Professional Development

This report examines Professional Development (PD), i.e. coaching and mentoring interventions. In particular, the aim of the present report is to consider how effective PD has been over the past four years.

Ratings of PD effectiveness are modest, being rated as ‘partially effective’ on average overall both in 2011 and 2013. SSMs report lower levels of effectiveness compared with SMs overall. Non-diocesan provided PD is viewed as more effective than average diocesan provision. Best diocesan practice is on par with average non-diocesan provision.

Participating in PD appears to have some immediate positive but modest effects on perceptions of diocesan support and indicators of spiritual and numerical growth for SMs and on reports of vigour for both SMs and SSMs.

The quality of PD was found to have a stronger effect on outcomes than participation. This suggests that the quality of PD varies and that ‘effective PD’ has a particularly good chance of influencing key outcomes. If PD is found effective then the following are likely to result:

  • More positive perceptions of diocesan support and justice
  • More engaged clergy
  • Less burnt out SSMs
  • Greater spiritual and numerical growth for SMs

PD that is seen as ineffective is likely to result in the opposite outcomes.

Many of these effects are likely to be achieved both in the short term but also over a longer-term period.

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