The benefits of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for employees are many. CPD helps to keep skills and knowledge current and ensures the standard of registrations and qualifications are maintained. Besides, it adds to their professional pathway direction. CPD can build credibility and confidence allowing achievements to be highlighted and supplies tools to positively cope with change.
CPD is particularly beneficial for employees’ career advancement. Demonstrating learning dexterity and committing to CPD can make a real difference to career development and salary.
Most people soon realise that learning does not end after graduation from university or college. Most employers these days encourage professional development and some indeed expect it. In a competitive market place, continuous learning is proving to be the leading edge that employees require to succeed in their chosen career.
A large majority of employers believe CPD is needed just for employees to keep on top of their job function and duties. While employers also want to see development of business and interpersonal skills in their work force, they do not always have the resources to do so leaving employees to seek out opportunities to enhance their career progression themselves.
It is important that anyone seeking to assess their CPD levels review any professional mandatory requirements. For example, The Law Society of Ireland requires 20 hours of CPD each year while the veterinary profession requires 35 hours. However, CPD is not just relevant to professions with mandatory requirements, the benefits are equally of value in any occupation.
There are many ways for employees to maintain and improve knowledge whether from organised learning courses, workplace mentoring, or self-study. It is vital for workers to keep abreast of technical progression within their industry to avoid being left behind with outdated skills. By having employees that understand where and how their industry or business area is operating in the marketplace, a business can gain an advantage over competitors using the skills of an educated, relevant and current workforce.
Another benefit of CPD are the networking opportunities available at organised courses where peers from a single profession or broader business cross section meet to hone new skills and develop relationships. Many of these peer groups evolve into discussion groups with idea exchanges and these contacts become part of a network that can be tapped into to aid career progression, provide support, and inform on industry information. Whether a course is purely professional learning or learning a new skill such as first aid, working on self -improvement is beneficial for course participants in reducing stress levels due to improved confidence and self- esteem which in turn leads to better performance in the work place.
CPD done well helps someone to analyse their performance and helps them to increase effectiveness so it is worth spending some time prioritising and exploring what is required. A good approach brings personal as well as business benefits and ongoing learning aids adaptability which is essential in an ever- changing professional world helping to identify new opportunities and providing a more rewarding and sustainable career.