What is CPD?
CPD is crucial for you as a professional, to stay up to date, competent and succeed in your field. This includes attending training programs and events, reading, engaging with mentors, and networking.
It helps you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your field and improve performance, ensuring the highest standard of work and better outcomes for your clients.
Continuous updating and refining of your skills helps you stay ahead of the curve and remain a leader in your field.
Yes it is, however, it is also the view of the majority of responsible professionals in practice, and proffessional associations, that some system of CPD is not only necessary, but desirable.
It will prove of benefit to you as an individual and to the profession as a whole.
You should not consider CPD to be a chore that you have to get through.
Doing something new often requires more of your time to become confident.
You should try to work with others to make the process more enjoyable, and focus on what you want to do as well as what you need to do.
Do I have to do CPD?
CPD may be mandatory or voluntary depending on your profession and regulatory body. However, engaging in ongoing professional development is recommended to maintain and improve your skills, knowledge, and competencies.
This can benefit your career advancement, job satisfaction, and overall professional growth. Staying up to date with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in your field can increase your effectiveness, efficiency, credibility, reputation and expand your professioanl career opportunities.
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.
The challenges of undertaking CPD will be different for you than for more experienced peers and colleagues. Finances may be an issue and it is worth bearing in mind that starting and maintaining your business is part of CPD, as well as consolidating through practice all that you have learned to date.
What types of CPD are there?
- Formal CPD: This includes structured learning activities, such as attending conferences, workshops, seminars, courses, and online training programs.
- Informal CPD: This includes self-directed learning activities, such as reading books, journals, and articles, conducting research, and participating in online discussions and webinars.
- Reflective CPD: This involves reflecting on one’s professional practice, identifying areas for improvement, and taking action to address them. This can be done through self-reflection, peer review, and feedback from clients or colleagues.
Many professionals feel like this, especially if they are a recent graduate, the difference is that you set your own direction and courses according to what you find you need to learn to develop as a profesisonal.
In 2001 Kyoko Durnall, looked at how acupuncturists supported themselves educationally in the first five years. She observed that new practitioners continued to want to use their books and to upgrade their skills by engaging in CPD courses.
- Experiential CPD: This involves learning from real-life experiences, such as taking on new projects, working with different clients or teams, and participating in mentoring or coaching programs.
- Collaborative CPD: This involves working with other professionals, such as participating in communities of practice, peer learning groups, and professional networks.
- Accredited CPD: This involves participating in CPD activities that are accredited or recognised by professional bodies or associations, which can help demonstrate one’s competence and expertise in their field.
A framework and structure that you use does not have top follow the one outlined above, you can also design and experiment with your own to find out what works best for you. It should though be consistent and structured, and should meet your own individual need.
Just because something is not in your current plan does not mean it cannot be of value. Accidental and unplanned learning can be as valuable and important, especially if you make a quick note to put with your learning needs assessment material in your CPD portfolio. You can then return to it later and follow it up.
All systems of learning are not without their problems and will always give rise to questions, some of which can be answered easily, whereas for others there is no ready or easy solution.
All learning is invaluable and counts; it is entirely acceptable to include a written record of any additional, unplanned learning in your CPD record. The important thing is to do is to record them.
Recording significant events or ‘sticky moments’ works well if the learning affects you, and although we all learn differently, trying some of these methods out will bring you to your own conclusions. Recording and undertaking CPD allows you to reflect on what has brought you to where you are and plan for the future.
Generally this is quite subjective, at any point in your career you may feel that you have reached a new level of mastery, especially when you have been in practice for a while. One step you can take is reflecting about what has changed and how it is that a particular situation or aspect of practice no longer causes you the concern it used to. You should then go on to find a way of documenting what has taken place.
A Personal Development Plan is meant to be flexible. If part way through you find something else more urgent you adapt your current plan and create another plan, completed CPD provides part in your portfolio as further evidence of learning.
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.”
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.
- Learning by doing
- Case studies
- Reflective practice
- Clinical audit
- Coaching from others
- Discussions with colleagues
- Peer review
- Gaining, and learning from experience
- Involvement in wider work of employer (for example, being a representative on a committee)
- Work shadowing
- Job rotation
- Journal club
- In-service training
- 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
- Branch meetings
- 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
- Supervising research
- Being a national assessor
- Being promoted
- Further education
- Attending conferences
- Writing articles or papers
- Going to seminars
- Distance learning
- Courses accredited by professional body
- Planning or running a course
- Reading journals / articles
- Reviewing books or articles
- Updating knowledge through the Internet or TV
- Keeping a file of your progress
- Public service
- Voluntary work