CPD is recognised as an indispensable tool for career progression, enabling individuals to stay up-to-date with industry advancements, improve existing skills and knowledge, and can increasingly benefit a professional CV. The following article will provide practical insights and tips on how CPD can enhance your career trajectory.
What is CPD?
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It is a holistic and proactive approach to learning that encompasses various methodologies, including training courses, workshops, conferences, events, eLearning programs, best practice, and idea sharing. The undertaking of CPD activities is focused toward ongoing lifelong improvement and usually involves documenting and keeping a record of the increasing skills, knowledge and experience gained throughout an individual’s career.
Why is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) important?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is widely acknowledged as a fundamental avenue for elevating professional standards within industries, especially in an era characterised by rapid technological changes. Engaging in CPD activities allows individuals to thrive and adapt, tackle challenges and navigate the complexities of today's work environment.
Employers highly value professionals committed to lifelong learning, recognising CPD as a valuable asset that enhances competence and contributes to a broader professional profile, potentially opening doors to new opportunities. Completed on an annual basis, CPD ensures that individuals can stay updated, allowing them to precisely build on existing knowledge, essential for noticeable improvement in proficiency and skill sets. It also enables professionals to consistently direct attention to crucial areas of development, offering a framework to rectify any knowledge shortfalls.
Moreover, CPD is a strategic tool for remaining competitive among peers, providing opportunities for differentiation in scenarios such as job interviews or tendering for new work and business acquisition. As professional qualifications become more commonplace, a methodically planned approach to CPD empowers professionals to take charge of their own career development, leading to personal growth, confidence, and improved capabilities in the workplace.
Tips on using CPD to benefit your career
Every professional’s career is guided by pivotal moments, many of which are shaped by the choices we make in our ongoing development. The undertaking of CPD offers fundamental steps to further advance in your field, from refining your CV, negotiating better salaries, creating new opportunities in a current job role or positioning yourself for future leadership. Here, we'll look at practical ways to utilise CPD for tangible career advancement.
1. Opportunity for Specialisation or Diversification
Depending on your career goals, CPD can offer a pathway to either specialise in a niche area or diversify your skill set. If you're looking to become a subject matter expert, advanced CPD courses can provide in depth knowledge of your industry sector. Conversely, if you're looking to branch out or pivot in your career, CPD can introduce you to entirely new fields or disciplines, giving you a broader base from which to explore new career paths.
2. Negotiate a Better Salary or Role
Accumulating a set of specialised skills or achievements through CPD you demonstrate a commitment to your ongoing individual improvement. This can serve as a valuable factor for negotiating salary increases, promotions or seeking role changes, showcasing not only a commitment to personal growth, but also your value to the organisation.
3. Use It as a Stepping Stone for Leadership Positions
By undertaking CPD courses, especially those tailored towards leadership and management, you can position yourself as a prime candidate for these roles within the company. Building on existing abilities shows ambition, foresight, and a commitment to taking on greater responsibilities.
4. Make Connections Through CPD
CPD events often bring together a diverse group of professionals, providing an excellent chance for networking. By interacting with peers, industry leaders, and potential mentors, you can gain insights, collaborate on projects, and even discover further job opportunities. Across various industries, the strength of one's contacts can offer significant benefits throughout different stages of a person’s career.