Continuing Professional Development

Regardless of what profession you are in, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is vital for keeping your skills up to date and relevant in your working environment. In some professions, CPD is viewed as so important, that it’s actually a requirement to undertake a certain amount of hours of Continuing Professional Development each year.

Continuing Professional Development refers to the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work. Although done as part of your working career, the CPD that you choose to undertake doesn’t have to directly relate to your profession. So for example, if you are a Caregiver, you could study a course in Office Administration and this would still count towards your CPD hours. Although not related directly to caregiving, the skills could be applied to administration work you may need to do in relation to one of your patients and therefore it’s helping you to develop.

Usually, when it comes to Continuing Professional Development, either you or your employer should keep a physical or digital log of the activities you have done towards this. Even if you haven’t been keeping a record of your CPD so far, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start now. Take some time to look back over your last year of working, have you taken part in any training courses or studied and completed any courses either online or in a classroom? If you have, note it down being sure you include the dates of the training, the outcomes and a copy of any certification you received for it.

Now you have your CPD log, you can begin to look at what you want to do next and where you want your learning to take you. You will find your Continuing Professional Development progress will be much more productive and successful if you have an end goal in mind. Try and keep the goal realistic, so perhaps a promotion by the end of the year or a pay rise, by keeping things realistic, you won’t feel daunted by undertaking the training.

The important thing to remember with CPD is that it’s driven by you. Even if Continuing Professional Development is required by your employer, you have the be the one who decides which courses you want to study and when.

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