CPD or Continuing Professional Development is the maintenance and development of the knowledge and skills that are needed to perform in a professional capacity. This could be keeping professionals contemporary and up to date with current skills, polishing them or taking them to the next level.
CPD has two, complementary sides, the employer and the employee. Both wanting the employee to learn, improve and grow more confident and both benefiting from the results. A substantial benefit for businesses of having their employees complete CPD hours over the course of a year is that it enables standards across the company to remain high. With internal coaching, from managers/coaches/HR, this becomes sustainable too. What if you could be credited CPD hours AND learn how to coach? A bit of a double-whammy that one and certainly should be given some serious consideration.
As the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, once said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Let’s step away from the micro-management of the past and take a large leap towards to autonomous working, application of learning, integrity, and experience. Surely we’ve recognised by now that micro-managing is unproductive, especially when so many people are working remotely?
Learning Specialist for The Motivation Agency, Ian Luxford, was quoted in 2016 by the Institute of the Motor Industry Magazine saying “Continuing learning is valuable both from a personal and professional point of view. We learn all the time and CPD is just a matter of recording it, which only takes a few minutes for each activity. Logging CPD is a great way to take stock and be aware of what you are learning and to think about what else you need to learn as you continue to develop in your career.”
So, let’s start thinking of CPD as a choice, not a chore.
As an employee, common phrases are often heard, such as, ‘I’m too busy to give the time to CPD’ and ‘It’s such a faff, I wouldn’t know where to start or what would be a good course to do.’ Instead, an employee could think of how this would improve their employability, confidence and capability to do their job to a high(er) standard. It could prepare them for future roles, perhaps that’s managing individuals or a team, or maybe it’s teaching them to break enigma. One piece of advice that we would give is, whatever you choose to learn, make sure it’s relevant and a good challenge.