“Continuing Professional Development (CPD) refers to learning that occurs throughout your professional life, is planned and recorded, supports you in your work and development as a practitioner and also benefits the care of your patients.” British Acupuncture Council
Most of us as practitioners already undertake many CPD activities, however many have not yet developed the regular structured habit of recording these activities routinely. We regularly look up a patients medical conditions, chatting with fellow health professionals, it happens continually in our regular working lives, but we don’t perhaps learn as we could from them.
We should view CPD as a system to encourage and foster a culture of continuing personal and professional development within our professions, and any CPD that we undertake must allow for the fact that our educational needs will differ, and that we undertake our learning in differing ways. It can encompass learning from all activities that support our work, much of which will be practice based and part of our daily life and others not.
We should undertake our CPD in a 5-stage system.
Looking back on what you did or how you acted and considering what worked well what didn’t.
Plan a great educational CPD activity.
Undertake the CPD activity.
Think about how what you undertook has had an impact on your practice.
Don’t forget to record it as evidence you’ve undertaken the CPD activity.
CPD usually falls into 5 categories
Learning by doing
Coaching from others
Discussions with colleagues
Gaining, and learning from, experience
Involvement in wider work of employer (for example, being a representative on a committee)
Supervising staff or students
Visiting other departments and reporting back
Expanding your role
Analysing significant events
Filling in self-assessment questionnaires
Project work or project management
Evidence of learning activities undertaken as part of your progression on the Knowledge and Skills Framework
Involvement in a professional body
Membership of a specialist interest group
Lecturing or teaching
Being an examiner
Being a tutor
Organising journal clubs or other specialist groups
Maintaining or developing specialist skills (for example, musical skills)
Being an expert witness
Membership of other professional bodies or groups
Giving presentations at conferences
Organising accredited courses
Being a national assessor
Writing articles or papers
Going to seminars
Courses accredited by professional body
Planning or running a course
Reviewing books or articles
Updating knowledge through the Internet or TV
Keeping a file of your progress
Frequently Asked Questions about CPD
All professionals need to undertake CPD. As an experienced practitioner who has worked hard to build and maintain a practice, your challenge will be to find something you need to learn that really interests you, is useful to your practice and that keeps your skills and knowledge up to date, these are the courses that the CPD group aim to provide.