sharing our passion for learning

The Foundation

The Professional Development Foundation was created as a network of practitioners and academics in 1975 to:

It operates through:

All research by the Professional Development Foundation is independent and is shared with participants and where appropriate, published. Participants are free to use the results of the research.

The Professional Development Foundation exists as a non-profit making trust and does not engage in commercial activity.

Its coat of arms above symbolically represents networking professionals together in shared continuous learning through enquiry.

Welcome to the PDF Network

In May 1975 we ran our first network conference to bring together practitioners to share ideas and practice. Many subsequently joined us in regular network events over the years. Gradually, we evolved new ways to conceptualise work-based learning and ideas on how we could learn from practice and share our passion for learning.

Between us we created work-based diploma, master and doctorate programmes in association with a number of partner universities and professional bodies. We also undertook both small and very large-scale practitioner led research projects and used the ideas generated to support community action in several countries.

As we approach 50 years of working together, we are considering how we build on the past and the issues practitioners may face in the future. Over the next year as we approach that anniversary, we will be engaging in multiple conversations to imagine where our journey might lead.

We have always been a network and so we have decided to better reflect that in our web address and email contacts. Welcome to and we look forward to continuing our journey and, as always, sharing our passion for learning.