Overview of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Politicians

Overview of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Politicians

18 Oct 2021

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This article aims to provide a brief introduction to CPD for politicians. In this article, we have provided an overview of CPD for politicians as well as listed some of the professional bodies that are helping to promote the development of political studies. We also discuss the benefits of CPD as although the industry doesn’t have any requirements to take part in training, it goes without saying that participating in CPD will benefit both you and the industry.

Training to become a Politician - brief overview

In 1882 Robert Louis Stevenson said ‘Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is deemed necessary’. Today it seems that his comments still apply as despite a wealth of understanding in work psychology about how to train and support people in work roles, minimal efforts have been made to apply this knowledge to political work.

In the UK if you are currently a politician or simply aspiring to be one, you might be aware that Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is not something that is regulated in the industry. Currently there is very little regulation around the training that must be taken by politicians, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking to upskill once you have entered the industry. There are currently an abundance of private training courses in the political sector which we believe all professionals working within the industry should be participating in.

The training courses on offer usually cover:

  • Political Analysis
  • Policy Making
  • Ethics
  • Campaigning & Campaign Funding
  • Debating
  • Influencing Skills
  • Network-Building 

Many people have recognized that there are numerous benefits from keeping up to date with your professional development, which has led to a number of professional bodies being established with the goal of encouraging the industry to keep on top of their CPD.

Professional Bodies in the Politics Sector

As there is no regulation towards training in the political industry as a whole, many private organizations have set up to help establish an industry standard towards CPD for politicians. We have listed a few of the professional bodies below that are promoting CPD for politicians.

Institute for government (here) - is one of the leading think tanks working to make government more effective. They provide research and analysis, topical commentary and public events to explore the key challenges facing government.

The Political Studies Association (here) - was founded in 1950, with the main objective to promote the development of political studies and encourage education and learning improvement in the art and science of government, as well as in other divisions of political sciences.

Political Studies Association of Ireland (here) - was established in 1982 with the purpose of promoting the study of politics in Ireland. It has served a crucial constituency of academics, students, journalists and political practitioners.

European Consortium for Political Research (here) - Founded in 1970, European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) are a leading European academic association with a mission to advance political science. The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) was established by a group of twelve founding European universities and as the result of a project led by eminent political scientists.

Benefits of CPD in the Politics sector

What are the benefits of CPD?

There are numerous benefits to staying on top of your professional development as a politician. CPD benefits individuals by providing a structured and methodical framework to learning which helps individuals to focus on improving both their workplace skills and knowledge.

It aims to help support academic qualifications with ongoing vocational and skills-based learning. CPD can help any individual to ensure that both their academic and practical qualifications do not become outdated, and provide a framework to allow an individual to continually upskill throughout their career.

CPD can support politicians to showcase their further learning and development, which can help create a competitive advantage within their industry as well as make sure that all professionals within the sector are constantly improving and evolving to support the needs of the industry as it changes.

How to find Politics CPD courses

We hope this brief overview of CPD for politicians was helpful. If you are looking for CPD providers, courses and events to support your professional development in the politics sector you can find a full range of CPD providers and accredited courses in the Industry Hubs section of the website. Alternatively if you are looking for more articles to read on different subjects please go to the CPD articles and news section of the website.

CPD News Team

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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