Career Development – How To Enhance Your Skills With Continuing Professional Development.
Many of us study for a professional qualification and then take up our first qualified post with a great sigh of relief. But how do you make sure that you continue to be effective and that you keep up with new developments? Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the learning and development you undertake that contributes to you doing just that. CPD can also be undertaken if you started a new job without any special qualifications but want to develop your skills to do your job better and to get to the next level.
What activities contribute to your CPD?
There are lots of activities that can add to your own CPD but you need to make sure that they really do deliver value to you as a professional. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) the kind of things that could be done include;
- Formal study leading to a qualification, which may be related directly related to your present job or to what you would like to do in the future.
- In-house or external training provided by your employer
- Conferences, workshops and seminars about your profession or your work sector – a great way to make contacts and find out about new developments
- Membership of a planning groups or committees – for example, within your employing organization or within your professional organization
- Work-based research – find out more from the internet or at your local library
- Reading professional magazines and journals – lots of these are now on line
- Relevant hobbies, leisure activities and voluntary work are a great way to network and make new contacts, as well as to contribute and to enjoy yourself.
Remember, the key to CPD is reflection on what you have learned and how you can apply it.
Once you understand fully what your work and your profession requires, make a plan for your CPD and make sure to keep any evidence you have of your CPD as it develops – keep certificates from previous study or training. Start a CPD portfolio. Don’t overlook internal training – make a note of what it was and who provided it with dates – add how it changed your ability to do your work.
Your CPD record and portfolio may prove vital when you apply for jobs in the future and it will certainly be useful when you are thinking about promotion.
CPD not only helps you to improve your knowledge, skills and competence in the workplace but to achieve your career goals. Over and above this, it contributes to your lifelong learning.
The CIPD provides useful guidance on organizing your CPD, including questions to help you reflect on your learning experiences and templates for recording CPD activity. There is also a section on managing CPD while on a career break.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link