A workshop is typically a practical learning activity that provides attendees with hands on experience in a particular subject matter. This article helps to explain what a CPD workshop is, how to plan and run a workshop and the benefits of attending workshops as part of an individual’s Continuing Professional Development requirements.
What is a CPD workshop?
A CPD workshop is often an interactive educational group session designed to introduce new topics and ideas. CPD workshops can also be used to explore a particular subject in greater detail. The length of a workshop is often short and can vary between typically between half a day to 3 days of learning.
What is the purpose of a CPD workshop?
CPD workshops are a great way to teach hands-on practical skills as participants can try out new methods in a controlled environment which then can be applied to their profession.
As CPD workshops are run in a group setting, individuals have the opportunity to discuss best practice, share ideas and views, as well as build upon new and existing professional relationships with others within the group. Workshops usually involve a trainer who will plan and prepare presentations and activities to ensure the workshop leads to the desired result.
What is the difference between workshops and seminars?
Workshops and seminars are similar as both allow professionals to further enhance their knowledge, but there are a few key differences.
CPD workshops tend to offer more of a hands-on approach to learning which may include practical exercises, breakout sessions and role plays. Attending a seminar is often more of a one-directional training method, which will include a presentation, possibly handouts and case studies for the delegates to review. Both CPD workshops and seminars will often allow the learners to ask questions and discuss any topic-related ideas in further detail within the time restraints of the learning activity.
Primary purpose or goal
CPD workshops can often provide learners with the chance to choose what subject matters and activities they would like to take part in throughout the day, as there could be a multiple of different options available. CPD workshops will often provide attendees with exercises and further reading to take away from the session. Comparatively the purpose of a seminar is often more theory-based and it is likely that a seminar will be one specific discussion topic without too much deviation, so that attendees can apply the knowledge from the session immediately.
Interaction between tutor and learner
The primary difference between a CPD workshop and a seminar is the communication style. Seminars are typically larger in attendee numbers compared to CPD workshops, and although discussions do take place in seminars, the style of a workshop enables a more two-way interactive communication between the learner and the trainer.
As workshops are often run in smaller groups with less people attending, this can allow for the tutor and the learners to build much stronger relationships and to explore a particular topic in a higher level of detail.