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Sources of information in this context are in regards to professional development trends so its important to understand the industry you are in and how trends and patterns of development impact on your future.

The unit context overall is about managing your own personal and professional development. In other words, taking responsibility for this and not waiting to be told what you need to do or learn.

This is something I’m a firm believer in and make clear to students at the start of their course journey, which actually fits in well with this first unit of the Level 3 and 4 in Management. If you want to progress and succeed there really is only one person who can do this for you and that is you.

Yes of course others can have an impact – Managers, Mentors, support from colleagues, friends, family. But at the end of the day you are responsible for taking control of your own professional learning and in todays world of the internet with all the resources out there, there has never been a better time for this.

But with the above in mind when we make the most of the resources available to us we must bare in mind that not all sources of information out there on line readily available for reading are necessarily reliable!

Ill make use of some examples to explain this.

Institute of Leadership and Management and the Chartered Management Institute

Both of these institutes and awarding bodies are well established with a solid reputation and so are considered as reliable sources of information in terms of information and trends in the world of Leadership and Management. The downside is that it isn’t industry specific and so very generalised around being a Manager / leader.

Note that when you do a comparison you need to look at the advantages and also the limitations of each source.

Now lets take another source like ‘Google’. In contrast to the above you can certainly find out anything about anything, the world is out there. However! You have to be wary about where you have landed and consider how reliable the information is that you are reading. Anyone can now set up a website and pretty much publish their own opinion and thoughts (ahem..) and you need to check that you are reading information that is actually relevant to what you do such as National Law requirements.

Consider next a specialist source such as Health and Safety. Would you google it and read what ever came first, or would you look for IOSH or the HSE?

Obviously theres a VAST amount of information out there for specialists professions. Dentists / Teachers / IT specialists / Construction / Farming and so on. They all provide updates on what is happening in that sector, whats hot and new, what the trends are and what that might mean for the industry.

Other sources you might find as valid are your own HR or Training Department but don’t wait for them to come to you. Be proactive in your learning and develop confidence around your own needs for learning and development.

Theres nothing wrong in making use of a table to answer this and for many this format actually suits best. The important thing is you cover more than one source. For my students, I suggest 3 for good coverage but if you use 2 and give a lot of detail then that may suffice too.

The verb is to compare which is to contrast side by side and weigh up more than one item.

Learners studying Level 3 or 4 in Management will find this assists with the following criteria:

ML9 300 1.1 Compare sources of information on professional development trends and their validity