CPD – Think Again!

“Oh, no! Not CPD! It’s just a boring, demotivating chore that tells you what you already know… isn’t it?”

We’ve all sat through some dire training sessions, simply looking at the clock in mind-numbing boredom, waiting for it to end, and retaining very little of what we were taught. But Continuous Professional Development doesn’t need to be like that.

Let’s take a quick look at the common pitfalls of CPD and how we can help you make the most of your learning experience.

CPD is not simply about ‘ticking boxes’. You may have to undertake a specific amount of training in a year but it is not the quantity but the quality of that learning that really makes a difference. If you take CPD seriously, you will find it more rewarding.

CPD is not about providing a ‘one size fits all’ solution. If you are doing training that is not related to your work, or if you’re just going over things you already know, you’re not likely to reap the benefits that CPD can offer.

Therefore, make sure you identify specific learning and development needs. This way you will recognise the gaps in your knowledge. Our ‘gap analysis’ assessments on the Development Zone can help you do this. However, we can’t do it all! Your training needs are about you. Where do you feel you could improve? Be sure to also speak with your managers or your colleagues to better understand your needs. Remember to keep these needs up to date!

Without clear goals, you are unlikely to retain focus or motivation. Setting SMART learning objectives will help. If your objectives are not specific or clear enough, you may lose your way. Maintaining your momentum and motivation will help you get the most out of your training.

Many people don’t record or reflect on their learning. When you write down what you’ve achieved and how it has helped you meet your learning objectives, the benefits of CPD will become much clearer. Be sure to use the Record CPD feature on the Development Zone to help you do this. Our Open Badge rewards will also provide a clear record of what you’ve accomplished online.

Remember, CPD helps you remain competent by keeping your skills and subject knowledge up to date. By embracing CPD, you can also stand out from the crowd, showing your employers (or potential employers) that you are willing to learn, meet new challenges and take your training needs seriously.

It is just as much about personal development as professional development. Bear this in mind and keep motivated!

About the author

Nathan joined RWA in 2016 on successfully completing his PhD. He previously worked in the private, public and charitable sectors. Nathan leads the content and professional standards team at RWA and is responsible for managing and curating technical content on the Aviva Development Zone and the award-winning My Development Zone e-learning platforms.

Since joining RWA, Nathan has written hundreds of business skills e-learning modules and assessments on a variety of subjects, including leadership and management, communication skills, human resources, employability, regeneration, citizenship and equalities.

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