Continuous Professional Development

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is the way in which you keep your knowledge, skills and working practices up to date. This can be achieved by attending courses, cluster /branch network group meetings, staff meetings and shadowing or working alongside other professionals. It is important that you keep a record of your on-going development.

Identifying learning and development needs is the first step to continuous professional development.  It is important that this is carried out and supported by your line manager. During this process you and your manager will identify the knowledge and skills you require to carry out your job more effectively. You may also consider the skills and knowledge required if you are interested in changing jobs, career progression or taking on additional tasks within your organisation.  It is also important to consider the practical experience you may need to further develop your skills or knowledge.

The following checklist may be used as a guide.

1.  What skills, knowledge and qualifications are required to carry out your current job role?

2.  Have you identified any gaps in the skills, knowledge or qualifications required for your current job role?

3.  What is your preferred method of learning? For example:

  • Do you like to attend a course with others, or study using a flexible approach for example distance learning or on the internet?
  • Would you prefer to complete theory based qualifications or qualifications with a more practical element to it?  Refer to the section on Occupational and Vocational Qualifications for further details.

4.  What programmes, opportunities or courses are available to help increase your skills, improve your knowledge or gain qualifications?  Refer to the aims, objective, learning outcomes or content of the learning activity.

5.  Discuss and approve your request with your setting manager/supervisor.

6.  Consider how will the training be funded?

The process of CPD needs to be recorded to help you reflect upon and evaluate the learning which has taken place and how you will implement this new knowledge or skills into your practice.

A Continuous Professional Development Portfolio should therefore contain the following information.

Proof of you your involvement in the learning event such as:

  • certificates of attendance at courses, workshops and conferences;
  • minutes that record you cascading information in a staff   meeting or branch/network meeting following attendance at a training event; and
  • records of shadowing a colleague or working alongside other professionals.
  • How has the learning event benefited you and your setting?
  • What will you implement in your setting as result of this event?