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What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

CPD Explained

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities.

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CPD

CPD enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive. CPD is the holistic commitment of professionals towards the enhancement of personal skills and proficiency throughout their careers.

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 thousands of professional bodies & institutes across the world, a number that is forecast to increase. Accompanied by such growth is the acceptance that academic qualifications must offer more vocational and skills-based learning.

A structured, practical and methodical approach to learning helps employers across industries to retain 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’ regardless of occupation, age or educational level.

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 CPD Course

CPD Learning Types

Types of CPD learning vary significantly and include a wide range of different learning methods. From formal training to self-directed study, different types of CPD are available for effective Continuing Professional Development

Structured CPD / Active Learning

Structured CPD / active learning involves interactive and participation-based learning, attendance for face to face requirment maybe required and should be formally recorded. It is typically proactive and can include attending training courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, e-learning course or CPD certified events. CPD active learning can also apply to professionals taking career orientated exams, however the study and revision would be considered self-directed learning.

CPD informal Learning

Informal learning involves casual participant-based interaction, so this form of CPD is much more casual and more on bite size learning. 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.

Self-Directed CPD / Unstructured

Learning

Self-directed learning involves all unaccompanied CPD activities. It covers the reading of documents, articles and publications; either in print or online. Reading relevant publications, books by leading experts, industry journals and trade magazines are all types of self-directed CPD. You could also include industry-specific news feeds or research into relevant fields.

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CPD for Individuals

Continuing Professional Development enables individuals to adapt positively to changes in both work and industry requirements. Planning CPD helps an individual to be more efficient with their time, and recording CPD properly provides evidence of Continuing Professional Development, which can be useful for professional body obligations as well employer 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 a training course is complete or the desired standards of learning have been met.

CPD for Organisations

Providing CPD accredited training and events can benefit your organisation through recognition and an increased brand perception. Internal use of Continuing Professional Development encourages and promotes a healthy learning culture for organisations, that can lead 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 workshop environment. Other accredited CPD courses can be a full 6-10 weeks program, split into structured bite-size modules.

What is accredited CPD training?

Accredited CPD training means the learning activity has reached the required Continuing Professional Development standards and benchmarks. The learning value has been scrutinised to ensure integrity and quality. The CPD Certification Service provides recognised independent CPD accreditation compatible with global CPD requirements. If you are a CPD provider and want to launch e-CPD program, pls feel free to talk to us, our Cyberwisdom consultant will discuss with you how to enable your CPD digitally across the world.

Frequently asked questions

What is a CPD point,unit or credit?

A frequent question about Continuing Professional Development is how CPD is recorded, and specifically the question, “What is a CPD point, unit or credit?” It is often found across all industries that CPD points, units and credits all relate to the same thing, CPD Hours? What are CPD Hours? The definition of a CPD Hour is the time spent for a delegate to be in “active learning”. 

How should l allocate my CPD time?

Most institutes provide their members with Continuing Professional Development requirements generally as a minimum annual number of hours. These targets are defined by the accrual of CPD hours through training, seminars & workshops, events & conferences as well as other structured forms of CPD learning. These CPD hours are sometimes converted to points, units or credits.

How is CPD recorded?

An individual must keep a track of their annual Continuing Professional Development activities on a CPD record form and must ensure it is correct, up to date and meets the requirements of their professional body or association. The CPD activity is recorded in terms of learning outcomes and practical application of the knowledge obtained. Continuing Professional Development undertaken is recorded by a CPD Certificate of Attendance, CPD Self-Assessment forms and personal CPD Record Cards.

What is the process of gaining CPD certification?

The CPD Assessments team will evaluate the materials, review the structure and provide advice to help develop the training courses where required. This process is to ensure the training courses are educational in content, structured coherently, with clear learning objectives and outcomes.  

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