What is Continuous Professional Development?
Continuous Professional Development is referred to as CPD. In addition to any initial training, it refers to the process of tracking and recording the skills, knowledge, and experience you acquire both formally and informally as you work. It serves as a record of the things you do, discover, and put into practice.
The phrase typically refers to a physical portfolio or folder that records your professional growth.
Typical CPD Activities CPD can include a wide variety of beneficial activities.
Examples of which include the following among others:
Classroom based learning
Online training programs
Conferences and lectures
Private study and reading
Practical work experience
What are CPD points?
Depending on your job, you may be required to record your CPD points. This is a requirement for many professional bodies. For example, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors requires its members to collect 20 CPD points each year.
Knowing that CPD points are important is one thing, knowing what they actually are is vital. The points that you earn are a clear way to demonstrate the time you’ve invested in your professional training.
Your CPD points record:
Online training that’s been completed.
Classroom courses you’ve been to.
Seminars and webinars that have been attended.
Do CPD points equate to hours?
Different institutions will have slightly different language for your CPD points. You might hear or read them referred to as units or credits instead. Whichever words your employer or professional body might use, they mean the same thing.
One CPD point is equal to one hour of active learning. That means you get one point for every hour you spend on CPD activity.
To give you an example, say you attend a day’s training course about delivering first aid. The course runs from 10am to 5pm, plus an hour break for lunch. That training course would award you 9 CPD points.
When you complete online CPD courses, you’re not going to have a timer running to determine the time you spend and the CPD points you’re awarded. CPD points are calculated based on a number of factors – the details of which are coming up shortly.
How do I calculate CPD points?
Usually, 1 CPD point is issued per hour of active learning. This means that a plan that requires someone to achieve 20 CPD points will typically require them to undertake 20 hours of learning. Any activities that provide CPD points will typically show this on a certificate or other document of attendance. If not, you should be able to contact the activity’s organizer who will be able to provide you with this information.
Why Is CPD Important?
Continuous professional development is essential for individuals because it keeps, their skills relevant and their motivation high. Benefits of CPD for individuals include:
Opportunities for up skilling training
The ability to show their commitment to self-development and professionalism
Keeping up to date– so they can provide a better service and keep their hand in, especially with skills they may not have used for a while
Enhancing their skillset and abilities
Helping them adapt to changes and stay up to date with current trends
Learning new skills or becoming aware of new knowledge
Levelling up their profile
Avoiding skills gaps
Preparation for jobs of the future
Advancing the body of knowledge within their profession
Preventing them from becoming jaded with their chosen career
(thanks to an influx of new knowledge and ideas).
Types of CPD
Professionals from all industries can use Continuing Professional Development as a potent tool for learning to develop their knowledge and skills. According to a variety of different learning styles, there are different types of CPD.
Structured CPD / Active Learning
This involves participation-based learning that is interactive. A training course, conference, workshop, seminar, lecture, e-learning course, or CPD-certified event can all be part of this proactive strategy.
Active CPD learning is applicable to professionals who take career-focused exams.
Reflective CPD / Passive Learning
This has no participant-based interaction, making it a much more passive and one-directional form of CPD. Reading relevant news articles, listening to podcasts, reading case studies, and keeping up with industry news are some examples of this. The learning objectives of some informal meetings may be applicable to CPD reflective learning, but they must be specified in the individual's overall CPD plan.
Informal CPD / Self-Directed Learning
All unstructured learning falls under the self-directed CPD umbrella. This includes participating in forum discussions and reading printed or online books, articles, and publications. You might also incorporate news from your industry or studies from related fields. Self-directed CPD frequently lacks set learning timetables, is informal, and learning outcomes can differ depending on the individual.
CPD for Individuals
Through CPD, people are encouraged to uphold consistent standards of excellence as well as make it simpler to show commitment and dedication to a given job role or profession.
CPD can serve as a powerful self-motivation tool by serving as a reminder of individual accomplishments and growth over time. For each person to find the learning style that works best for them, CPD offers flexibility and diversity in the available learning methods. A professional can then develop a much greater appreciation for the contribution they can make at work.
For people to create a career progression plan that supports their goals for new job openings, development within a current role, or even potentially higher earning opportunities, CPD offers a practical platform.
CPD for Organizations
Every organization that deals with competition needs to develop fresh strategies for keeping hold of key personnel and differentiating themselves as industry leaders. CPD can be used to advance the organization's body of knowledge, skills, and technology. The implementation of CPD in the workplace demonstrates a deliberate choice and dedication to the idea that professionalism is important for both
clients and employees.
When hiring for new positions, continuing professional development should be used to attract a higher caliber of applicants by engaging better talent to the company. CPD is a tool for increasing organizational effectiveness and efficiency while also supporting staff members; individualized learning needs.
Organizations are able to acknowledge the value of using continuing professional development to maintain high quality standards across all departments. Potential skill gaps in the workplace can be found with the aid of CPD, which can also be used to highlight business improvement opportunities. CPD promotes a positive learning environment, which can result in a workforce that is happier and more productive.
Learn the skills you need with CPD, regardless of your industry.
Agriculture & Veterinary
Fire & Safety
Healthcare & Medical