must precede any form of training and development program (Noe, 1999 as cited in Owusu, 2011).
This revelation corroborates literature that the performance appraisal system of the Ghanaian public sector universities did not affect the HRD programmes of the university as they were not fully integrated into the HRD programmes of the university (Agyenim-Boateng, 2008). Compounding the problem of lack of training needs analysis through either a formal or informal appraisal system was the non-existence of an HRMD unit which should have in it a quality assurance component. The study revealed that all the eight colleges used for the study had constituted a Staff Development Committee which was a statutory requirement but only existed in name as it was not functioning. Likewise, quality assurance was left to the whims and caprices of just one individual who virtually had no role to play in staff CPD.
Table 1 further shows that respondents considered ‘career progression’, ‘personal development plan’ and ‘interest’ as the most prominent media through which they were able to determine whether or not CPD was necessary. Owusu (2011) stipulates that career progression’, ‘personal development plan’ and ‘interest’ cannot override indicators like client’s responses and feedback’ and ‘knowledge/skill gap’ which look at training needs of the organization, training needs of the trainee involved as well as career progression. Performance appraisal of teachers in the CoEs should encapsulate responses and feedback from trainee teachers on mentee programs. This is to help improve individual employees’ performance in the organization in an attempt to improve the overall organizational performance and effectiveness.
The on-going analysis from Table 1 seemed to stipulate that the CoEs did not really have any stipulated criteria through which they were able to identify their training needs for CPD programmes. The situation gives rise to the use of discretionary measures from teachers accessing  the  program  and  the  danger   here   is   that training programs may not necessarily meet the organizational needs. Thus, most CPD programs had unfolded in the CoEs without regard to pertinent indicators that will yield the required outcome and expectations. This finding confirms the NAB analysis as cited in Newman (2013) that only 0.01% of the teachers with Masters Degrees in CoEs had qualifications in the relevant subject area. This further corroborates a study by Agnaia as cited in Sharon (2017) that administrative functions were practiced without regard to acceptable standards and established procedures.
Challenges facing CPD practices
Like every other human activities, there is no doubt that the practice of CPD in the CoEs in Ghana were associated with some challenges. The study basically explored how the respondents perceived challenges faced by the Colleges of Education Service in Ghana. Table 2 shows a summary statistic of the responses from the study.
Table 2 shows statistically significant differences were reported on three critical issues: how to make learning a fundamental value of the institutions; absence of transfer of learning from the training to the workplace; and how to gain the support and willing cooperation of other line managers.
Absence of transfer of learning from the training to the workplace was a major challenge facing CPD in the CoEs (M = 3.69, SD = 0.53). Underpinning this challenge is the issue of the unavailability of facilities and other teaching and learning aids that would ensure effective transfer of learning from the training field to the workplace (Owusu, 2011). Adequate equipment and infrastructure are necessary for the provision of quality tertiary education. Without doubt, infrastructure of CoEs needs improvement if the colleges are to live up to their designation as tertiary education institutions. The  National  Accreditation  Board (NAB) as cited in Newman (2013) reported that laboratory/workshop equipment in the colleges were obsolete, inadequate and poorly maintained. The board again indicated that office accommodation for tutors was largely non-existent in the colleges.
The findings of the NAB were affirmed by the NCTE as cited in Newman (2013) which stated that “furnishing in the laboratories is very poor and equipment is not only scanty and paltry but out of date”.  Even though some efforts have been made to improve infrastructure and equipment in the colleges, not much has changed since the colleges were elevated to tertiary status. It is more frustrating when one cannot practice and deliver what has been learnt due to lack of facilities or infrastructures. The NAB findings corroborate the work of Tannenbaum (1997) who found that the work environment whether physical, social, or psychological conditions that individuals experience can either encourage or discourage the acquisition and transfer of new skills and ideas. It follows that the focus of every corporate HRD policies and practices should be to create and foster a climate that promotes the successful acquisition and transfer of new skills and ideas. This is the only way that institutions’ HRD programmes would achieve its intended objectives.
In furtherance to the absence of transfer of learning from the training to the workplace, the study revealed that the lack of career counseling center was a major contributing factor. The study suggests that there was a cumulative frequency of 86.2% of the respondents who had never used the career counselling center. Quite a significant percentage of this category of staff was even ignorant of the fact that such a facility even exists. An interview conducted at the Guidance and Counselling (G&C) units revealed the same responses that indicate that there was no career counselling component for staff. In as much as all the seven colleges used for the study had G&C units, the counselling centers offered services for  the  entire  CoEs  community.  Rarely  would  you find tutors patronising such services because there were virtually no programmes that would attract them. All programmes associated with T&D were under the jurisdiction of the T&D unit that was equally non-existent. An interview with some committee heads responsible for staff T&D recorded no career counselling facility exists for staff that embarks on T&D as insinuated by the counselling unit. This explained why the majority said no such facility exists. It was also evident from the interview with the HRMD committee chairpersons that the few respondents who asserted they occasionally patronised the services of the center, did that on their own but not because there exists a facility that was purposely meant to counsel staff members on such issues as further studies. The implication was that most T&D programmes in the CoEs over the years evolved without any form of career counselling.
The indispensability of G&C in every CPD programme cannot be overemphasized and interviewees from all the CoEs used for the study admitted that career counselling for academic staff in the CoE should be a major component of their services. G&C invariably facilitates and helps the process of choosing the right candidate for specific T&D programmes and minimises the occurrence of participants abandoning programmes midstream or causing undue delay in the completion rate that adversely causes financial loss to the respective institutions. The repercussion of the absence of a career counselling facility could be very disastrous to the achievement of the overall organisational objective. For as Hamblin cited in Yadapadithaya and Stewart (2003) pointed out:  trainees can react favourably to a course; they can enjoy it but learn nothing. They can also learn something, but cannot, or will not, or are not allowed to, apply it. They apply it, but it does no good within their own area of competence. It does some good in their function, but does not further the objectives of the organisation (p. 118).
It must be noted here that Hamblin’s observation indicates that compromising standards and not choosing the right candidate for T&D programme could virtually result in an absence of transfer of learning from the training to the workplace or virtually a total waste.
Table 2 equally reveals that making learning a fundamental value in the CoEs was a major challenge confronting CPD. 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. Owusu (2011) maintains that this could also be laziness or unwillingness on the part of staff due to lack of incentives and other motivational factors. His study indicated that there was no policy provision regarding CPD and any form of reward system. For example, in a response to a question trying to understand why college tutors who are supposed to teach and conduct research as well have not been able to make learning a fundamental  value  in  the  institution, the interviewees were unanimous that there were no motivation and available incentives as the following responses indicate “There are basically two types of CPD programmmes available to tutors in the colleges of education: on-the-job training and off-the-job training. The most common one was the off-the-job type which a number of staff adopted due to the new national policy of master’s degree as the minimum qualification required for teaching in the CoEs. Most teachers struggled to bear all the cost involved in their training without any refund upon completion as promised by management. The sad aspect is that, all these sacrifices did not did not influence decisions on promotion and remunerations in any form. A good number of teachers who underwent such CPD programmes retired with virtually no increase and improvement in salary prior to the tertiary status of the CoEs. How can teachers be motivated when all they get are papers in the name of certificates without any corresponding benefit in their personal development? Ironically, our counterparts in other analogous institutions with virtually the same conditions of service have in place juicy packages associated with some of these CPD programmes. Even with the on-the-job training sessions like T-Tel, they will not even serve drinking water not to talk of an allowance. All these are not motivating and subsequently making learning a fundamental value in the CoEs practically impossible and a difficult end to achieve.
For example, Section (4)(d) of the CoEs Act makes it mandatory that basic research and action research form an integral part of teacher education, the paucity of research capacity in our colleges as result of our background as a non-tertiary institution few years back cannot be glossed over. This provision notwithstanding, the culture of research and publication is nearly non-existent in CoEs even though tutors are not oblivious to the benefits that research accrues to productivity. The reason is simple; research and publication come with huge cost for which the unimproved salary of the college tutor cannot meet. Remember we cannot use all our money on research and publications which comes with no corresponding benefits aside the knowledge to the detriment of our family obligations. In order to ingrain research culture in the CoEs which hitherto was not an institutional requirement, management through other stakeholders must be committed and make conscious efforts of securing allowances and funds for the academic staff to promote research and publication as the culture has been in other analogous institutions like the universities and polytechnics”.
The interviewees were unanimous that the challenge of not making learning a fundamental value in the colleges could also be attributed to the difficulty in accessing study leave due to the state of governance structure in the colleges now. Unlike other autonomous institutions like the universities and polytechnics, almost every decision is subject to the approval of the Minister of Education (Act 847, Section 19). Thus, tracing the  historical  antecedent of the autonomy and governance structure of the CoEs, it could be deduced that the elevation of TTIs to CoEs resulted in the placement of the colleges under the NCTE. However, there were conflicting roles between the NCTE and the GES with respect to the governance structure in the CoEs. For instance, while the NCTE was responsible for coordinating the budgets of the CoEs; the GES still supervised the pay-roll of the CoEs. His situation adversely affected major decisions in the CoEs including CPD programmes. It must however be noted that, this conflicting role have been resolved to a large extent with some few outstanding issues like autonomy and academic freedom of the CoEs to be addressed. There are institutional bottlenecks in policies and subsequently one wonders how even with the existence of Governing Councils function effectively since most decisions are being dictated by government as well as the University of Cape Coast.
Another challenge that has bedeviled CPD in the CoEs was ‘how to gain the support and willing cooperation of other line managers’ (M= 3.62, SD = 0.49). Lack of commitment by government and management of the CoEs to HRD programmes has resulted in an ill-equipped HRD unit if even there exist one. This situation has invariably led to the non-existence of a clear written HRD policy which actually has given room to the phenomenon of discretion on the part of authorities. Indeed, there is no direction as to what, how, and when? CPD activities must be organized (Owusu, 2011).
As a rippling effect, authorities were in a state of dilemma as to whether to be committed to cultural expectations or management governed by organisational ethics. Thus, for the purpose of maintaining good relations with colleagues, relatives and other family ties, it becomes very difficult to get the support and collaboration of all stakeholders in ensuring that stipulated management principles were strictly adhered to and respected by all without compromises. This finding validates Agnaiaas cited in Owusu (2011) observation that administrative functions were practiced without regard to acceptable standards and decisions related to management were mostly dependent on personal relations, family ties, tribalism among others rather than established procedures.
There is also the issue of ‘lack of a systematic and comprehensive training needs analysis that results in weak interaction between the institution seeking the training and the institution providing the training’ (M = 3.55, SD = 0.46).  Lack of a well-established and resourced HRD unit had also contributed to this challenge. 85% of the respondents agreed that there was no training needs analysis conducted before any CPD programme. In most cases the individual teachers opt for programmes based on their own interest and career progression which may not be consistent with the organizational goals and vision. This is in sharp contrast with the findings of Owusu (2011) which equally  supports the work of Noe as cited in Owusu (2011) who determined that a systematic and comprehensive training needs analysis is a pre-requisite to any successful CPD programme and that it is the single medium through which human resource needs are articulated. As a matter of fact, they put it that training needs analysis is the starting point of any CPD programme.
The situation makes it difficult and practically impossible for the CoEs seeking the training to liaison with the institution providing the training to design programmes tailored to solve practical classroom challenges that will enhance performance. It was therefore of no surprise when data from the NAB indicate that most teachers with advanced degrees that were all obtained whiles on-the-job had no bearing and relation on what they were teaching. Thus, the data showed that only 0.01% of teachers with advanced degrees in the CoEs have qualifications in the relevant teaching areas (NAB as cited in Newman, 2013).
Another major challenge which emanated from the study as shown in Table 2 was ‘how to create a system of a more valid, reliable and operationally viable measures to evaluate CPD programmes (M = 3.27, SD = 0.59)’. The study revealed that a cumulative frequency of 83.4% of respondents intimated that no form of evaluation was done about CPD programmes whether before, during or after to ensure their usefulness and appropriateness in order to inform future and subsequent programmes. Only a minority of 16.5% alluded to the fact that some form of evaluation was conducted occasionally and that was after the programme. This is in contrast with a study by Al-Athari and Zairi (2002) which revealed that evaluation of training interventions was done occasionally.
Many articles have been written about the importance of conducting evaluations, but more organisations pay lip service to evaluations than actually conducting them as indicated in the case of the CoEs. Pertinent questions should be asked to ascertain the desirability and suitability of CPD programmes. These questions may include whether the training programme enabled the learner to develop adequate knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to close the gap between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’? It therefore became prudent that the study verifies and determines why the colleges are not frequently evaluating their training programmes as done in other corporate organisations. The study therefore revealed that evaluation was a cumbersome process that required a lot of procedures, time, resources and more importantly expertise. In summary, it was identified that about 90% of the CoEs that were used for the study lacked the requisite human and material resources for an effective evaluation of CPD programmes.
Another all-important challenge that CPD faces in the CoEs as indicated in Table 2 was ‘lack of flexible learning provision (M = 3.49, SD = 0.53)’. Respondents were unanimous in their response that most CPD programmes both  on-the-job   and  off-the-job  programmes  were  not enjoyable for lack of flexibility. That is to say, CPD is carried out by adults; hence, all principles that apply to adult learning must be given critical attention to as well. Accordingly, Whitaker as cited in Sharon (2017) mentions as a principle underlying CPD that career development should be owned and managed by the learner. Contrary to this principle as expounded by Sharon (2017), CPD programmes undertaken by tutors from the CoEs were largely owned by the providing institutions and they dictate the pace and the entire modus operandi without any recourse to the participant’s status even as an adult.
Amongst the numerous principles that must inform adult learning include the following: CPD must ensure active engagement of all learners which stems from the fact that adults learn best when actively engaged in the learning process; learning must be relevant to their work or some other aspect of their lives, CPD must seek to solve practical problems and not more of theoretical, CPD organisers and facilitators must listen to and respond to learners’ needs even while the activity is underway. Efforts must be made in noting their concerns while in their presence (Badu-Nyarko, 2015).


(1) Colleges of Education did not maximise the full potential of benefits that accrue from CPD programmes due to the absence of collaboration between the CoEs and the institutions providing the training.
(2) CPD programs in the CoEs were mostly dominated and influenced by discretionary measures from both authorities and beneficiaries due to the lack of a clear written HRD policy. Indeed, there is no direction as to what, how, and when? CPD activities must be organized.
(3) The culture of learning and for that matter making learning a fundamental value in the CoEs was absent due to a number of institutional bottlenecks in policies as well as unwillingness on the part of staff due to lack of incentives and other motivational factors.
(4) There is no effective evaluation of CPD programmes due to lack of a valid, reliable and operationally viable measures to evaluate CPD programmes.


To improve, refine and equally ensure CPD programmes are maximally effective, this article prescribes some strategies that could be adopted by the CoEs in addressing some identified challenges that militate against successful CPD policy implementation practices.
(1) To ensure active modes of learning, CPD programmes must be linked with learning needs analysis and integration of knowledge with everyday practice.
(2) CoEs must take into consideration that their institutions commitment to CPD should be demonstrated not only in quantitative terms, but also more importantly in its quality. In this context, the study recommends that, Tannenbaum (1997) assertion should serve as a blueprint in the evolution of institutions CPD programmes and human resource development in general. Tannenbaum (1997) states that: “Rather than the amount of training, it is the quality and appropriateness of the training, the supportiveness of the work environment, and the use of appropriate training policies and practices that determine how well training contributes to continuous learning(p. 447).
(3) In order to streamline the selection process and ensure a better succession plan for CoEs, selection criteria must be tied strictly to assessment needs as well as organisational principles and standards.
(4) CoEs must ensure that pragmatic measures are taken for the provision of modern equipments, tools and other requisite facilities necessary for the technological advancement that comes with CPD. This invariably would facilitate proper transfer of learning.
(5) Workers must endeavor to build a CPD portfolio. This can be paper-based, electronic or online and it would be helpful for it to be based on a common template and include annual progress summaries.


The authors have no conflict of interests.


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