Initial Professional Development (IPD)
Initial Professional Development (IPD) is a pattern of learning undertaken by a graduate mathematician to develop the range of skills and competences needed to achieve professional status.
- What is the IPD Scheme (IPDS)?
- How does the IPDS work?
- What do I do with my forms?
- Status of the IPDS
- Optional Periodic Reports
- Getting help from your employer
- Advice, mentoring and your assessor
- Using the competences
- Documentary evidence
- Comments on the IPD Scheme
- Download IPDS forms
The IPDS is a recording and assessment procedure that helps you to acquire the skills and knowledge you require to help you, as a graduate mathematician, to qualify for Chartered Mathematician (CMath) during your period of post-graduate training and experience. While IPD is intended primarily for those seeking chartered designations, most of the provisions are relevant to those seeking MIMA corporate membership.
The steps involved:
- decide what your current levels of competence are.
- follow a plan of learning appropriate to your needs.
- record your achievements in raising those levels.
You should find an assessor or mentor in your employers’ organisation to guide your learning activities and sign off your claims.
There are three forms to help you (which can be downloaded):
IPDS 1 allows you to make an annual assessment of current levels of appropriate competences.
IPDS 2 documents your claims of achievements that have resulted in improved competence levels.
IPDS 3 lists your assessors or mentors that have advised you and are supporting your claims.
In addition, IPDS 4 provides detailed descriptions of the competences listed in IPDS 1.
The information required in the forms IPDS 1-3 will form the basis of your submission for CMath designation, whether you use these forms or those of an equivalent, approved graduate training scheme.
Periodic Reports are an optional addition to the scheme to help you focus your thinking and rationalise your learning activities (see below).
CPD – continuing professional development – should run in parallel with IPD. Once you have achieved CMath status, you should continue to practice CPD.
The forms are primarily intended for you to use as part of your annual appraisal with your employer. They also serve as a means of self-assessment to chart your progress towards achieving CMath designation. You may send them annually to the IMA to be put on your record.
There are two versions of each form to choose from:
- Word - to complete electronically and email to email@example.com
- PDF - to print and post them to the Membership Department at the IMA.
The IPDS does not seek to overburden you. You should keep your records to a reasonable level, and make best use of your employer’s documentary systems. It will be valuable if you can get your workplace manager (preferred) or colleagues to assess your achievement of the IMA competences.
The IPDS is a voluntary scheme. It does not constitute a formal agreement between you and the IMA, nor between you and your employer. However, its success will depend on your initiative and on you having a constructive relationship with your employer.
Graduates must achieve the appropriate competences listed and defined in IPDS 4 before applying to become chartered mathematicians of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. The IMA competences set the threshold standard for chartered mathematicians. They are arranged in three categories:
- mathematical (M) – reflecting the application of the skills that you learned on your degree course
- generic (G) – reflecting the transferable skills necessary it today’s working world
- specific (S) – reflecting the demands of your particular industry sector.
You must achieve all the mathematical and generic competences, and all the specific competences that apply to your employment sector.
The Membership Committee will consider your IPD record. They will take your claims for competence into account when coming to a decision. They review every application on its merits and assess each candidate on an individual basis. Their review will take account of competences that you claim at levels above the target as well as competences where you have not met the target or consider a competence ‘not applicable’.
In addition to the above, we recommend that you write periodic reports to help you develop an increasing responsibility for your own learning and development. Ideally, these reports should be about 400 words long and written every four months. This requirement should be flexible enough to fit into any employer training scheme. These periodic reports seek to bring you the following benefits:
- They help you to build a library of your achievements and good ideas
- They create a reference system for recording important outputs from your work, e.g. calculations, letters, reports, photographs, drawings, spreadsheets, etc.
- They provide a cross-reference to your achievement of the IMA competences
- They maintain a record not just of what you did; but of what problems you encountered, what went right, what went wrong, and what you learned.
Writing these reports is optional. There is no prescribed format; you should decide what suits you best. (back)
The great majority of IMA Members and Associate members work for employers of substance. These employers will (almost certainly) operate their own in-house staff training and development programmes. You are therefore encouraged to link your IPDS to your employer’s training and development programme and periodic staff appraisal. If you are working for an employer whose graduate training scheme is recognised by the IMA, then you should take advantage of this.
You should seek help from your employer during your management of your IPDS. However, if you find that the necessary support is lacking, you may contact the IMA for advice (firstname.lastname@example.org ). It will be valuable if you can get your workplace managers (preferred) or colleagues to assess your claims. You should list them on IPDS 3. The more assessors you have, the richer will be the evidence that you have met the IMA standards. Providing supplementary evidence will help your assessors make sound judgements about your claims.
You must achieve each relevant competence at a given level. These are the definitions of the levels:
|NA||Not applicable||Not needed in my work|
|0||No knowledge||I have no knowledge yet|
|1||Appreciation||I appreciate its importance|
|2||Knowledge||I have a basic knowledge/ability|
|3||Experience||I have supervised experience|
|4||Practitioner||I am competent|
You must achieve many of these competences at levels 3 or 4. You should use the forms IPDS 1, 2 and 3 as a developmental tool, and plot your progress towards the required level of achievement. You can do this by recording the dates when you achieved the intermediate levels. If you feel any of your competences exceed the required levels, then please mark up the ‘competence claim of achievement form’ accordingly.
The evidence to support your claim of achievement should be a summary statement in IPDS 2. You can support your claims with supplementary documentation arising from your work, etc. Supplementary evidence could include (but not be limited to):
- Testimony of managers/colleagues.
This is the first version of the scheme and we anticipate that it will evolve and develop over time. We welcome comments and suggestions from members about the scheme and the documentation. You can email John Meeson on email@example.com