Continuing professional development (CPD) often falls into two categories. People who must demonstrate CPD to meet industry standards and those who choose to maintain their CPD to ensure up to date knowledge.
Some people who practice CPD fit into both categories. Showing a commitment to continuing professional development could enhance your career prospects so let’s delve into all things CPD to show you where the value lies.
Commitment to continuing professional development
CPD is the conscious and proactive commitment to enhancing personal skills and increasing learning throughout your career. The need for ongoing professional development has come about because our security no longer lies in our job, role or employer more in our skills, knowledge, capabilities and experience. We need to take individual ownership of our learning and development over the lifetime of our careers.
Showing a commitment to continuing professional development, will help you be more confident, could land you a promotion, help you move to your dream job or keep you at the top of your game in your current role.
What is continuing professional development?
What is continuing professional development is something we get asked regularly at Leap Like A Salmon. For many it has different meanings, put simply, it is consciously and proactively learning and reflecting.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) definition of CPD is:
“CPD is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your learning and growth. The focus of CPD is firmly on results – the benefits that professional development can bring you in the real world.“The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
The practice of CPD is often represented in a cycle, here at Leap Like A Salmon we call this The Leap CPD Process.
The Leap CPD Process assists individuals with their CPD by making them consider their own learning. This provides a dynamic and fluid framework that represents how CPD is managed in today’s digital world, as it doesn’t always start with learn it could be evaluate or assess relevant to your situation.
The Leap CPD Process explained
At this first stage, we encourage those showing a commitment to continuing professional development to consider their learning styles empowering self-awareness and engagement in the learning process. Establishing how you learn effectively means more learning will take place.
The second stage of The Leap CPD Process is where outcomes of the learning stage are considered and developed in practice. For example what application of the new learning approaches looks like.
You’ve developed self-awareness of your learning styles and applied them in practice, now it’s time to assess. This is where we reflect and consider what the learnings mean in our industry sector.
For more on reflection, check out our blog – Reflection, is it a skill?
The fourth and final stage of The Leap CPD Process is where we plan. Here learners review their learning, development and reflect on their progress. Planning is a crucial stage in showing commitment to your continuing professional development and will help you identify what you want to achieve on the CPD journey.
What is the purpose of continuing professional development?
The purpose of continuing professional development is to enhance your skills and abilities in a specific sector. The academic qualifications to gain employment have been completed but that’s not where the learning stops. Once working within a specific industry sector it is important to stay up to date with the latest innovations, thinking and practices within that sector. Actively engaging in CPD can help you do this.
What is an example of continuing professional development?
In 2021 the Chartered Institute of Housing recognised the need to introduce new standards for housing professionals. The aim was to ensure housing professionals have a clear understanding of their values and acts in accordance with their sector.
As a sector that is constantly innovating and developing new ways of working, The Chartered Institute of Housing wanted to use the power of CPD to encourage housing professionals to “do the right thing, for the right reasons, based on the best evidence and without partiality”.
An example of CPD for a housing professional could be attending a training day on building techniques or safety standards, going on a formal course, reflecting critically on mistakes to ensure they do not happen again or maybe it’s working on communication with clients and other professionals within the industry.
What continuing professional development looks like for you can be flexible to fit in with your organisational values. Organisations can use what works for them and apply the standards to their own professional development.
How do you ensure continuing professional development?
How to ensure continuing professional development can seem overwhelming when you first start out on your CPD journey. Here are some things you can do to show commitment to your continuing professional development. You might surprise yourself by how many you do already:
- Attend and participate in webinars
- Join the conversation with online communities
- Talk informally with colleagues and reflect on progress
- Read, listen and watch resources online
- Research to keep yourself current and up to date with trends
- Attend and participate in blended learning course
- Become an active member of your professional body
Joining a professional body is a great way to get the latest insight and news straight to your email inbox. A marketing professional might want to join The Chartered Institute of Marketing for example.
What is commitment to CPD?
Capturing and managing activities that support your professional development will show a commitment to CPD. Having your records, plans, files and reflections stored in one place is a good place to start.
The Leap Like A Salmon CPD Hub is a personalised learning platform that provides you with the tools to capture, manage and plan your CPD safely and securely in one location.
Showing commitment to continuing professional development might seem overwhelming to begin with. Once you get into the practice of learning, reflecting and assessing it will soon become second nature. Many of us practice CPD almost daily, we simply don’t record it and reflect on our learnings.
So here’s our challenge to you:
Commit to recording one thing you have learnt every day and gradually over time your reflections will become deeper and they will drive your learning journey. You never know, showing a commitment to continuing professional development might help you land that dream job one day!
Let us know how you get on and how this small change has made a difference to your self-awareness.
Useful resource – People Practice – A Complete Guide, published by KoganPage 2021