Continual Professional Development
Who needs CPD?
Across the UK workforce, CPD is expected of most individual professionals in most sectors. It is generally governed by sector-specific professional bodies or regulators. Employers also increasingly expect their staff to undertake CPD, and may even measure them on it.
Anyone who is a member of a professional body is likely to have CPD requirements laid out for them by the body, rather than by their employer. There are currently over 2,000 professional bodies, institutes and membership associations nationally in the UK. They represent all industries and professions, and all have CPD policies known as CPD schemes.
Anyone who works within a sector that is formally regulated (e.g. by the Solicitors Regulation Authority or Financial Conduct Authority), is likely to be required to track and progress their CPD in order to maintain their license to practice or professional qualifications. Regulatory bodies are established to ensure that the public receives services of the required standard, so CPD is taken very seriously.
Employers will often support with CPD, and may even contribute to CPD plans. However, the onus is very much with the individual to source CPD training activities that meet their personal learning needs and objectives.
For training and learning providers, this offers a great opportunity to help individuals enhance their careers. By having a formal CPD accreditation, your training activities will have a much stronger appeal.
What are the benefits of CPD?
The benefits of CPD can be seen from two perspectives – that of the employee, and that of the employer.
For employees, CPD helps them keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date. It also ensures that the professional standard of their qualifications and registrations is maintained. Furthermore, it contributes to their professional sense of direction. Completing CPD helps build their confidence and credibility, allows them to showcase their achievements and equips them with tools to cope positively with change.
CPD is beneficial for employees’ career progression and advancement. Our CPD research project confirmed that for anyone hoping to get promoted, or wanting to specialise in a different area, demonstrating their learning agility and dedication to CPD can make a substantive difference. In real terms, this means that CPD contributes to achieving higher salaries.
For employers, the primary benefit of CPD is ensuring that standards across the company are high and consistent. CPD also promotes greater work engagement from the workforce and general commitment to job roles. Having a number of employees undertake CPD, whether concurrently or over a period of time, allows for the sharing of best practice and support. CPD also contributes to maximising staff potential, improves staff moral and provides a useful benchmark for annual appraisals.