CPD tips – How to develop effective research skills

CPD tips – How to develop effective research skills

26 Jun 2024

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With the development of new research methods and technologies, there has been an increased demand for competent researchers who can apply these skills effectively. Research professionals require various abilities that are valued by organisations across industry sectors. In this article, we explain why research skills are important, including tips on becoming a more effective researcher and how CPD courses can help to develop research skills.

What are research skills and why are they important?

Research skills are the skills required to successfully plan research projects, find relevant information, and present findings in a valuable manner. Exercising media literacy, data analysis, strategic thinking, and attention to detail are all important abilities that contribute to effective research.

Research is essential as it helps individuals further their understanding of a topic and provides more insight into an area. Good research helps professionals and organisations operate with more proficiency and consistency, as they become better informed and less reliant on biases and assumptions.

Developing competent research skills is important, as valuable research can be difficult to achieve without understanding the fundamentals of research practice. To ensure a high standard of output when researching, it is important to establish core research skills and develop knowledge in this area.

Key tips on how to become an effective researcher

Being an effective researcher takes patience and perseverance. It also requires the development of specialist skills that ensure you are providing value as a researcher. Some key tips on how to be an effective researcher include:

1. Generate reliable research methods

Research can be time consuming. Developing effective and reliable research methods can help you find relevant information quickly and consistently. Examples of reliable research methods may include publications, journals, industry briefings and online resources.

2. Be versatile

While reliable and tested research methods are usually at the centre of an effective research process, it is important to be versatile when needed. Research can open unexpected areas and topics requiring new methods and sources of information. Staying versatile and open minded with research methods can help provide a more well-rounded approach to research.

3. Remain neutral

When researching, it is important to remain neutral and analyse information objectively. Bias can corrupt research as results may favour certain facts while neglecting other key points. Building a rounded case by understanding opposing viewpoints and elucidating a fair conclusion is crucial for effective results.

4. Collect and present research appropriately

When completing a research project, it is important to take notes of the information you have found and organise it in a way that is meaningful and appropriate. This may depend on whether the research is for personal use or for use by others. If your research is to be shared, it should be easily accessible and presented in a way that is prescriptive and sensical. You may also want to present conclusions and findings in a manner that offers insight and adds value to the information.

5. Be thorough, fact check and meet standards

Information can often be misrepresented or outdated. It is important to be thorough and use multiple sources to fact check research to avoid providing misinformation. Misinformation can be problematic and lead to poor outcomes - for example, research that includes information which is outdated and conflicts with current industry standards and regulations.

Engaging with CPD can be a valuable way of improving your research skills. CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and is the term used to describe the learning activities individuals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities throughout their career. At its core, CPD is about the individual and their commitment to lifelong learning.

CPD for research skills

Benefits of CPD training courses for developing research skills

Research professionals will gain many advantages through active CPD participation. Examples of some of the primary benefits are:

Stay up to date with technology and trends

Relevant trends and technologies used for research rapidly change and evolve. To make sure you are using the best tools and following industry best practices, you can participate in CPD for research skills, or CPD relevant to your industry or area of study.

Learn how to utilise AI advancements

A specific field of technology currently revolutionising many research practices is the development of artificial intelligence (AI). AI models can help individuals search online with higher specificity than older search engines and can process data and information much quicker than before. Developing AI skills by participating in CPD for AI can help you build new research methods that replace less effective, or outdated processes.

Cost-effective learning methods

Participating in CPD to improve research skills can often be a cost-effective option. CPD courses and learning are often affordable, or even free, offering learners a chance to develop their skills and knowledge without overextending their budget.

Easy to access

CPD incorporates different types of learning in a way that allows learners to be proactive and flexible. For example, online CPD courses in research skills offer great value while being highly accessible. This can be beneficial for individuals who cannot travel to a specific location or commit to a specific date and time.

Become a specialist

Using CPD to improve research skills can help you build a broad understanding of research methods and practices, but it can also help you specialise in a specific area of expertise or industry. Developing specialist research skills can help improve competency in a job role and enhance wider career prospects by making you a higher value employee.

Improve research strategy

Planning is an important aspect of research, and engaging with CPD for research skills can help professionals develop more refined research strategies. Improved research strategy can often improve results as it is easier for the researcher to find relevant information and present it in a way that adds value.


CPD is a great means of building and developing a network. By participating in CPD Events and learning, individuals will meet other research professionals, and can learn best research methods and practices from peers and industry experts.

CPD as a research method

Active CPD can be a valuable research method itself. It presents opportunities to engage in CPD learning which could support a specific research project. For example, this could involve participating in CPD in a specific area of industry to gain more information as part of wider research.

Where to find CPD courses to develop effective research skills?

Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation working across all industries. We work with a number of providers offering different types of accredited CPD activities, which can be beneficial for those wanting to learn and improve their research skills.

Within the CPD Courses Catalogue, you can find a comprehensive range of training courses, educational events, eLearning programs, conferences, workshops and seminars which have all been formally CPD certified. To find out more about a particular CPD research course listed on our website, please complete an enquiry form and the details will be sent directly to the relevant CPD provider.

How to become an accredited CPD provider

If you are looking to provide training courses, seminars, conferences, workshops, eLearning or educational events that may be suitable for Continuing Professional Development, please visit the Become a CPD Provider page or contact our team to discuss in more detail.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a free online CPD record tool to help manage, track and log your ongoing Continuing Professional Development, as well as store your personal training record and CPD attendance certificates in one simple place, please visit the myCPD Portal page.

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For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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