Continuing professional development
‘CPD is the holistic commitment of professionals towards the enhancement of personal skills and proficiency throughout their careers’ – The CPD Certification Service
What is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development describes learning activities undertaken by individuals with the intention of increasing professional knowledge, competence and confidence.
Many professional bodies set CPD obligations for members meaning a minimum number of CPD hours must be completed within a set period.
Through CPD, organisations and individuals work together to further expertise among staff, creating a more adaptable workforce which is better able to respond to challenges.
CPD helps individuals to grow as professionals and improve their career prospects through a demonstrable commitment to self-development, identifying the need for acquisition of additional skills or knowledge where necessary.
Providing CPD training helps organisations to instil a culture of learning and development, leading to a more fulfilled workforce, greater retention of staff and competitive advantage.
CPD covers a wide range of learning methodologies including training courses, classroom learning, conferences, eLearning and workshops. It enables vocational learning which is directly relevant to a job role, is structured and practical.
How does CPD work?
Learning is continual meaning individuals maintain, and build upon, up to date skill sets backed up by relevant qualifications.
There are three CPD learning types: structured, reflective and self-directed. A CPD activity may fall into more than one of these categories.
Structured learning refers to participatory study such as training courses, classroom learning, workshops, seminars and conferences.
Reflective learning will often be solitary activities such as reading articles, journals and case studies.
Self-directed learning is all unaccompanied CPD activity including reading books, relevant publications and magazines or research.
Training which is CPD accredited has been deemed to have reached required CPD standards and benchmarks identified by the CPD certification service.
CPD involves recording reflections on learning which enables learners to review continually review what they have learned and its relevance to their job role, organisation and wider career. By consciously reflecting upon learning outcomes and their impact upon others, individuals are able to become more rounded professionals with a better understanding of their sector, job and themselves as learners.
When undertaking structured learning, certificates or records of attendance will generally be provided. For other CPD types evidence should be retained by the learner. Evidence will be attached to CPD activity records.
Progress is usually reviewed at regular intervals, particularly within sectors where CPD is mandatory. This will take into account evidence of learning and the learner’s reflections and self-evaluation. Learners are able to consider the future direction their learning should take and what skills and knowledge may be required for their future development.