CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It is a proactive, multi-dimensional approach to life-long learning. The CPD Standards Research Project (2022) defines CPD as:
“Intentionally developing your knowledge, skills and personal qualities to perform professional responsibilities successfully and stay current and competent.”
Across the globe, CPD is undertaken in most countries either as an individual's day to day life, or as a focussed professional practice. It describes the long haul career development process, programmes or activities professionals and organisations engage in to continually evolve.
In short, CPD is a currency of professional education and training, and is a simple tool that ensures continual learning for the daily challenges in work and life, and consequently protects the public from incompetence and malpractice.
CPD encompasses a wide range of activities aimed at improving professionalism, such as:
CPD, depending on the country or region involved, can be known by different terms. It can also possess different guidelines and procedures as to accreditation and certification. It is therefore necessary to note that these terms may be used interchangeably but they are generally concerned with a structured approach to all-time lifelong learning.
CPD is extremely flexible and combines numerous approaches to learning. Different procedures such as training workshops, e-learning programmes, best practices and idea sharing, conferences, events, seminars and private research are employed to promote suitability to clients. The main purpose for this service is to help individuals and professional bodies upgrade their practices.
Continuing Professional Development is different from conventional learning in its approach to long-term professional development, and encompasses a wide variety of academic and professional activities. It is a continual process of ongoing enhancements and improvements, and enables an individual to learn at their own pace with a flexible approach.
In 2022, CPD has become an important factor in determining who gets hired in the professional field. Employers do not only focus on academic qualifications nowadays; they also make these decisions based on the level of professionalism applicants exhibit and advancements made in career paths.
Engaging in ongoing improvement provides individuals with the skills necessary to stand out from the crowd. It makes individuals more experienced, dutiful and capable of handling various tasks to their client’s satisfaction and to meet and excel company standards and can make individuals masters of their field. CPD can take different forms – the one you choose depends on your discretion – all aimed at long-term professional development.
Dedication to continual professional development helps individuals to offer unique services in their workspace. It distinguishes such professionals from colleagues and competitors. Enhancing work skills through CPD prepares individuals for career change and makes them eligible for promotion because of extraordinary expertise.
Individuals who engage in CPD also perform better at tasks, improving performance and productivity. They are more likely to be recommended for complex tasks because of their broad knowledge.