If you’re looking to boost your career prospects, you may want to consider the importance of CPD. Used by thousands of professionals to develop new skills and knowledge throughout their career, CPD has become crucial in terms of career progression. So, what is CPD and how could it benefit your career prospects?
What does CPD stand for?
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and it is important as it’s used by professionals to further their career. It’s a conscious and proactive form of learning which uses various methods to help individuals either learn new skills or develop existing ones.
What is a CPD portfolio?
A CPD portfolio helps keep a track of progression from year to year. It is an individual’s evidential documentation of their Continuing Professional Development obligations for their professional body or association. Contained within a CPD portfolio would be the register of activities, such as training courses, workshops and educational events attended, as well as a copy of the delegate CPD certificates for each activity. These act as validation that the learning has been completed. (It is also important that the course has been CPD accredited)
Professional bodies review their members CPD portfolio to ensure they are meeting their annual Continuing Professional Development requirements. A CPD portfolio should demonstrate a range of different methods of learning and the different impacts on future capability. Always ensure that you keep your CPD portfolio up to date, as it is more difficult to record CPD at the end of the year, hoping to remember everything completed over the last 12 months.
CPD points, units and credits explained
One of the most frequent questions about Continuing Professional Development is how CPD is recorded, and specifically the question, “What is a CPD point, unit or credit?” The subsequent question is regularly, “How do CPD points relate to CPD Hours?” With the increasing number of professional bodies in the UK and their varying annual requirements of Continuing Professional Development, a natural split in common language terms and expression will arise. Different professional bodies use the terms ‘CPD points’, ‘CPD units’ or ‘CPD credits’ diversely depending on preference, typically for historical reasons when initially implementing their CPD policy, rather than from a modern day strategic perspective.
How do CPD points, units and credits relate to CPD Hours?
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”. Active learning defines the actual time spent learning something relevant for their Continuing Professional Development objectives. A great example of this would be 1-day accredited CPD training course. If the training starts at 9 am and ends at 5 pm, with a 1-hour break for lunch, the CPD Hours would be 7 CPD Hours.
Recording your CPD
A structured and consistent approach to recording your CPD makes it easier to manage throughout the year. This also helps ensure an individual attends training and events relevant to their annual capability improvement objectives, which is more valuable than simply attending courses just for general interest. Recording your CPD allows reflection on what has been gained from the CPD activities and what can be implemented in day-to-day objectives, as well as what skill sets to develop next.
As a general rule, when recording your Continuing Professional Development in a CPD portfolio, it should contain the following information:- Date of CPD activity, Title of CPD activity, Brief description including learning objectives, the method of learning (i.e. training course, workshop, event, eLearning), number of CPD hours, points or credits and the overall learning outcome.
5 Benefits of CPD
CPD offers numerous benefits to both professionals and their employers, some of which are of real importance.
1. For you as a professional, it helps to ensure your skills and knowledge are up to date, and the professional standard of your registrations and qualifications are maintained. There are no clear disadvantages for your employer, it ensures that the company standards are both high and consistent. They will see that you are actively dedicated to the job role and value your commitment to the role.
2. Another one of the benefits of CPD and a main purpose of exploring the benefits of continuous personal development is that it also helps you to develop more confidence in the role. You’ll be able to showcase your achievements and develop the knowledge and skills to carry out your job in the most effective, confident way.
3. Whether you’re looking for a promotion, or you’re hoping to gain employment with a prestigious company, CPD can really help. It enables you to stand out from the crowd, with research showing those who have undertaken CPD, have a significantly higher chance of gaining a promotion or moving on to a different area within their chosen field.
4. What this also means of course, is that you’ll also be able to achieve a higher salary.
5. If you are self employed or run your own business, having a CPD accredited skill to your name can give confidence to established and new clients.
These are just some of the great benefits CPD can provide. The question is, how can you partake in continuous professional development?
Continuing Your Professional Development
If you’re interested in undergoing CPD, it’s worth keeping in mind there’s a lot of different types to choose from. Practically anything which can further your knowledge and skills is classed as CPD. This includes:
• Training courses
• Workshops or Workbooks
Each of the above has its own range of benefits and most professionals choose to undergo several types of CPD for best results.
Things to consider
If you want CPD to further your career, there’s a number of factors you need to consider.
1. Ensuring you’re undertaking the correct type of CPD to fit your goals is crucial in helping you minimise any disadvantages. It’s not enough to simply find a course which matches your industry.
2. You also need to consider whether or not the training matches your end goal. Thinking about the importance of CPD suiting your chosen industry might potentially save you time in the future.
3. Have you got the time to commit to the CPD course you’re considering? If you’re already working, you’ll need to find a part-time course which also fits around your family and budget commitments. You’re also going to want to consider the type of study you prefer.
4. Do you thrive in studying with others? If so, you’ll want to look into in-venue courses and seminars. If your sole purpose is to study alone at your own pace, an e-learning or workbook based CPD course would be a better option.
Overall, CPD is crucial in terms of professional development. Provided you choose the right type to match your needs, it can help you progress in your current career or business, or help you to branch out into a totally different field if you’d prefer. There are so many reasons to choose to continue your professional development so why not take a look at our range of CPD courses available in the following levels. Foundation, Intermediate, Advance and Expert.
Our courses are presented as workbooks and must be completed in four weeks. Support is give via virtual assistnce.
Visit http://www.virtualpersonalassistance.com for a list of our services.
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