‘CONTINUING TO LEARN IS A BOX OF TREASURE THAT WILL FOLLOW ITS OWNER EVERYWHERE’ – CHINESE PROVERB
I was asked today, why I continue to study in the very little spare time I have, ‘surely you are far too busy to be doing courses, reading books and attending events’ was a comment made by a good friend.
Well ‘yes I am’ I politely explained - in fact very busy all of the time and having an 8 year old daughter also brings its own challenges and pressures too, but for me personally alongside networking (the development and maintenance of mutually beneficial relationships) I have always believed that Continuous Professional Development or CPD as its often referred to, has been the key to ensuring my clients get the best service possible at the same time as I continue to develop my skill-set and knowledge base and my business partners (or employers in the past) always get the best value, benefiting from my work and performance.
I thought it may be useful to highlight some of the benefits of CPD to others who may be considering studying in their spare time, attending a conference or event or indeed something as simple as reading other peoples thoughts and ideas on a personal website blog (stranger things have happened!!).
Opportunities for CPD are all around us every day and here are some reasons to take it a lot more serious.
Firstly, what is CPD? Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is the means by which people maintain their knowledge and skills related to their professional lives.
So, what are the benefits then?
1. CPD allows you to extend the depth of your knowledge and understanding into related and new fields that will benefit your current role.
2. CPD ensures that you maintain, develop and enhance the knowledge, understanding and skills you need to deliver a professional service to your customers, clients and those you engage with in a professional capacity.
3. CPD ensures your capabilities keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field and hopefully advance and progress further thus allowing you to become an asset to your organisation.
4. CPD ensures that you and your knowledge stay relevant and up to date at all times on current industry affairs. You are more aware of the changing trends and directions in your profession and are comfortable discussing current issues.
5. CPD can deliver a deeper understanding of what it means to be a professional, along with a greater appreciation of the implications and impacts of your work.
6. CPD often provides the opportunity to engage and learn from others in your specialist field by interaction and idea sharing at events, by attending courses and online discussion.
7. CPD allows you to hone and fine tune existing skills, develop new ones and also helps you fill knowledge and skills gaps.
8. CPD is often recognised by professional membership bodies and organisations in your chosen field and will assist you in building your reputation for all the right reasons.
9. CPD helps you to understand the theory behind the practical application (and vice versa).
10. CPD today is viewed by employers as one of the most important aspects of an individual’s career and should be taken very seriously.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) should be viewed as an investment in yourself. In today’s world, most employers if not all encourage CPD and in some cases support it by ways of funding, time off or by providing educational development programmes.