CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, is the term used to describe the learning activities that professionals engage in, to develop and enhance their abilities.
Professional skills and knowledge can be developed through independent, participation-based, or interactive learning, which allows professionals to improve their capabilities, as well as gain confidence in a new area where they may have gaps in their knowledge or, where the sector has evolved and new practices or techniques have surfaced.
CPD can be undertaken informally, through the perusal of case studies and articles, listening to industry specific podcasts (such as the Laser Podcast), or studying academic papers written by industry experts. It can also be undertaken formally, in a more active and structured approach.
This could encompass offline workshops and events, or the more convenient option of online learning through short courses, such as the NCFE CACHE and Skills for Care endorsed courses provided by Laser Learning.
Peter Drucker, the famous author and educator whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation, once said, “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change.”
Indeed, every industry changes and evolves, rendering some (albeit not all) of the skills and knowledge gained during an earlier qualification outdated. In order to improve their skills and knowledge while working, professionals must seek out continuous professional development opportunities.
Having already gained academic qualifications and working in your industry of choice, simply means you are at the start of your journey, rather than the end of it.
Being well equipped to embrace change, whether legislative (eg revisions to the EYFS), trend-based (particularly in the ongoing digital revolution), or implementing new methodologies backed by cutting-edge research, is only possible through perpetual learning.
Furthermore, in an increasingly competitive job market, CPD could be the difference between career progression or stagnation, and financial security or instability. The confidence gained through CPD could also fuel creativity and initiative to continue exceeding expectations and helping your organisation in new ways that were previously not possible.
Continuing Professional Development is of great benefit to both learners as well as employers and managers.
From the learner’s perspective, it improves skills, knowledge, and confidence, demonstrates ambition and commitment to self-improvement in a professional capacity, opens doors for excellent career opportunities, and also impresses current employers by highlighting their growing skillset.
It also sets into perpetual motion, a natural inclination to continue learning, by improving and reinforcing the person’s ability to actually learn, through the formation of habits that may have been lost many years ago.
From the employer’s perspective, it improves overall productivity with the help of a motivated workforce who are continually broadening their skills and knowledge. It also enhances the external reputation of the organisation among clients and other stakeholders.
Laser Learning’s CACHE endorsed short course on partnership with parents, for example, can help strengthen the partnership with parents and carers in a childcare setting, improve conflict resolution, and ultimately have a positive impact on revenue and growth through reputation and culture alone.
In terms of fostering a culture of learning and setting high standards across the company for staff development, a popular approach is the unlimited subscription route, whereby organisations can gain unlimited access to all the short courses that a provider offers rather than having to purchase them on an individual basis.
As well as offering superior value for money, it also enables managers to track staff progress and ensure there is an ongoing company-wide trend of professional development.
Professionals looking for CPD resources and opportunities are advised to seek out a reputable, well-established provider with a strong track record of supplying excellent learning materials endorsed by the leading awarding organisation in their sector.
Another factor is undoubtedly cost, particularly in the current economic climate, so CPD courses that offer great value for money are also high in demand.
With over 100,000 short course learners and a presence in 13 countries, an award-winning provider like Laser Learning can give you confidence that their 149 (and counting) short courses will help you meet your CPD objectives, and reap all the associated benefits.
The courses are written by industry professionals with an expertise in childcare, teaching, business, and lots more, and their wealth of knowledge is recognised through prevalent endorsement from the awarding organisations NCFE CACHE, and Skills for Care.
Courses are designed to be simple and easy to navigate, and are accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a computer, mobile, or tablet.
The last of the five W’s is “when”. In conclusion, when will you take action? In a fast-paced world full of new challenges, obstacles, and opportunities, are you proactively equipping yourself to embrace change, or are you prepared for the uphill battle associated with a more reactive approach?
Lauren Bacall once said, “standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards in a rapidly changing world.”
Resume your journey of professional growth and development by downloading this free eBook on encouraging positive behaviour in a learning environment, and ensure that tomorrow you are slightly more knowledgeable and skilled than you were yesterday.