An investigation into the challenges associated with vendor performance and the commissioning of professional development: an Abu Dhabi case

McPherson, Lindsey (2016) An investigation into the challenges associated with vendor performance and the commissioning of professional development: an Abu Dhabi case. DProf thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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Professional development is an important factor in developing teacher and leadership professional practice. Well considered contracting of professional development results in improvements in participants’ performance. Effective professional development provision comes from analysing training needs to identify deficiencies in performance. Ineffective contracting processes, which do not analyse need accurately, result in provision that does not target the required performance. This research project considered the commissioning of professional development and reasons for poor vendor performance.

After setting the scene for the project I looked at the extant research surrounding the issue of professional development and performance improvement. Then I considered the research methodology used in this research and applied that research methodology to my workplace practice to analyse the issue of poor vendor performance. Next I considered all of the research to arrive at findings and recommendations for professional development for principals and wider school workforces. Next I recommended models for principals, wider school workforces and the commissioning of professional development, before finally reflecting on my learning and professional practice.

My first research question asked ‘What are the reasons for poor vendor performance in the context of professional development for principals and vice principals and what strategies can I put in place to prevent their re-occurrence?’ My research findings indicated a weakness in the contracting process, particularly a lack of specificity in occupational skill standards. My findings showed that training needs’ analysis was not performed against a set standard but against curriculum needs. As a result, vendors’ professional development reflected content rather than the performance criteria required for competent performance.

My second research question asked ‘Are there models of professional development that can effectively deliver professional development in the context of school improvement? Why and how they might transform learning into practice?’ My findings showed that professional development based on training needs produced approaches to professional development that were more effective in meeting those needs and improving performance. To establish the reasons for poor vendor performance, extensive research, using Soft System Methodology (SSM) was used to consider the worldview of existing professional development. Models of professional development developed in an abstract context were compared to the real world to consider the most feasible and desirable models. This study concluded by producing nine best practice models of professional development for each of the wider school workforce positions.

My third research question asked ‘With what consequence can researching poor vendor performance and models of professional development enhance my learning and professional practice?’ I arrived at three sets of recommendations, one each for principals, wider school workforces and the commissioning of professional development. The latter is the most useful for my work role in commissioning professional development for nine wider school workforce positions being introduced into schools. My findings indicated that professional development models that were specific, customised and targeted performance that met standards, were the most effective, particularly when delivered in the learning environment.

This report is written from the practitioner/researcher point of view, written in the first person and completed as a doctoral project that is also designed to inform my work and my professional learning. This report reflects my project work and my resultant learning.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
B. > Theses
Item ID: 21170
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2017 14:40
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 21:50

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