Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. It enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive.
CPD combines different methodologies to learning, such as training workshops, conferences and events, e-learning programs, best practice techniques and ideas sharing, all focused for an individual to improve and have effective professional development. There are over 1000 institutes & professional bodies across the UK, a number that is forecast to increase.
Accompanied by such growth is the acceptance that academic qualifications must offer more vocational and skills-based or ‘practical’ learning. A structured, practical and methodical approach to learning helps employers across industries to keep key staff and develop the skills & knowledge in their organisations to maintain a sustainable and competitive advantage.
Engaging in Continuing Professional Development ensures that both academic and practical qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete; allowing individuals to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves, regardless of occupation, age or educational level.
Continuing Professional Development helps individuals to regularly focus on how they can become a more competent and effective professional. Training and learning increase confidence and overall capability, and compliments career aspirations.
CPD enables individuals to adapt positively to changes in work/industry requirements. Planning CPD helps to be more efficient with time, and recording CPD properly provides evidence of professional development (this can be useful for supervision and appraisals).
CPD shows a clear commitment to self-development and professionalism. CPD provides an opportunity for an individual to identify knowledge gaps and to resolve these in a recognisable approach to improvement.
Accredited CPD Providers should make available to individuals a Certificate of Attendance to attach to their CPD log as evidence of development once training is complete or the desired standards of learning have been met.
Providing CPD accredited learning benefits your organisation through recognition and increased brand perception. Internal use of Continuing Professional Development encourages and promotes a healthy learning culture for your organisation, leading to a more fulfilled workforce and retaining valuable staff.
Many organisations have staff with CPD obligations as members of professional bodies. In circumstances where internal CPD training resources are low, organisations use outsourced CPD training providers to meet staff requirements.
Outsourced CPD providers are typically training companies, online learning resources, events & conference organisers. They are experts in their field and provide practical learning opportunities through CPD events, seminars and accredited CPD courses. Some CPD courses are just 1 or 2 hours long, delivered in a seminar or classroom-style environment. Other accredited CPD courses can be a full 6-10 weeks program, split into structured bite-size modules.