Do you keep hearing the phrase CPD mentioned around you, but you’re unsure of what it is?  CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development, and it’s widely recognised around the world as a fundamental way to improve the skills and standards of individuals and their industries.  

To make sure you’re searching for the right CPD opportunities, it’s critical that you understand why it’s important, why it exists, and what its primary purpose is. 

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

Continuing Professional Development is a combination of ideas, techniques, and approaches that are designed to help you manage and enhance your growth, abilities and learning as a professional. It applies to most industries and professions, from law and technology, to teaching, marketing and IT. While the focus is on the outcomes you receive, CPD can provide you with many skills you can leverage in your day-to-day interactions as well.

Instead of centring on passive and reactive learning, CPD favours the conscious and proactive, so professionals are prepared for the next challenge. It prefers to enhance personal skills and apply them in the workplace, and there are a variety of different techniques involved, including conferences, workshops, e-learning and online courses.

When you participate in CPD, it makes sure that your current academic and practical qualifications never become outdated and provides you with the learning opportunities to continually upskill, regardless of your age, education level, or where you’re at in your professional career.

Plus, CPD is also useful if you need to adapt to workplace changes. Today’s world is evolving rapidly, so engaging in CPD will help you to prepare for future jobs, as well as prove you are always committed to professionalism and self-development.

Essentially, it ensures your proficiency and competency in your profession while also instilling skills that are tailor-made for progression in your given field.

What are the benefits of CPD?

No matter what industry you’re in, the best way to get ahead is to continuously expand your professional repertoire with new skills and approaches. CPD helps you to signpost learning achievements, helps you avoid a skills gap and puts the cherry on top of your professional profile.

1. Stay up to date with changing trends

We all know the world of work is always evolving and changing, especially in the 21st century and after the pandemic and two years of lockdowns. As working from home became the norm, multiple technologies and software had to update and adjust to the unprecedented changes - keeping up to date has never been more important than it has now.

So, whether you take part in CPD training through short courses or microcredentials, you’ll have the opportunity to stay on top of the current trends in your industry. This is, of course, an incredibly important aspect, no matter what field you’re in, as failing to keep up with changing movements will result in you falling behind and your work quality slipping.

For example, if you’re in the healthcare profession, you’ll know that new, innovative technology is always being developed, changed, introduced and created to improve public health. Being aware of when these changes are being implemented, preparing for said changes, and being knowledgeable about them will keep both you and your employer one step ahead of the game.

2. Maintain and enhance your knowledge to provide a better service

Expanding your knowledge is always going to improve what you can deliver, from quicker methods to get things done, conflict approaches, and improved management styles. CPD can help you address any skills you feel you may need a refresh on and enhance the ones you’re already skilled at. A constant up-to-date skillset is ideal for providing the best possible service in your industry at all times.

3. Become more effective in your workplace

Your increased knowledge will give you the power to become more effective in the workplace. This opens doors to career progression - wherever the direction you want to progress may be. You’ll also be able to share the extra things you’ve learned from CPD and showcase your leadership skills.

4. Increase your interest in your profession

There’s no denying that people can end up feeling uninspired every so often in their professions - even if it’s an industry you’ve always loved and always wanted to be a part of. However, Continuing Professional Development can provide you with new knowledge and fresh skillset/areas that can help you to stay interested and engaged in your job role.

Learning a new skill or approach to your work has tangible results in the form of higher rates of efficiency and productivity due to you taking on something different and new.

Why it's important for employers

Typically, the responsibility for this lifelong learning is down to the professional individual. It shows they’re always looking to progress, and that they have initiative and a genuine love for the industry they’re in.

However, the fact that an individual is prepared to take on the extra work of CPD can be down to their employer and their attitude to progression. While you should encourage your employees to take part and instil the importance of continued professional development, you need to make sure that your staff want to do it for the love of the company and their job.

There are so many ways employers can entice their workforce to engage in CPD like flexible options - part-time workshops, events, exhibitions and courses etc., it’s essential for company progression and networking opportunities that employees take the time to further their skills. Moreover, through enterprise learning, you can design bespoke courses that meet your business's needs.

Find your next CPD course

Whether you’re working for a company, and you want to increase your chances of a promotion, or you’re the hirer and are looking for candidates with an extra edge, check out the CPD courses we offer.