Continuing Professional Development

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a process by which individuals take control of their own learning and development, by engaging in an on-going process of reflection and action. This process is empowering and exciting and can stimulate people to achieve their aspirations and move towards their dreams.

CPD provides the opportunity to soar like an eagle or a helicopter and look at our career progress from a wider perspective. It challenges us to make time for regular personal reflection and review. It reminds us that we have the responsibility for developing ourselves rather than pushing the onus on to our manager or others in the organisation. Remember the old saying, ‘You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’? Our response to that is to say that CPD is about becoming thirsty – thirsty for new knowledge, thirsty for new skills, thirsty for new experiences

The need for CPD arises because security for individuals no longer lies in the job or organisation we work for but in the skills, knowledge and experience that we have within ourselves. Authoritative reports (Institute for Employment Studies – Tamkin et al., 1995; Industrial Relations Services, 1998; Income Data Services, 1999) highlight CPD as a major intervention that we can make into our own development.

What makes CPD different from other types of training and development? 1 The learner is in control – CPD starts from the learner’s dream. 2 CPD is a holistic process and can address all aspects of life and the balance between them.

3 Regular looking forward to how we want to be, reflecting on how we are, and working from our present position towards the future direction, helps in achieving CPD’s purposes and adds zest and direction to work and learning.

4 CPD works if you have the support and financial backing of your employer, and it also works even if the employer is indifferent or hostile.
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