Continuing Professional Development (CPD) stands for to a holistic approach taken by professionals to enhance their skills, knowledge and capabilities, throughout their careers. Any learning activities undertaken by professionals for the purpose of developing and enhancing their abilities represent elements of CPD.
What makes CPD different is the way in which it focuses on a proactive and conscious approach to personal development, rather than the more typical passive and reactive approach.
While some follow a career path that incorporates mandatory training and development along the way. So the question arises 'What is a CPD?' CPD involves actively pursuing opportunities for enhancement at all times. There are a variety of different learning methodologies incorporated in CPD, which include e-learning programmes, classroom-based study, conferences, workshops and private research. Commitment to CPD is becoming an increasingly-important factor, when employers make their decisions as to which individuals to take on and which to focus their career-advancement efforts on.
Regardless of industry, job title, education and experience to date, every professional without exception can benefit from CDP. Dedicated focus on professional development ensures that both practical and academic qualifications do not become obsolete or out-dated. The individual in question is able to enhance and improve their knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis through CPD.
Not only do members of the workforce who engage in CDP benefit from improved performance and career prospects, but organizations that support and encourage CDP benefit from the strongest possible human resources.
CDP incorporates countless self-improvement activities, which are typically categorised into one of three categories:
Structured CPD / active learning refers to the kind of study programs that are participation-based and interactive. Typical activities in this category include e-learning and online training programs, attending lectures, conferences, workshops and training courses. This is generally regarded as the most engaging and proactive CBD category.
Reflective learning typically involves no interaction or participation and is therefore one-directional and passive. Examples of CPD that fit into this bracket include reading articles and publications (both online and in print), viewing case studies and generally keeping up-to-date with the latest industry news and developments.
The final category incorporates all other CPD activities which are unstructured and self-directed. Example activities include self-managed research and home study, reading relevant books/journals and improving both knowledge and competencies through online research.