This page will help you to get started with your CPD.
Many people equate Continuing Professional Development with formal training. In fact, the IIA considers "any new learning that impacts favourably on effectivesness within a professional role" to be CPD.
Focus your CPD
Everybody has to decide what CPD is right for them. The Institute recognises that their will be a number of considerations: previous learning and training; employer expectations; career ambitions; personal aspirations; sector demands; technical requirements; and practical opportunities.
It is therefore important to have clear aims. One approach is to consider the professional competencies involved in fulfilling the responsibilities of your role. Your employer may have a competency framework that can help you. Alternatively, you can use the Institute's CPD competency framework to analyse your needs and select target areas for your CPD.
Plan your CPD
The next stage for successful CPD is to plan the activities that are going to help you achieve your goals. These may include courses, workshops, seminars or similar. Do ensure you carefully review information from course organisers: who is the course aimed at? What are the learning outcomes? What activities will be undertaken? If you are not sure about a particular activity then contact the provider - too often participants leave a workshop disappointed that their own objectives were not met.
Other activities may also enhance your professional competence including voluntary work, research, writing papers and textbooks, lecturing at a local college and political activities such as being a local councillor.
Discuss your options with your peers. Find out what they have done recently.
Ten no-cost CPD activities recommended by the Office of Government Commerce
- Write reports, speeches, board papers and make presentations
- Lead on an initiative
- Work in a multi-disciplinary team
- Coach, tutor and mentor others
- Take a secondment, observe and work shadow
- Recruit and appraise others
- Supervise new staff as part of their induction
- Get involved in working groups, focus groups, forums and panels
- Deputise and provide cover for someone more senior
- Get involved in professional committees
Look for support
It is vital to have support from your line manager. Buy-in for your planned activity should enable you to get access to the right resources and information you need. By talking through your ideas you can refine your plans and ensure that your ambitions dovetail with your employer's needs.
Reflect and apply
Research shows that learning is lost very quickly if it is not reviewed and applied as soon as possible. As much as 90% of learning may be lost within weeks. Take stock of what you have learned and consider how well it has met your objectives. If you can't put your training into practice straight away then pass it on to your colleagues - a good way of learning something is to teach it.
Once you have reflected on what you have learned and how you might apply it, reflect upon what your next targets should be so that you always have an eye on your continued development.
Take a team approach
Your efforts will be more effective if you work closely with colleagues. Plan your CPD as a team, pool your resources (such as course materials and contacts), and use the experience within your team, the organisation and other peers. Share good practice via networks and discussion forums.