The newsLINK Group - The Case for Continuing Professional Development

Editorial Library Category: Associations & Membership Topics: Continuing Professional Development Title: The Case for Continuing Professional Development Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: The concept of continuing professional development (CPD) is not new. Professionals have long recognized the importance of gaining knowledge, improving skills, and developing marketable qualities. Editorial: The Case for Continuing Professional Development 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 The concept of continuing professional development (CPD) is not new. Professionals have long recognized the importance of gaining knowledge, improving skills, and developing marketable qualities. That is why medical, legal, and educational fields have put CPD requirements in place for continued licensing. What is new today is the broad relevance of CPD when it comes to everyone’s success, regardless of their specific expertise. CPD has always been part of good professional practice , but that professionalism relies increasingly on an ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions, to client requirements, and to the influences of government policies. Even though we are all being encouraged to innovate, doing so often demands mastering new skills. As a result, having access to CPD throughout your professional career is increasingly central to your professional and organizational success. Many professions, even those without the tradition of licensing requirements, are choosing to embrace the concept of CPD because their leaders understand that learning under the guidance of one or more experts will almost certainly save them time, money, and effort. CPD has an additional benefit. The requirements for working in the nonprofit sector often include advanced skills and knowledge that may not have been formally taught earlier, such as personnel management, business development, management techniques, and client care skills, many of which only become relevant when you are no longer a beginner. Undertaking CPD activities, when combined with experiential learning, is an essential way to help ensure that you have the necessary all-around skills and knowledge you need as you continue to progress. The following sections describe the top reasons for CPD in more detail. Professional Competence Some experts estimate that the knowledge gained in some degree courses has an average useful lifespan of about four years. While this will vary according to the discipline, it does nevertheless highlight the increasing need to maintain an active interest in changing legislation, technology, and operational procedures. You will get left behind if you stand still. Suppose you want to increase your managerial responsibilities. In that case, the need to acquire new skills and knowledge in a rapidly changing work environment becomes even more acute. CPD helps you to stay interested and interesting. Although experience is a great teacher, it does not give you exposure to anything you haven’t done before. Focused CPD opens you up to new knowledge, new possibilities, and new skill areas. CPD ensures that you will be more aware of the changing trends and directions in your profession as you work to stay relevant. Changing Expectation of Members and Consumers The development of a more affluent consumer society combined with access to the Internet has also resulted in a better informed and more sophisticated public. One consequence of this trend is that people expect a higher duty of care and level of service from their professional advisors than they did in the past. They can, and do, double-check information on the Internet all the time to help them determine whether you are trustworthy. Compared with the access to knowledge everyone enjoys, the skills you acquired during your initial training period or during formal classroom education may not completely equip you for the role you are now expected to take. Your ability to provide tailored customer service and to prevent information overload by identifying just the essentials is crucial. CPD can help you do both. It ensures that you maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills you need to deliver a high level of personal service to your customers, clients, and the community. CPD can lead to increased public confidence in individual professionals and in entire professions.