Evaluation of the Professional Exchange Network Programme

The Professional Exchange Network Programme aims to bring together education practitioners in the further education and training sector to identify practitioner-focused issues and then collaborate to develop solutions. Three years after its inception, Birmingham City University is undergoing research to critically evaluate the programme's impact.

Practitioners listening to a presentation


Research background

Set up in 2016 and funded by the Education and Training Foundation, Professional Exchange Networks (PEN) are locally organised groups of educators. They identify practitioner-focused issues, and support practitioners to reflect on their practice, and share, collaborate and develop solutions. Researchers at Birmingham City University are embarking on a one-year research project to critically evaluate the impact of the PEN programme and make recommendations for future developments.

Research aims

The ETF is the workforce development body for the Further Education and Training sector. ETF commissioned this national study to provide an independent evaluation of the Professional Exchange Network Programme, which is part of the ETF’s wider Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) offer to the sector. The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of the Professional Exchange Network Programme on practitioners and learners so as to inform the future development of the programme.

Research methods

  • Practitioner e-survey to be disseminated to all 800 practitioners involved in the programme;
  • Descriptive case studies of all Professional Exchange Network models based on secondary data;
  • A sample of in depth impact case studies, drawing on telephone interviews and online discussion forums with practitioners and delivery partners.


Funding: £29,981.10

Funder: Education and Training Foundation (ETF)

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