What is CPD?
CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is the term used to describe the commitment to lifelong learning, a skill that is invaluable to all people across every segment of society.
Continuing Professional Development is a largely holistic approach to the concept of ‘professionalism’. CPD combines different methodologiesto learning, such as training, workshops, conferences and events, e-learning programs, best practice techniques and ideas sharing, all focused for individuals to improve their personal profi ciencies.
Engaging in CPD activities ensures that both academic and practical qualifications do not become outdated or obsolete; allowing individuals to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves, regardless of occupation, age or educational level.
CPD allows an individual to focus on what specifi c skills and knowledge they require over a short-term period, say 12 months, in order to be confident there is recognisable improvement within their proficiency and skillsets.
Types of CPD
Continuing Professional Development can be achieved by a variety of different methods, for a range of different purposes.
Structured CPD / Active Learning – involves interactive and participation based study. It is typically proactive and can include attending a training course, conference, workshop, seminar, lecture, e-learning course or CPD certified event. CPD active learning also applies when professionals take career orientated exams and assessments (the study and revision would be considered self-directed learning, see Self-Directed Learning). Reflective CPD Learning – involves no participant-based interaction, so this form of CPD is much more passive and one directional.
Examples of this include reading relevant news articles, podcasts & case studies and industry updates. Some informal meetings can be applicable to CPD reflective learning, but the learning objectives of these meetings must be made clear in an individual’s overall CPD plan. Informal CPD / Self-Directed Learning – involves all unaccompanied CPD activities.
Benefits of CPD
CPD is essential in helping individuals, organisations or entire industries to keep skills and knowledge up to date. Providing CPD enables organisations to become a knowledge bank to key stakeholders of an organisation. CPD accredited training courses, workshops and events allow professionals to use the learning time towards individual CPD requirements.
Benefits of CPD for Organisations
Providing CPD accredited learning benefits your organisation through recognition and increased brand perception. Internal use of CPD encourages and promotes a healthy learning culture for your organisation, leading to a more fulfilled workforce and retaining valuable staff.
CPD Hours & Points
The vast majority of institutions and professional bodies provide individuals with CPD targets generally expressed on a temporal or numerical basis. These targets are defined by the accrual of CPD activities through training, seminars, workshops, events and conferences, as well as other structured forms of learning. CPD is sometimes expressed in the form of hours, points, units or credits.
Accredited CPD Providers are able to provide guidance to individuals as to how many CPD hours or points are achievable from the completion of any certifi ed CPD activity, such as a conference, training course or seminar. This will help any individual delegate record the correct, or most appropriate level of CPD hours for their professional body. It is not necessary for the accredited CPD Provider to keep an ongoing learning record for each of their delegates. However it is advisable to provide at least a certifi cate of participation to individuals once an activity has been completed.