Frequently Asked Questions

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  1. Coined mid-1970, CPD is rooted in the notion that a person’s constructions and views of the world are not static, but are in continuous change (Griffin as cited in Gray, 2005).
  2. Professional development in a broad sense refers to all the professional-oriented activities in which a person engages in order to enhance their work.
  3. In the Namibian education context, CPD implies improved quality learning and teaching for educators (teachers, education officers and lecturers) at general and higher education.
  4. Through CPD programmes, educators engage themselves in ongoing professional development in order to enhance their competencies in their profession to remain relevant.
  5. Professional development can be formal experience and informal experiences (Ganser, 2000).

Ongoing – An individual educator should always be looking for opportunities to improve his or her performance;

Self-initiative – The responsibility of an individual educator to identify his or her own professional needs and how to meet those needs;

Self-evaluative rather than descriptive – So that an individual educator understands the impact of his or her professional activities;

An essential component of professional life – That an individual educator may not be able to do better without it.

  1. CPD keeps educators updated and or upgraded in order to remain competent and relevant throughout their career;
  2. Pre-service teacher education is not complete nor does it constitute the total professional formation of an educator, therefore CPD prepares pre-service educators for the practical problems that they may face on a daily basis in their work;
  3. CPD contributes to the enhancement of the body of knowledge in the profession to enable quality teaching and learning.
  4. The Namibian education system is not static, it keeps changing, including changes due to technology, therefore educators need to be competent in order to cope with the ongoing changes within the education sector.
  5. CPD can help realign educators to meaningfully contribute to the realisation of the national development goals as stated in Vision 2030, Harambee Prosperity Plan and NDP4/5
  6. CPD provides opportunities to educators to engage in lifelong learning
  1. A heavily front-loaded teacher education, trying to teach it all in the first 3 or 4 years of initial teacher education with little or no consideration of a well-structured CPD system;
  2. Uncoordinated and fragmented CPD programmes and activities, often attendance of workshops, mainly off-site, workshops – episodic, once-off;
  3. Non-collaboration, providers operating in isolation, competition, duplication of activities – no efficiency and effective use of resources;
  4. Externally determined professional development needs, mostly centrally determined with no or little consultation with beneficiaries & often not so relevant and ‘expert-driven’;
  5. One-size-fits-all approach – not being cognisant of the uniqueness of educators’ needs, using one programme to address everyone’s professional development needs;
  6. No system of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of impact to inform future CPD activities;
  7. Persistent dissatisfactory educational outcomes;
  • A coordinated and seamless CPD system for educators in Namibia;
  • The new CPD system serves as a model of best practices in the provision of ongoing professional development in Namibia.
  • Structures for implementing CPD system include:
    • Regional CPD coordinating committees (RCPDCCs);
    • Circuit based CPD coordinating committees (CCPDCCs);
    • School based CPD coordinating committees (SBCPDCCs);
  • RCPDCCs, CCPDCCs and SBCPDCCs coordinate and oversee CPD activities at regional, circuit and school level;
  • The current CPD system is a decentralised model coordinated through RCPDCCs, CCPDCCs and SBCPDCCs;
  • Blend supply driven and demand-driven CPD;
  • It is based on collaboration, networking and sharing of best practices to enhance learning opportunities among educators
  • Educators have a voice in determining their own professional development needs and planning for these needs through their RCPDCCs, CCPDCCs or SBCPDCCs rather than having them centrally determined by someone else;
  • Systematic CPD programmes as opposed to the disjointed, episodic and once-off programmes;

Frequently Asked Questions

Short courses

As one of the mandate of the university, we need to provide further training and continuing education, to contribute to the social and economic development of Namibia and to foster relationships with any person or institution, both nationally and internationally. Short courses are designed and provided to the university staff and external stakeholders to update or upgrade their skills and knowledge to be efficient in the ever-changing work environment.


On the other hand, short courses serve as an important source of a fourth income stream for the university. 

A short course refers to any activity involving teaching and learning that requires less than 400 hours of learner effort (or less than 40 NQF Credits). As per the University of Namibia’s short course policy, the university offers Credit-bearing short courses and Non-credit bearing short courses.

Credit-bearing short course refers to a short course that has a direct relationship with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and is assigned an appropriate NQF credit value. More details can be obtained on the university intranet.

Non-credit bearing short course is a short course that falls outside the intended scope and purpose of the NQF of Namibia OR, though it can be aligned to the NQF, it does not result in any NQF award. More details can be obtained on the university intranet.

CILT is the custodian of the policy on short courses.  CILT ensures – through CPD programme sub-unit – that the policy is adhered to from the development up to the approval stage.

Short course coordinator shall assist the Professional Development Programme Coordinator to coordinate the short courses. He/she shall be the contact person and administer the all short course processes as stipulated in the short course policy.

All faculties/ departments/ schools/ units/ campuses shall be responsible for developing and facilitating short courses which falls under their scope of expertise. All faculties/departments/schools/units/campuses are implored to participate in developing and implementing short courses, thereby contributing to the fourth stream income of the university.

CILT through its short course coordinator will provide guidance on developing and implementation of short courses.

Any individual/ faculties/departments/schools/units/campuses who has the required expert capacity to meet the target clients’ needs.

Short courses shall be hosted by the faculties/ departments/ schools/ units/ campuses that initiated or developed it.

No, all short courses shall be subjected to the processes as stipulated in the short course policy implementation guidelines. Hence, all short course developers shall adhere to the implementation guidelines of the short course policy. All short courses shall be approved by the short course task force.

Participants shall be issued with certificate of Achievement/Certificate completion/ Certificate of attendance, depending on the sub-category of the given short course they participating in. Details of the short course categories may be attained in the short course policy guidelines for implementation on the UNAM intranet.

Facilitators shall be remunerated as per short course policy. The short course hosting unit share bear the cost for facilitators and for the course material/resources.

The hosting department/ centre/ faculty/ school/ campus will get a share of the income from the short courses as determined in the Short course policy.