CPD Explained in Detail: Your CPD Questions Answered
CPD Definition: The concept that learning continues throughout one's life, both through educational courses and work experience and practice. Individuals are encouraged to identify their personal learning needs and to assess their progress in dynamic ways.
Oxford University Press
The main issue with the CPD definition above is that it is quite ambiguous, and is therefore open to interpretation. CPD’s meaning differs in accordance with who you ask - as does the aim of embarking on a long-term program of professional development.
For some, it’s all about picking up every CPD certificate available to impress employers. For others, it’s more about the building the skills, knowledge and confidence to perform better in their current role.
But what’s constant in all instances is the potential for CPD to help ambitious professionals leverage their full potential and achieve their career goals.
To further clarify what CPD is and how it works, we’ve provided summarised answers to a series of important questions on CPD activities and accomplishments. If you require clarification of any of the following, reach out to a member of the team here at CPD Courses anytime:
CPD is an abbreviation of ‘Continuing Professional Development’, which is used in reference to the activities and educational pursuits undertaken by an individual to boost their skills, knowledge and career prospects.
The importance of CPD lies in the value of continuing your education and professional development throughout your career. Mandatory education and job-related training do little to help jobseekers and professionals stand out as candidates of choice. The pursuit of CPD demonstrates to prospective employers and decisionmakers that you are firmly committed to ongoing personal and professional improvement.
There are various CPD activities that can contribute to a person’s CPD profile and their total tally of CPD points. Just a few examples of which include taking online courses, attending classroom-based training programs, writing articles, publishing papers, attending seminars and conferences, becoming a tutor or mentor and even self-directed study, such as reading articles and journals.
CPD in the workplace refers to the various activities and pursuits that can be undertaken by members of the workforce to boost their CPD profile. Common examples of which include optional workplace training programs, online courses and anything that goes beyond mandatory workplace training.
In today’s competitive job market, anyone looking to reach a high-profile position in almost any sector will be expected to demonstrate commitment to CPD. Increasingly, employers and decision-makers are making CPD a mandatory requirement for both hiring and investing in the long-term development of quality candidates.
The key to building a good CPD profile lies in ensuring that your individual profile is relevant to you and your career goals. For example, if you are pursuing a high-level career in business management or executive leadership, you should ensure that your CPD activities focus predominantly on business, management and leadership topics.
Creating a CPD profile begins by evaluating your current situation and setting realistic career goals. Think about where you would like to see yourself within the next two years and establish viable objectives accordingly. After which, you can begin taking CPD courses and getting involved in other CPD activities, ensuring you keep a detailed record (and evidence) of everything you do along the way.
Yes - CPD courses are worth it due to the immense competition on today’s job market. Along with continuously improving your skills, knowledge and confidence in your chosen specialist field, commitment to CPD demonstrates to potential employers that you are a dedicated, ambitious and career-driven candidate of a higher calibre.
As the name suggests, a CPD hour is a formal measurement of time spent undertaking CPD related activities. For example, if you took a full-day CPD course that lasted from 9am to 4pm (with an hour’s break for lunch), this would represent six CPD hours. Every CPD hour completed should be recorded (and evidence retained where possible) for future reference.
CPD online refers to any activities, courses or training programs that take place online, which contribute to an individual’s CPD profile. The most obvious examples of which are online courses and distance learning programmes, but can also mean online seminars (webinars), lectures, research, publishing articles and so on.
Yes - you absolutely must mention your CPD profile (number of points, hours etc.) and activities completed on your CV. Anything of relevance to the job you are applying for should be included in your CV - particularly those that go beyond the norm and could give you a major edge over rival candidates.
There is a long and varied list of activities that can be included in a person’s CPD profile and record of accomplishments. All of which fall within the five primary categories of CPD activities, which are as follows:
Where a course or training program or is CPD accredited, it means that it has met a variety of criteria outlined by the official Continuing Professional Development body to be considered a course of quality. CPD accredited is basically the benchmark that confirms a course, training program or activity will be recognised and acknowledged as part of a CPD profile.
The higher up the career ladder you intend to climb, the greater the importance of CPD. CPD is recognised by the vast majority of employers, though is of greater significance where higher-profile position and in-demand roles are concerned. Particularly where employers have numerous candidates to choose from for a specific role, those with CPD achievements are more likely to stand out and attract attention.
CPD is recorded by way of a self-managed journal that should be started when undertaking your first CPD activity. After which, detailed information on every CPD course and activity you take part in should be kept, including but not limited to the following:
Where possible, evidence should also be kept as verification of CPD activities undertaken and completed.
CPD itself is not a qualification, for the main reason that it is an ongoing process that continues throughout a professional’s career. There is no specific end date to a program of CPD and nor is there a formal CPD qualification - it is more a professional profile that you gradually build over the years.
Where a CPD course or training programme has been certified, it means it has met the strict guidelines and criteria outlined by the official CPD body to confirm its standout quality. Employers may therefore recognise and value certified CPD accomplishments more than those that are not formerly certified, but this is not always the case.
The main benefit of CPD is the way in which it provides you with the opportunity to continuously improve your knowledge, skills and confidence throughout the career. You also have the opportunity to remain up to date with changing trends, bolster you interest in your field of expertise and become more capable in whatever it is you do. In addition, CPD provides ambitious professionals with the opportunity to stand out in the eyes of employers and decision-makers.
Employers always prioritise candidates that are clearly committed to their personal and professional development. In addition, businesses show preference to candidates that have a more established skills set, knowledge base and educational background than their rivals. All of this can be accomplished by building a robust CPD profile, enabling ambitious candidates to fast-track their progression up the career ladder.
There is no formal method by which CPD activities need to be recorded. Just as long as you keep a detailed and accurate account of your CPD activities (as outlined a little earlier), it is entirely up to you how you do it. Some keep their records exclusively in digital format, while others use conventional journals to record their activities. In both instances, a backup should always be kept in case something happens to the original record.
How Many CPD Points is 1 Hour?
1 CPD hour typically equals 1 CPD point. However, this is only the case when undertaking CPD activities with a 1:1 hours-to-points ratio. There are other instances where 1 hour of CPD learning may equate to 2 CPD points, or where several hours of CPD activity could equate to just 1 CPD point. This is something to check and consider before taking part in a CPD course or activity.
Reflective practice is considered important in CPD as it enables a person to maximise the effectiveness of their ongoing education. It helps candidates identify and appreciate their own strengths and weaknesses, it enhances motivation to pursue self-improvement and it assists with the development of creative thinking skills. All of which can help take the benefits of a long-term CPD programme to an entirely higher level.
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