Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
CPD is the holistic commitment of educators towards the enhancement of personal skills and proficiency throughout their careers.
So, what is CPD? CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and is the term used to describe the learning activities educators engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. It enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive.
CPD combines different methodologies to learning, such as email news letters, summarizing international educational journal articles, online resources and videos, training workshops, conferences and events, e-learning programs, best practice techniques and ideas sharing, all focused for an individual to improve and have effective professional development.
Accompanied by such growth is the acceptance that academic qualifications must offer more vocational and skills-based or ‘practical’ learning. A structured, practical and methodical approach to learning helps heads of schools to retain key staff and develop the skills & knowledge in their schools to maintain a sustainable and competitive advantage.
Engaging in continuous Professional Development ensures that both academic and practical qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete; allowing educators to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves, regardless of occupation, age or educational level.
CPD allows an educator to focus on what specific skills and knowledge they require over a short-term period, say 12 months, in order to be confident there is recognisable improvement within their proficiency and skillsets.
Background of CPD and its purpose
The concept of CPD can broadly trace its roots to the decades following World War II, when institutional bodies identified a need for structured further learning post formal qualification. Up until this point it had largely been assumed that qualified professionals would identify and initiate their knowledge enhancement requirements on a casual or voluntary basis. However, in an increasingly litigious and technologically advancing business and professional environment, the need became apparent for a more disciplined and structured approach to further learning. Over the past two decades this commitment to CPD has spread beyond those affiliated to institutional bodies and is now embraced throughout all sectors.
Who does CPD?
Allocating time for CPD is the individual’s responsibility. They need to identify the CPD requirements for their school to understand how their CPD learning should be recorded and how much time is required. The level of CPD necessary for any individual can vary between sectors.
National Education Policy 2019 tend to expect schools to ensure a mandatory CPD policy is implemented across the various roles and job functions working within schools.
CPD enables an individual to regularly apply attention to areas of development and take appropriate action to reduce any deficiency in knowledge. Equally, an individual must see continuous Professional Development as a way to remain competitive with his or her peers, and as an opportunity to differentiate themselves at moments where this may be required.
As more people become professionally qualified with similar qualifications, CPD can be important as a means of separating yourself from the pack.
Benefits of CPD?
CPD is essential in helping teachers, schools or educators to keep skills and knowledge up to date. Providing CPD enables schools to become a knowledge bank to key stakeholders of the school. CPD accredited training courses, workshops and events allow professionals to use the learning time towards individual CPD requirements.
Benefits of CPD for Individuals - CPD helps individuals to regularly focus on how they can become a more competent and effective professional. Training and learning increases confidence and overall capability, and compliments career aspirations.
Benefits of CPD for schools - Providing CPD accredited learning benefits your schools through recognition and increased brand perception. Internal use of CPD encourages and promotes a healthy learning culture for your schools, leading to a more fulfilled workforce and retaining valuable staff.