About Learning and Professional Development
Professional Development for Parliamentarians is a project of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) whose objective is to develop a set of educational materials for elected members of Commonwealth parliaments to assist them in adapting to and functioning effectively in their complex and rapidly changing roles in the new millennium. The project evolved from the recommendations of an Expert Group assembled by the Secretary-General of the CPA in late 1998.
While the Expert Group recognized that individual parliaments expend significant effort in providing training and orientation to their Members, there were areas of more general interest and application where educational materials could best be developed on a Commonwealth-wide basis. Furthermore, they suggested that a wide range of resources and methods including those of distance learning could be utilized.
As a result, the Expert Group identified a series of subject areas where they believed the development of specific educational materials would be of benefit to parliamentarians. These subjects were then assigned to specific members of the Expert Group to develop more detailed learning objectives. Upon completion of the learning objectives, the CPA Secretariat, in conjunction with Expert Group members, determined the order of priority for the development of the set of learning materials.
The module on Parliamentary Democracy is the first of the series of educational materials evolving from the work of the Expert Group under the title CPA Learning System for Professional Development. The purpose of this module is outlined in the set of learning objectives given before Unit 1. The user is encouraged to proceed through the material at his or her own pace. Each section concludes with a series of questions that will help the user assess his or her comprehension of the written material. Each section provides a series of related readings as well as Internet references, for those users who wish to explore a particular topic further.