Many professions participate in and benefit from Continuing Professional Development or CPD as it is more commonly referred to. CPD is a method of improving your own learning and growth within your work using a variety of ideas, techniques and approaches. This is monitored to maximise the benefits to your individual needs as well as that of your company on an ongoing basis.

The aim of CPD is to keep you current with up to date information relevant to your field, build your confidence, give you a way to be able to highlight your achievements – all of which can be helpful when you are going for that promotion or performance review. But not only does it help you, it helps your company, as it helps highlight areas that staff may need extra training, and gives them a better understanding of each individuals needs.

The requirements regarding CPD vary from industry to industry, with some having a very relaxed approach, but others like CPD for Solicitors and Barristers for example, or CPD for Accountants having a fixed set of requirements that have to met within a specified timeframe.

CPD (even for people like Solicitors, Barristers and Accountants) doesn’t follow a fixed curriculum. It is left to the individual to follow a path of learning that suits them (and the business they are in) best. The important part of CPD is the learning of skills and knowledge that will improve your day to day business. This could be something done on your own time that changes how you think about communicating with others, or field specific training courses or webinars that you participate in like those offered by companies like CLT or Quorum Training.

Anything that aids you to meet the development objectives that you have set out will count towards your CPD if you decide to record it. By recording and tracking your development when it comes to your annual review it is easier to see what you have learnt and the best way to continue your development.

The ways to record your CPD are as varied as the ways in which you can learn – some people want to write a detailed account, others prefer just to scratch a quick comment down or write out a “question and answer” style document – so long as when you come to your review, your notes make sense for you to be able to answer the questions asked there is no set format in which your CPD has to be presented.

Continuing Professional Development is becoming more and more popular with employers, if you would like more information then check the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s website.