Professional Development – Why it matters

We’re now over a month into 2022. How are your New Year’s resolutions progressing? Still going strong – or long forgotten? The start of a New Year is often a time to re-focus and set new goals and challenges for the year ahead – but it can also be a busy time, with emails to catch-up on and projects to be continued.

CPD probably wasn’t the first thing on most people’s minds as they headed back to work after the festive break, so it’s understandable if it hasn’t crossed your mind yet.

There are, however, many benefits to completing CPD, beyond regulatory requirements. This article looks at why you might not want to overlook your professional development.

So why is CPD worthwhile?

  • Maintaining and enhancing your skills and knowledge

Developing skills and knowledge has benefits for your customers, your employer and your peers. If you don’t take the time to keep your knowledge up to date, you risk letting them down by giving incorrect advice. This may have financial, reputational and legal implications for yourself and your employer.  

  • Keeping up with your peers

If you’re not undertaking CPD you may fall behind your peers who are doing so. Consider that your colleague is recording the required 15 hours CPD per year – but you aren’t. Who looks better in the eyes of your employer? A commitment to CPD demonstrates dedication, and you don’t want to fall behind others in your workplace who are more diligent. Healthy competition between colleagues can also be a motivating factor.

  • Progressing in your career

Developing your skills and knowledge will help you grow in your job role and give you a better idea of the areas in which you’d like to progress. Showing a willingness to learn may make you a more likely candidate for promotion if this is a path you’d like to pursue. You will also be in better position to manage or mentor others.

  • Keeping up to date with industry changes

It is important to be able to keep up with the pace of regulatory change. Regulation changes frequently in the financial services sector and undertaking CPD via webinars, e-learning modules, training courses and even reading the industry press will help you stay in the loop.

  • Personal development

Learning should be a personal, as well as professional, endeavour. Completing CPD brings with it a certain level of satisfaction at having achieved something. This in turn can improve our self-confidence and wellbeing.

Ultimately, of course, CPD is a regulatory requirement, and, under the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), staff involved in insurance distribution – including those responsible for supervising or managing such activities – need to complete a minimum of 15 hours of CPD each year. This may be more for members of a professional body – such as the CII, which requires 35 hours of CPD per year.

Why not get ahead of the game and start prioritising your professional development?

About the author

Lisa joined RWA in 2014 as an e-Learning Assistant and now heads up RWA’s Design and Content Team. Her role as Head of Content and Communications involves managing content creation and curation on the Aviva Development Zone platform and serving as editor of RWA Insight.

Lisa has diverse creative and technical writing experience. She holds a first class honours degree in English and Creative Writing from Swansea University and graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a Distinction in Creative Writing in 2016.

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