Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is the purposeful maintenance and improvement of your knowledge, skills and competence to carry out your professional role throughout your working life, any activity which enhances an individual’s professional practice and encompasses formal, informal, course based, work based, individual and collaborative learning.
Graduation from the tertiary studies is a major learning milestone that enables you to begin your career as a professional, the start of another learning journey – your continuing development as a professional is fundamental to career progression, you may have soaked up all that extra knowledge through years of experience but without that qualification to formalize your practices you are leaving yourself vulnerable.
While professional development is crucial to your career progression, it creates a difference in your learning ability and dedication if you develop your knowledge and skills accordingly, it builds your confidence and credibility, showcase your achievements as you get equipped with tools to cope positively to change and as an employer, professional development will help you ensure a high and consistent standard across your workplace because professional development greatly contributes in maximizing staff potential and provides a standard for professionalism. CPD not only helps you climb the ladder but also keeps you up with the changing demands of the workplace, the same is true for professionals with many years’ experience in the workplace. Every organization values an employee who strive to improve, who can adjust with the current professional needs of the workforce, the trying need to develop yourself, to improve, explore the latest advances that might portray a better path to get the job done. Exploring opportunities in the outside world will help re-ignite your passion for work, the need to learn new things, and subsequently re-energize yourself.
Gaining qualifications is not enough – individuals need to be competent, and possess the necessary skills to keep up-to-date with new developments in the changing world of education and training as well as in their specialist subject because CPD can add to the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that you already have and there is always a need to learn and develop, lots of young ones growing up needs to learn because CPD is widely recognized and regular formal education and training is necessary to supplement enhance learning. Certain industries and professional bodies require or encourage their members to undertake a certain number of CPD hours every year to maintain their credentials, some professional bodies run courses along with education and training providers, others run the courses themselves.
CPD which is identified as an essential part of lifelong learning is even more important now in countries that is confronted with series of challenges, lacking in skills and a continuing low levels of productivity in various sector.
Highlights of key benefits of CPD
Improve your professional competence
Demonstrate that you have made efforts to maintain your competence
Comply with professional body regulations and accreditation
Learn new knowledge or skills
Move into a different area of your profession
Acquire the skills necessary for a promotion
Keep abreast of changes and updated practices as well as new technologies in your field
Plugs gaps in your skills and capabilities
Opens up further development needs
Demonstrates your professional standing to clients and employers
Should provide you with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that you need to have to perform effectively and competently in your role and to meet the expectations placed on you by your employers, colleagues and the members of your association
Meanwhile, age, seniority, expertise and unemployment are not barriers to undertaking Continuing Personal Development.
Article by Blessing Bassey