CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It refers to the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work, beyond any initial training. It’s a record of what you experience, learn and then apply.
The importance of CPD cannot be over emphasised. CPD is important because it ensures continuing competency in the professional field, keeping up to date and consistent with the current standards of others in the same field, whilst maintaining and developing the knowledge and skills needed to deliver a professional service. This is as true for professionals with many years’ experience as it is for the newly appointed staff member. CPD is also credited for helping staff to stay interested and fresh in the profession.
Focused CPD will make individuals aware of new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas. The main aim of CPD is to ensure that all personnel are up to date with all relevant laws and regulations; this will help safeguard members of the public, the employer and the employee.
Across the majority of workforces, especially in roles that require registration with a regulatory body in order to practice, CPD is mandatory and it is generally governed by sector-specific professional body or regulator, such as the ICAEW for accountants or OFTEC for Oil engineers. Professional development is often required by the professional organizations to comply with their code of professional ethics to which they are then bound.
There is a professional body that specialise in CPD in the workplace – CiPD UK
(https://www.cipd.co.uk) – “With hubs in the UK, Ireland, Middle East and Asia, we’re the career partner of choice for more than 145,000 members around the world. We’re the only body in the world that can award Chartered status to individual HR and L&D professionals, and our independent research and insights make us trusted advisers to governments and employers”
Although, it is a personal responsibility to keep skills up to date so that the delivery of a high quality service is given whilst meeting the requirements of the profession, which in turn safeguards the public, employer and employee.
Career development and planning should be undertaken by every person, especially those who are working in a position of trust or with public interaction. The most effective way to do this is with a personal development plan (PDP) this is an action plan based on recognition, reflection and planning for career development, a PDP is a key tool for motivating yourself to turn your aspirations into reality.
To create an effective PDP, you need to ensure that your goals are clear and achievable. You need to individualise the PDP to yourself, remember that this is a working document and must be kept up to date and can be adapted as you progress through your career. Good personal development planning will help you achieve your potential as it will help you to identify your skill gaps and needs.
My Personal Development
(See appendix 1)
I have been on a road of self-motivated learning and self-improvement for about 5 years, when my Husband and I started our family, we decided that setting up our own business was the best fit for our new life. We had been running a successful Plumbing and Heating Company for a few years when I decided that I would retrain as an accountant. We decided it would not only benefit myself but the company as a whole.
After I finished my level 4 AAT, I took a job in an accountants. I had been working in the practice for 12 months, when I realised it was not what I had imagined, I felt I needed a job with more human interaction. From this point I was looking for a different position where I may have a more varied day to day workload.
I applied and was successful in gaining my current post – Business Support Administrator in Carmarthenshire County Council (CCC).
After being in post for around 4 months I felt happy that I was going in the right direction, and as I was really enjoying my day to day work I decided I would like to make a career in this field; this then led me to research the process of embarking on an NVQ level 4 in Business and Professional Administration.
Over the years that I have been working on my self-improvement I have come to realise that there has to be some flexibility with the time frames and even subjects that we choose; this can be down to changes in job positions or just changes in regulations within a current position. We should also look for unexpected learning and outcomes in our day to day working lives as well as for attainment of the planned outcomes.
For example, below is a list of courses that I have been able to undertake whilst being in my current capacity.
• Advanced Minute Taking
• HPP Giving & Receiving Feedback
• Chairing A Disciplinary Hearing
• Investigation Skills
• Customer Care
• Agresso 5.5 Self Service
• SSWBA – Carer Aware
• Agresso Sales Order Approvals
• Agresso 5.5 Smart Client
• Behavioural Standards in The Workplace
• Project Management Toolkit
• Equalities & Human Rights Awareness
• Mental Health in The Workplace
• Introduction to Data Protection
• Whistleblowing Protected Disclosure
• VAWDASV – E-Learning
I would not have considered some of these courses if I had not been working for CCC. I am always looking to be the best me I can be whichever path I am on and I will always strive to keep improving to constantly give the best results in my job.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PPD REVIEWING
Evaluation, at fixed points during and importantly towards the end of any PDP is imperative. To do this effectively you should ask and answer questions such as “Did I achieve what I planned to?”, “What, if any changes were made to plans and the outcomes? Why?” Answers to these questions, should backed up by evidence to ensure a true and accurate reflection. This will provide a good opportunity to appreciate progress and to keep motivated whilst breaking down longer-term goals into smaller, more achievable ones.
PDP is achieved by hard work and commitment. Reviewing goals regularly allows for confirming that set milestones are being met and to factor in any changes that maybe needed. There is also the opportunity for crediting any short-term goals that have been successfully reached, along with the improving motivation and confidence to achieve the rest of the plan. It can be easy to get caught up with the everyday life and forget what the main goals are, so regularly reviewing goals provides a good reminder of the direction of the plan and helps to keep focused and on track.
THE DIFFERENCES IN LEARNING STYLES
“Learning styles are a way to help improve your quality of learning. By understanding your own personal styles, you can adapt the learning process and techniques you use. This site is dedicated to helping you better understand learning styles, as well as providing an easy way to discover your own styles.”
All people approach education and life with different styles. For some, one specific style might works best, while others may use a combination.
There are seven major learning styles; Visual, Kinesthetic, Aural, Verbal, Logical, Social and Solitary.
• Visual Learners work best when studying with materials that incorporates images, diagrams, maps, charts and the use of colours. The ability of being able to recall images with the minds eye will benefit this type of learner. Making Mind maps will help with understanding whilst linking knowledge and expand the ability to generate ideas very quickly exploring different pathways.
• Kinesthetic learners learn by doing hands on activities that they can be involved in. Role play, practicing the task or using simulations and experiencing the subject as a way of understanding is the most effective and the most beneficial way for this type of learner.
• Aural Learners find that sound, music, rhythms, clever rhymes are the key to success. For example, studying whilst listening to music will implant information which can evoke the memories and feelings when re-listening to the same song, aiding the retention and regurgitation of memory.
• Verbal Learners style involves verbal and written words. Being able to discuss their thoughts aloud. Seminars, debates, writing, and reading the information is essential. This is a typical old school way of learning and how we were taught for many centuries until we gained understanding that there are different methods of teaching-learning.
• Logical Learners do best with systems, plans, and programs. They use systems to discover a reason for the topic. Logical studiers focus on the whole concept with statistics and data is often being the most important element, with the need for evidence as back-up.
• Social Learners enjoy being within a team. They do best by brainstorming ideas with others and being able to share their thoughts will re-inforce their learning. Learning in groups will help better understand. Practicing behaviours or procedures will help social learners appreciate how to deal with variations.
• Solitary Learners do best in a quiet setting. They thrive working alone while thoroughly going over study material. Independence and little distraction promotes this type of learning. Often only interacting with the learning provider when clarification is needed.