The 4 most important secrets for a successful and fulfilling career are: never stop believing, never stop dreaming, never stop trying, and never stop learning.
The CPD Standards (2019) define Continuing professional development (CPD) as an intentional and planned maintenance and development of one’s knowledge and skills required for better performance within a professional context. This ranges from enhancing current skills, taking them to a superior level, or learning completely new skills. Continuing Personal Development (CPD) is a conscious, ongoing effort that should take place throughout your career. It’s a way of ensuring that you continue to develop, learn and become more effective and competent throughout your career. CPD refers to a number of different activities and events designed to enhance personal career growth. These include:
1. External courses and training sessions
2. Magazines and journals
3. Online learning and YouTube videos
4. Reflective practice and peer reviews
5. On-the-job training
6. Mentoring and voluntary work
7. Conferences and seminars
8. Networking events
Why is CPD so Important?
It helps you stay focused on your goals
Reflecting on and analysing your progress can be the push you need to remind you of what direction you’re heading in. Seeing where you started out compared to where you are currently can provide a little needed inspiration. Consider both you short term and long-term goals when you’re thinking about how to take the next step.
It makes sure your qualifications don’t become outdated
There may be skills or qualifications you acquired through education that you rarely use. By practicing CPD, you can make sure these skills don’t become stagnant and lost and can find ways to apply them to your current role. Search for a way to take refresher courses or upgrade your qualification.
It’s a great way of collecting examples for future interviews
Thinking of examples to respond to competency-based questions with can be tricky, however, by recording your own personal development, you are arming yourself with specific examples that may become useful. This way, when the time comes for you to be interviewed for a different job or a higher position within your current company, you can adapt these examples into S.T.A.R formatted answers.
It allows you to never stop growing
It can be easy to get stuck in the same continuous cycle when you’re at work. Searching for ways to grow within your industry opens new doors and opportunities for you, so that you don’t fall out of love with your career. It’s important to love your job, and by analysing the areas in which you could improve and taking the steps to improve them can help you to flourish.
It keeps your customers happy
CPD ensures your skills remain sharp and quality of your performance remains top notch, increasing the chances of meeting and exceeding your customers / stakeholders’ expectations.
It futureproofs your career
CPD ensures that your development doesn’t stop after completion of your studies and keeps you in control of your own professional development, thus not only safeguarding, but also futureproofing your career. CPD ensures that your skills and knowledge stay relevant and up-to-date, especially in an age when an astronomical pace of change is the new normal. With the way technology is disrupting professions left right and centre, standing still will rapidly make your skills ancient and is absolutely not an option.
It is the key driver for promotion and career progression
CPD enhances your contribution to your employer and often make you stand head-and-shoulders above your colleagues, putting you in the pole position for the next promotion opportunity. Investing in CPD rarely goes unnoticed by bosses and makes it easier when negotiating a bonus/pay-rise.
It motivates you and makes you love going to work
CPD finetunes your skills, helping you stay interested, engaged and satisfied. Carefully planned CPD opens you up to new horizons, new possibilities and new innovations.
Recording of your CPD can act as an important reference for personal reflection. To track and plan your own CPD, you need to consider your current situation, where you want to be and what steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
Throughout your career, you should be in charge of recording your own personal development. Keeping track of your CPD documents when you’re updating your CV or LinkedIn profile with new skills is the perfect reminder of how far you have come since starting your job. Keep in mind that being in charge of your own CPD requires you to be honest, critical and self-reflective about your own performance.
Most professional bodies and institutes have made CPD a mandatory requirement to remain a registered and accredited member of the profession. It is a fundamental part of their codes of ethics as a way of ensuring high quality of service to clients, safeguarding the public, whilst satisfying the expectations and requirements of regulators and stakeholders.