CPD (or Continuing Professional Development) is the ongoing process of learning, usually as part of an association or for work, in bitesize chunks around relevant issues, products or experiences. CPD’s can form part of a membership or employment contract, requiring you to keep up to date with relevant topics in your industry or scope.
WHAT IS CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT?
CPD (or Continuing Professional Development) is the ongoing process of learning, usually as part of an association or for work, in bitesize chunks around relevant issues, products or experiences.
A CPD usually consists of a core subject, and will be broken down into sections. There are many different forms of CPD – anything that you can learn from. Some common examples include seminars and presentations, webinars, videos, articles and factory tours, meaning all learning styles are covered.
Often a CPD will require you to demonstrate new ability or knowledge based on the set learning outcomes. This may consist of a few questions at the end of a video, or perhaps the judgement of a presenter on the levels of engagement. Some CPDs are self-assessed and won’t have any demonstration, but the aim is to encourage continued learning and keeping up to date.
WHY SHOULD I DO A CPD?
A CPD is sometimes a requirement – for example, associations like RIBA and CIAT require a certain number of hours’ worth of CPD each year to retain membership. Some companies also ask staff to do elements of CPD – this is often health and safety training but can take many forms.
Learning about your industry, products or others’ experiences can also be a rewarding process, so choosing ones you will enjoy or are interested in can be reason enough. It may also be part of a promotion process, or a great way to showcase your abilities.
CPDs benefit individuals and companies alike. Some of the key benefits include:
- Refresh and update knowledge and skills
- Career advancement and improved employability
- Specialise within your industry
- Understand best practice
- Demonstrate and exhibit achievements
- Plan and progress with personal or work goals
- Recognise gaps in knowledge
- Higher engagement
- Higher morale and commitment to role
WHERE TO FIND CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MODULES
If you are a member of a professional body or association (such as RIBA or RICS) then often there will be CPDs offered through them. Check what the requirements are too – do you need to do a certain number of hours? Do you have to cover a certain number of subjects?
For example, RIBA require architects to complete a set number of hours, and provide workshops throughout the year, but CIAT allow more self-assessment and personal learning.
Companies and Manufacturers
Many companies offer CPD presentations, often over a lunch break. Gartec provide key Platform Lift CPD seminars over lunch breaks – including free lunch – for architects across the UK. If you would like to find out more about the RIBA-accredited, double points Gartec CPD, please click here.
The internet is also a great source of information about CPDs. Try searching for a subject or just for CPD providers to see what they offer. Make sure you get a certificate or evidence of learning at the end so you can use your new skills effectively.
Some programs offer learning modules which are considered continuing professional development. One example is Lynda, which covers a wide range of more generic subjects more suitable for an office or school location.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CPD
There are many ways to choose – try thinking about some of these:
- Requirements for job
- Products, programs or subjects you often utilise, or want to begin using#
- A skill you want to improve
- Industry related subject
- To refresh knowledge about something
- Time available
- Works for your learning method/style
- Links or enhances current knowledge to make life easier
Remember to also consider the quality of the presentation – is it accredited, and is the company or provider a respected voice in the industry? Make sure you get the best out of your time and the course by taking a look at the background of the creator.