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Don't neglect your CPD - it's a vital part of membership

Friday 17 February 2017

One of the biggest concerns members have about CPD is the time and cost element. But even if you don't realise it, the chances are you are already learning and engaged with your job in ways that can be logged against your membership profile as CPD.

Our CPD policy is important, as it is vital we are able to demonstrate the professionalism of members to the consumer, but it also encourages you to identify what you need to learn and what you have already achieved. Members are asked to log 12 hours CPD per year, but you will achieve far more than the requirement in a 12 month period.

Traditionally, CPD is considered to be study towards a qualification, attendance at courses or conferences and whilst these are important valid ways in which to learn and earn CPD hours, CPD is naturally achieved in many ways.

Any time you have a question, the journey to the answer is CPD. In our daily working lives, you must search for answers to queries, speaking to colleagues and various experts to get the answers. Once you have the answer you have achieved professional development, your knowledge is increased and you continue to get better at your roles. Taking time out once a month to consider what you have learned and logging it, not only ensures you fulfil the CPD requirement, but validates your learning and helps you to identify your own progress.

Activities not always identified as CPD

  • Observing colleagues in the office
  • Researching the answer to a query
  • Team meetings
  • Brainstorming exercises with colleagues
  • Being shown a new process
  • Learning how to use a new programme/piece of software
  • General networking with fellow professionals
  • Re-writing policies or procedures

Why not highlight your CPD to your manager to demonstrate your professionalism, and use the experience to plan what you want achieve next? Reflecting on your performance itself can be considered professional development and this should also be logged as CPD. Use this experience also to consider your skill set. What do you excel at and what skills do you wish to improve as part of CPD?  In addition to this, consider how you best learn. Do you learn better in a group environment, with a trainer, via presentation at conferences or by reading and researching? By identifying your best method of learning you are likely to get far more out of the chosen activity.

5 tips to help you achieve CPD

1. Review your performance regularly and log CPD as soon as it is achieved.

2. Assess what you want to learn and how you are going to do it.

3. Establish how you best learn, to maximise the benefit taken from any learning activity.

4. Acknowledge the day to day activities that could be considered CPD

5. Accept the important part CPD plays in your career.

Continuing professional development is inevitable, modern technology and an ever-evolving industry means we must continue to develop skills and knowledge, identifying what we have learned and recognising what we must aim to learn next gives us confidence in our abilities to continue promote ourselves as professionals in our field.

To log CPD, please login to the members’ area of the website.