The Association was founded in 1968 as the in-service section of what was then the Association of Teachers in Colleges and Departments of Education. In recent years IPDA has encouraged the growth of regional and national associations. Following the model of IPDA Cymru, IPDA Scotland then IPDA Ireland were successfully launched. The launch of IPDA England in 2008 and on-going discussions with colleagues in Europe and overseas lend weight to the claim of IPDA to be both a truly UK wide and fully International organisation. The individual members of IPDA are engaged in professional development and professional learning in all phases of education and training and in a wide variety of work locations Members are united in their desire to enhance the quality and effectiveness of Professional Development. IPDA draws strength from the diversity of its membership and is rightly proud of the international reputation of the Association’s journal ‘Professional Development in Education’ (previously named ‘Journal of In-Service Education’) the leading Journal in its field. The Association publishes a regular Bulletin available to members on line.
Every year, a number of prizes are awarded by the Association for outstanding contributions to professional development. The prize winners are invited to the annual international conference where the presentations take place. All IPDA members are eligible to nominate students who, in their judgement, are making an outstanding contribution to the professional development of others. Students need to be enrolled or registered on a degree programme.
Where Local Associations exist, each is intended to have its own elected committee with the conveners of those committees represented on the IPDA international committee.
The annual international conference is the main event where members from across the association come together. There are also regional associations and the IPDA is developing support for a wider international network of associations. IPDA also owns the Professional Development in Education journal (formerly the Journal of In-Service Education) published by Routledge five time a year and which is one of the IPDA membership benefits. The journal is an important part of the academic contribution that IPDA makes to professional learning and has a wide international community of readers and contributors.