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by Our manager in practice
2 October 2007

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We need to stop CPD plodding!

She’s back from a break – and our practice manager insider has been inspired to continue with her professional development …

Last month I had a two-week holiday, but it seems a dim and distant memory now!

However, just before my holiday my thoughts had turned to my continuing education – very often the one person we neglect in the practice is ourselves!

The prompt for my reflection was attendance at the Management in Practice Event in London. As always for me, this type of event provokes much thought and sees me making big plans about what I will alter, put in place, etc back at the ranch.

The reality of course, especially after a holiday in between, is that the day job has overtaken me again and I am struggling to allow time to plan my own education.

Two sessions I particularly remember from the day are “Practice nurse training: the myths and the realities” by Marilyn Eveleigh, and “Mind the gender gap – practice managers’ education” by Allan Hildon.

Marilyn gave a different view and thoughts on practice nurses and their training than I had heard before, and certainly some ideas to take forward with the nurses in my practice.

Allan Hildon gave some very interesting facts from a study he had carried out with practice managers. Some of these facts weren’t too surprising – 87% of managers are female, the average age is 48, and 29% are within 10 years of retiring.

However, Allan’s study also showed that 90% of male managers possess management qualifications compared with 37% of female managers. However, female managers are four times more likely to hold an AMSPAR qualification, while males are twice as likely to have a post-grad qualification. (I seem to be very much in the average category!)

The study suggested that males generally hold and pursue higher qualifications than females, and that those recruited from outside the practice, rather than promoted from within, tend to have higher qualifications.

Many substantially neglect their education and very few regard professional education as relevant to their career progression. The highest motivation for education appeared to be increased knowledge; the biggest obstacle to this was time!

There has been a huge change in the way practices are managed, which I have seen in the 20 years’ plus that I have been around general practice!

However, I see even bigger changes ahead. There is a real need for us to be more strategic and less ad hoc about our education if we are going to embrace the changes and take our profession forward – what say you?

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

“I don’t think that Practice Managers should beat themselves up about not having great motivation for further training. Let’s face it, when you have been a PM for a number of years you come to realise that apart from the fact that you probably don’t get much support from your GPs (financially or protected time!) there seems very little in the way of education out there to tempt you that doesn’t involve a whole lot of ‘home study’.  How many of us want to spend our precious spare time studying the subject that we are involved in the rest of the time? When did you last see something that looked like it was worth the time and effort but didn’t take 2-3 years to complete? I have found the job of sourcing good quality education for PM’s a job in itself.  It would be great to hear other views on this” – Name and address supplied

“Practice Manager development and training becomes less and less inviting as the job becomes more complex and less well remunerated!” – Name and address supplied

“As a Practice Manager I do find that I neglect my own professional development and feel that this is equally neglected by my employers. I am responsible for staff appraisals and for working with staff to identify their own training needs, yet have never had an appraisal of my working role/training carried out” – Name and address supplied