The word cloud featured here is a representative of what Continuing Professional (or Personal) Development (CPD) is.
CPD is a journey. It is the acknowledgement of wanting to learn, progress, develop and to some degree share.
The CPD journey is an individual one. A team can undertake the same CPD activity and yet the result can be completely different based upon the aimed results, the skills learnt & shared.
There is always the interpretation of the learning experience that was unexpected and the fallout of that unexpected learning.
Mankind has always wanted to strive, develop and achieve more. This thought process is quite a natural one, yet every time within a professional arena the words of CPD are mentioned people head into a tailspin and feel confused and anxious. There really is no need.
The reality is that we, quite without thinking know when we need to learn something more. Whether that is by reading a book or article, planning to attend a training event or participating in a debate. We choose how we are going to learn whatever it is we have identified as needing to know. We then make a subconscious decision when we decide if we have learnt enough or we need to learn more.
An example of a CPD cycle
- Reflection – think about practice in your profession or what you want to learn more about
- Planning – how and when you learn and what
- Action – recording what is learnt, attending an event
- Evaluation – identification of the benefit of learning
The part of the process that can give us as individuals cause of self doubt is when we are required to record what we have learnt for say a professional reason. My advise at this stage is look at how you are required to record your CPD Cycle (this will be defined by your professional body) and systematically provide the details of your activity using these key points
- WHY you did what you did
- WHAT have you learnt
- WHERE you learnt – training venue, article
- HOW you are going to use what you have learnt
- MORE – Do you need to learn more?
If you are completing CPD for personal education purposes then you can record using these methods either on a blog or in a journal or not at all if you prefer!