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The Importance of Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development or CPD is the process of ongoing learning, training and development of skills in order for staff to remain effective within the workplace. In today’s fast paced world, the advancements made in technology and the digital world means that almost every industry is progressing at a rapid rate, and the needs of the consumer are also changing; by committing to continual professional development you will ensure that you are at the forefront of any revolutionary processes and maintain a competitive edge – after all we are all aware of the age old ‘knowledge is power’.

It appears that almost every sector is aware of the benefits of continual professional development, however there is not one formal unified process for CPD.  Many businesses have developed or are utilising tailor-made ‘e-learning’ software that allows each employee to carry out specific modules that are relevant to their job role, and when completed they are kept in a cloud based portfolio. The hours that are dedicated to CPD are factored in to staff profiling processes, ensuring that the development of their staff is kept at the core of the business.

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The way in which employees approach their continual professional development may allow companies to easily identify those that are serious about driving forward their career. CPD in 2015 is a fundamental part of being a professional, and those that recognise its value are surely demonstrating the fact that they understand the value of ensuring a high level of expertise – making them a more effective and efficient member of staff because their interactions with customers and colleagues will be more meaningful and valuable.

Other effective ways of undertaking continual professional development is to come out of the workplace and attend outside courses relevant to the industry the business operates in. Being removed from our everyday surroundings allows us to gain a more objective view of the way that we operate within our roles; this in turn makes us more susceptible to consider the opportunities and possibilities of new ways of working and thinking and enables you to recognise the greater implications and impact of your work, business and industry.

If you are a small or young business that has not yet considered a formal approach to CPD, don’t dismiss it entirely because there are a number of ways that you can contribute to expanding the knowledge base and skill set within your business whilst ensuring that your capabilities and credentials are kept up to date with industry standards.

TED Talks offer incredibly insightful, powerful and inspiring short talks about anything from global challenges to business to cutting edge science, leaving the viewer knowledgeable and motivated – a power mix in business.

Digital Business Academy delivered by the government initiative Tech City offer a variety of free online courses covering key commercial skills needed within a digitally based business.

Reading and discussing articles or white papers that have been written by key influencers within your sector is a great way to consider new methods and processes that could be implemented within a business.

As corporate social responsibility is becoming more and more prevalent in the world of business, coming together as a business to discuss your company’s ethics and value and how they can be demonstrated in all that you do is a great way to add further meaning and value to your business and the impact it is capable of having.

When it comes to continual professional learning, it seems that everyone connected to the business wins; staff are better enabled to progress up the career ladder, productivity levels within a business rise making it more profitable, more knowledgeable, more proactive and more efficient; ultimately making it a more attractive prospect for potential clients.

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