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Acceptable activities

7.2 Acceptable and mandatory professional development activities are those notified on the Immigration Advisers Authority’s website.

 

Requirements

Acceptable professional development activities are notified in the table below. There are currently no mandatory professional development activities.

 

Acceptable professional development activities are:

  • Giving or receiving training
  • Giving or receiving mentoring or supervision
  • Contributing to relevant industry bodies or consultation processes
  • Facilitating or participating in study groups.

To be acceptable, all activities must:

  • Be related to the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards or the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct.
  • Be relevant to an adviser’s learning needs as contained in his or her CPD plan and record.
  • Provide advisers with an opportunity for interaction and feedback.
  • Be verifiable by documentation.

For time spent participating in or facilitating a study group to be acceptable for CPD purposes the study group must:

  • Be facilitated or chaired.
  • Have minutes kept.

Any activity that does not meet these requirements may not be counted towards your CPD hours each year.

In addition, you must make up your 20 hours with more than one single activity.

 

Guidance

Generic requirements

To be acceptable, all activities must be related to the Immigration Advisers Competency Standards or the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct. The Immigration Advisers Competency Standards and the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct cover most aspects of an immigration adviser’s business. They relate not only to immigration law and instructions, but also to professional business practice, communication and ethics. This requirement helps you identify what kinds of topics are acceptable. The Authority takes a broad view of what may be related to the competency standards and the code. For example, undertaking non-immigration specific training or mentoring relating to employment law, criminal law, advocacy, ethics, communication or business practices that is relevant to your learning needs and the work you undertake for your clients as a licensed immigration adviser would be acceptable.

To be acceptable, all activities must be relevant to an adviser’s learning needs as contained in his or her CPD plan and record. It is important that CPD activities are relevant to your learning needs and you need to be able to make the connection. Remember you can update your learning needs throughout the year.

To be acceptable, all activities must provide advisers with an opportunity for interaction and feedback.  For example, you need to be able to engage with questions, comments or feedback. This requirement reflects that you may now only count active learning activities. If the activity doesn’t allow for this, it can’t be counted towards your CPD hours. You may count watching a recording of a seminar or other training session where that session includes interaction such as questions and answers. However, we do recommend that to get the most value from this activity you get together with at least one other adviser so that you can discuss the content.

To be acceptable, all activities must be verifiable by documentation. You need to keep records of your attendance or participation. The kinds of records that are acceptable are discussed in each of the sections below. They may include agendas and minutes of relevant meetings or groups, attendance records, confirmation of registration, certificates of completion, published articles or confirmation by another person.

In addition, you must make up your 20 hours with more than one single activity.  For example:

 

1.         Giving or receiving training

This category includes:

Training may be delivered in person, online, via video or audio conferencing, webinars or other real-time communications technology as long as there is an opportunity for interaction and feedback, e.g. the ability to ask questions. They could be sourced and/or delivered either in New Zealand or overseas.

Giving training

Teachers learn from the research they do, from the insights they gain from reflecting on the topics they teach, and from engaging with their students, participants or target audience and seeking to satisfy their learning requirements.

You should usually only count activities when you undertake them for the first time. You should not count repeats of substantially the same activities you undertake in either the same or a subsequent yearly period unless you carry out a thorough review of the content and a “renewal” of the approach to the subject leading to further self-learning.

You will need to use your professional judgement when deciding what teaching activities you may include.

Receiving training

Count only the actual time you attend activities towards your CPD requirements. This does not mean time spent in breaks or reading materials and handbooks or other forms of preparation and follow-up activities.

You may count watching a recording of a seminar or other training session where that session includes interaction such as questions and answers. However, we do recommend that to get the most value from this activity you get together with at least one other adviser so that you can discuss the content.

Writing materials for publication

As with teachers, writers learn from the research they do and from the insights and ideas they develop as they reflect on their subject matter. If a writing activity does not require this sort of engagement it would not qualify. You will need to use your professional judgement about this. For writing to be acceptable it must offer an opportunity for interaction and evaluation, for instance through comments from editors, colleagues, reviewers and your targeted readers, either orally or in writing.

Reflections

Take a few minutes at the end of each activity you have delivered or participated in to reflect on:

You need to record this reflection in your CPD plan and record.

Records and verification

You must describe the activity and record it in your CPD record.

You must retain records showing that you attended or provided the training.  Records may include:

You may verify teaching-related activities in a number of ways, for instance by:

You might verify your writing activities through:

2.         Giving or receiving mentoring or supervision

This category includes:

Mentors and supervisors learn from the research they do, from the insights they gain from reflecting on the topics they assist with, and from engaging with their students, participants or target audience and seeking to satisfy their learning requirements.

Mentoring or supervision may be included whether or not it is part of a supervisor/provisional licence holder relationship as long as it meets the requirements.

If you are a provisional licence holder, you may count time discussing cases, and receiving feedback and training from your supervisor. You may not count time actually doing new tasks or work.

As a supervisor of a provisional licence holder, you may count time discussing cases, and providing feedback and training to your provisional licence holder.

You should usually only count activities when you undertake them for the first time. You should not count repeats of substantially the same activities you undertake in either the same or a subsequent yearly period unless you carry out a thorough review of the content and a “renewal” of the approach to the subject leading to further self-learning.

You will need to use your professional judgement when deciding what supervision activities you may include.

Reflections

Take a few minutes at the end of each session you have delivered or participated in to reflect on:

You need to record this reflection in your CPD plan and record.

Records and verification

You must retain records that show that you provided or received the coaching, mentoring or supervision.

In an ongoing relationship, this may include an agreement between the two individuals such as a supervision agreement, along with a log documenting the times you met and the topics covered.

A one-off coaching or mentoring session must also be documented. Acceptable documentation would include minutes or a note summarising who was involved, what took place at the session and when.

3.         Contributing to relevant industry bodies or consultation processes

This category includes:

As with the other categories, to be acceptable, these activities must:

Contributing to a board, committee or consultation process can help you better understand the often complex questions that the industry faces. It may require you to turn your mind to areas or think through complex problems that you would otherwise not consider. It may help you form relationships with other professionals who you learn from while interacting with them and hearing their feedback.

For example, you may count the time spent contributing to the Immigration Advisers Authority’s Reference Group, a professional association’s board or a committee set up to monitor a relevant qualification, as long as it contributes to your current learning needs.

As with teaching, you should not usually count repeats of substantially the same activities you undertake in either the same or a subsequent yearly period. If your time spent on a board or committee involves repetitive activities that do not contribute to your development as a professional it shouldn’t be counted.

Reflections

To count these activities towards your CPD hours you will need to take a few minutes at the end of each meeting to reflect on:

You need to record this reflection in your CPD plan and record.

Records and verification

You must retain records that show that you participated in the industry meeting or consultation.

This easiest way to do this is likely to be the agenda and minutes for the meeting.

 

4.         Facilitating and participating in study groups

This category includes:

For time spent participating in or facilitating a study group to be acceptable for CPD purposes the study group must:

What is a study group?

A study group is organised for the purpose of discussing information and concepts related to your practice area with a small group of other licensed immigration advisers or immigration lawyers.

A facilitator or chair, internal or external to the group, will need to lead the discussion.

Participating in study groups gives you the opportunity to have interactive peer-to-peer discussion, to share your experiences and to learn from others. It can be a challenge to keep up to date on changes to immigration law and instructions as well as the diversity and changing needs of clients. Study groups are a way of keeping up in a flexible and cost-efficient manner.

Why recognise study groups?

It is generally recognised that people can accomplish and learn more by sharing their skills and resources than by working alone. Interacting and exchanging ideas with others can enhance your knowledge of immigration issues. A study group can help you and your colleagues:

How many and who may participate in a study group?

Study groups are likely to work best when there are four or five members per facilitator, however there should be at least two. Ideally participants will be from the same geographical area, but advisers practising in isolated communities or in a highly specialised area of immigration may find it worthwhile to meet online or via a video or teleconferencing facility. Cooperation among group members and a willingness to be an active group participant are required in order for the study group to be successful.

In many cases you will be able to use your informal contacts or the register of immigration advisers to set up a study group. If not, professional associations such as NZAMI or NZAIP may be able to assist you in contacting colleagues in your practice area.

The group may also be made up of practitioners from within the same practice.

 

Facilitating the study group

You will need to choose a facilitator for each of your topics. The facilitator, internal or external to your group, takes the role of the session leader to keep the discussion on track and productive.

Facilitators are responsible for

What may be discussed at a study group?

We suggest limiting your topics to two per hour, however this is not a requirement. This allows time for introduction of the topic, a 25-minute discussion and a wrap-up of each issue. You may find discussion topics for your study group by:

What makes a study group successful?

Where and when should study group sessions take place?

It is a good idea to select a meeting place that is free from distractions. The group could meet in a group member’s office.  Study groups work best in a relaxed environment where participants meet face-to-face to talk about issues.

How long should a study group session be?

It is recommended that your study group session be one or two hours in length, depending on the number of topics to be discussed, however this is over to the group to decide. It is important to stick to the ending time.

 

Reflections

Take a few minutes at the end of the study group to review what has been discussed, to identify the learning outcomes and to encourage each other to identify what they will do differently as a result of participating in the discussion. Each participant needs to record their reflections in their CPD plans.

Records and verification

Your attendance at CPD activities must be documented.

Each study group should be documented with:

Advisers should retain these documents with their CPD record.