In 2015 – 2016 Now Unlimited took the decision to have our mindfulness courses accredited by the CPD Standards Office. This involved a substantial amount of additional work and a non-insignificant financial outlay. So why did we do it?
We hope that by offering CPD accreditation we are able to demonstrate that mindfulness has an important role in the development of an effective workforce. We wanted course participants to have a way of evidencing the skills, knowledge and experience they gained from attending our courses as professionals. The key features of quality CPD are that it encourages the learner to engage in a process of self-directed learning from experience, reflection and review; involves both formal and informal learning and it enables the learner to set their own development goals. A well developed and delivered mindfulness curriculum lends itself naturally to CPD accreditation as it meets all of these criteria. This was important as we were not prepared to compromise the integrity of our courses to achieve accreditation.
We recognise that for mindfulness-based approaches to be integrated into the workplace we need to be able to demonstrate how our courses link to the learning development needs of both course participants and in turn the organisation. We did not want mindfulness to be send as a “nice to have” add- on but as a credible way of meeting organisational development goals.
Making Businesses More Productive: CPD and Mindfulness
More and more organisations are being influenced by the strong evidence base for mindfulness and are looking to mindfulness to help enhance the performance and increase the productivity of their workforce. Whilst acknowledging that there is less research and evidence on the use of mindfulness in the workplace we do know that initial findings are promising e.g. preventing burnout, increasing job satisfaction and facilitating better performance by improving memory, increasing concentration and helping people move from one task to another.
Some of the reasons organisations come to us is to reduce stress and enhance the wellbeing in their workforce as a way of enhancing productivity and reducing absenteeism. But more and more organisations are wanting to take a more proactive approach to approaching wellbeing by investing in leadership and management training in how to create and maintain healthy working environments. We are currently working with Nottingham University to look at developing stronger workplace –relevant research evidence and to explore the links between business outputs and staff wellbeing and resilience. We would welcome an opportunity to link with other mindfulness providers involved in research and developments in this growing area of research.