FDA Learn is a project launched in 2008 to help members achieve their aims in Civil Service Learning and access professional development opportunities to meet wider personal development targets.
Through the project, members can:
- easily identify the skills they need to succeed in Civil Service Learning, and identify specific training opportunities to develop those skills, by working with trained FDA Union Learning Representatives
- become a Union Learning Representative themselves, which offers its own training and opportunities to achieve certain competencies recognised under Civil Service Learning
- encouragement and direction in getting broader career development advice and coaching from FDA skills partner CareerWorks.
To find out more about the project, enquire about becoming an FDA union learning rep (ULR) or to join the FDA and take full advantage of this work (and be able to apply for the career coaching offer from CareerWorks), please contact Neil Rider at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07973 336902.
About FDA Learn
Following the outcome of a 2006 survey gathering members' views on the Professional Skills for Government (PSG) programme, the FDA set up its own professional skills project, FDA Learn.
The project was launched in January 2008 and initially offered members a bespoke career coaching and counselling service.
The next stage was to recruit, train and deploy FDA members as union learning representatives to assist other members with finding the skills training they need.
Through FDA Learn, the FDA works with government departments to ensure that Civil Service Learning is a fair and effective career development programme for FDA members.
FDA Learn is building relationships with all stakeholders including Government Skills, the National School of Government, departments and agencies, professional bodies and other higher education providers.
FDA Learn is funded by the Union Learning Fund. The project has engaged directly with a number of departments and agencies and we now have 153 union learning reps covering 47 employers. The FDA is establishing Union Learning Agreements in departments. The FDA is also liaising with heads of profession around the definition of 'broader skills'.
FDA Learn has also established particularly close links with the Open University, which works with the TUC; the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE); and York University.
Union Learning Representatives
A network of trained FDA union learning representatives (ULRs) across the civil service has also been established as part of the project.
Based on a coaching and mentoring approach, the role of the ULR is to 'inform and support' members in developing and achieving their professional goals.
The ULRs can:
- signpost opportunities and providers;
- receive training and have the right to time off to carry out their duties; and
- are supported by learning agreements with employers (primarily government departments and agencies where the FDA has members).