Evidence of professional learning: a closer look at development in practice

Margaret Mackay

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This article considers the impact of an evidence-based approach to professional development. For the human resource field, an international trend for evidence can reinforce credibility and better professional recognition. The research focused on practitioner experiences of what counts as acceptable evidence of learning. Findings suggest that most practitioners attempt to fit learning to organizational expectations, but a quantitative view of evidence can restrict the possibilities of autonomous professional growth. Some records capture the significance of thinking around work experiences which build professional judgement. A practice implication for educators, policy makers, and employers is to widen understandings of valid evidence of learning; to value deeper reflections on casework based in practice. This article offers an approach to meaningful evidence that guides practitioner competence in the management of unpredictable workforce issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of HRD Practice Policy and Research
Issue number2
Early online date3 Oct 2017
Publication statusEarly online - 3 Oct 2017


  • evidence
  • professional learning
  • CPD
  • identity
  • HR practice
  • development


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