7 Benefits of Continued Professional Development
Continuing Professional Development - What is it and who benefits?
Wikipedia – an acceptable authority – defines Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as:
the means by which people maintain the knowledge and skills related to their professional lives. (It’s) a structured approach to learning to help ensure competence … by taking in knowledge, skills and practical experience. CPD can involve any relevant learning activity, whether formal and structured or informal and self-directed.
It's widely accepted that the importance of CPD should not be underestimated, with it today considered a commitment for all professionals.
CPD, lifelong learning and training - what are the differences?
Lifelong learning is the "ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated" pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. it enhances social inclusion, personal development, self-sustainability, competitiveness and employability.
Training – according to its common interpretation is formal and linear. It involves learning how to do something specific and relates to skill and competence. Training can be as simple as using a PC application and as complex as learning how to be a brain surgeon.
Development - on the other hand is described as often informal and is aimed at providing the tools to do a range of things that are reliant on capability and competency.
In plain-speak, it’s all about upskilling: going from a basic appreciation of something to a “more advanced, mature or complex understanding”. Alternatively though, professional development can also be around building capacity by widening your range of broad-based, transferable skills like organisation, leadership or project management.
Any culture that embraces continued learning, training and professional development will deliver ongoing advantages to individual employees and their employers. But better work practices gained through learning also encourage productivity, efficiency, increased teamwork, better, more informed customer service and contribute to the common good.
CPD empowers employees to:
- Keep pace with current industry standards
- Maintain the level of contemporary competencies essential for delivering a professional service to colleagues, managers, customers, clients and the community
- Make a meaningful, more effective contribution to teamwork
- Gain the skills and confidence to lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others.
- Stay interested and interesting: engage more forcefully and for a longer time
- Open up to new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas
- Better appreciate the implications and impacts of their work.
So employers gain a more efficient and productive workforce that is generally happier, healthier, more engaged less inclined to quit and encouraged to champion their employer brand.