October 15 2018 by

Let’s spend a little time developing a clearer understanding of CPD. Once you have carefully read this post you will be able to:

Simply define what CPD is
Recognise the CPD requirements that ThinkTree expects of its members
Identify individual benefits of engaging in CPD

1. CPD Definition

CPD is a commonly used abbreviation for the term ‘continual professional development’.

CPD can be defined as safe, theoretical, practical or blended learning opportunities which are designed to enhance the professional practice of participants and support industry needs. This may incorporate the development of knowledge and skills or support personal growth and/or wellness of participants.

Note use of the word ‘continual’, it is an expectation that anyone who is formally qualified and recognised as a specialist practitioner will plan regular repeated development of their knowledge and skills (at least annually) through engagement in appropriate CPD in order to enhance their specialist status.

For example, much of my working life has been spent formally training teachers in vocational, further and higher education settings. Once qualified, teachers are still required to complete a minimal number of CPD hours each year which they must record and provide as evidence of professional competence when requested.

This is an accepted responsibility in established professions and anyone who fails to participate and log the defined minimum number of hours, without a mitigating explanation, is likely to face a disciplinary investigation or receive a formal warning over their conduct.

2. ThinkTree CPD Requirements

Generally CPD consists of informal learning activities that you find professionally meaningful, convenient and attractive. The exact type and range of CPD you individually engage with should compliment your role and professional status.

Logged attendance in recognisable CPD each year is a way in which ThinkTree members should advance themselves and develop their learning.

Engagement in CPD activities should be recorded continually and audited annually in order to meet the following ThinkTree CPD Standards: (Published and correct as of 8.10.18)

Standard 1 – Members must aim to ensure that CPD enhances their professional practice with practical or theoretical knowledge.

Standard 2 – Members are strongly advised to complete a minimum of 15 hours CPD each year.

Standard 3 – Members engaged in CPD would be advised to keep an up-to-date log of their CPD activities with evidence to demonstrate their participation in each activity (for any audit purposes).

So to quickly summarise, ThinkTree members are ‘strongly advised’ to complete and record at least 15 hours of meaningful CPD each year.

Of course a number of you will routinely engage in many more than the minimum number of CPD hours and you should continue to log everything that you complete, don’t stop recording just because you have logged the required 15 hours.

Typical questions I get asked about CPD include:

When should I start recording my CPD from?
What is the best method for recording CPD?
What types of learning activities are recognised as meaningful CPD?

Start recording your CPD immediately and review your progress every three months to ensure you are on target to complete the minimum number of hours. If you want to make your CPD year highly memorable consider resetting your CPD hours calculation from a memorable date such as the start of the year, your birthday or when your professional association membership was renewed.

You can record CPD in a way that matches your current working practices, some of you may wish to record your CPD using an online form or template you have created yourself. Some may feel more comfortable hand writing or filling in a paper-based record that you keep in a folder in your office, salon or treatment room. Many of you will be confident smartphone or tablet users and there are branded ‘Apps’ that you can use to build a personalised CPD portfolio. I don’t want to specifically recommend any named Apps but they are simple to locate, just type ‘CPD’ into the search tool in your Apple or Android App store. If you already use a cost effective and simple CPD App, please recommend it to other members via the comments below.

ThinkTree recognises the following type of CPD activity and it is your professional responsibility to engage in an appropriate blend or mixture of learning each year.

Exhibition / Conference Attendance
Workshop / Seminar Attendance
Online / e-Learning / Webinars
Professional Networking
Subject Reading / Research
Targeted Reflection / Action Planning
Peer Observation / Sharing Best Practice
Recognised Examiner / Assessor Training
Delivering Taught CPD Sessions to Others
Professional Writing / Articles / Books
Client Based Studies / Investigations
Personal Study of a Formal Qualification

Essentially CPD is flexible and non-prescriptive, you should identify the your own training requirements and plan the frequency and type of CPD that meets your own needs.

3. Benefits of CPD

Engaging in CPD has many benefits, as unique individual practitioners you are likely to identify a number of personally meaningful outcomes from the list below, note these are not written in a prioritised order:

Maintains professional status and competence within a recognised process
Supports development of your specialist professional identity
Supports professional confidence building (especially important if you are newly qualified)
Enhances career prospects by evidencing your personal commitment to training
Retains commercial advantage / likely to enhance business profitability
Enables technological up-skilling as hardware / software / apps become available
Provides the opportunity to differentiate yourself / your practice from competitors
Provides control and allows ownership of your career development
Increasing flexibility via digital transformation / use of smart devices / online technology
Supports opportunities for collaboration and peer working
Meaningful CPD is genuinely motivational, thought provoking and empowering

Remember that the development of knowledge and skills is what separates experts from novices and in the modern age it is critical that you recognise the opportunity to continually improve, not because any of you are bad practitioners, but because as good practitioners, you know with the right training and support you can become even better!

If you want to start offering or improve the training  you deliver then  let Think Training guide your quality and practice. A range of planned or bespoke courses are delivered at venues across the country.

If you are new to training this  introductory workshop will provide all the essential knowledge you need.

Please follow the link below

Planning a Successful Training Course

Dave Brown
Managing Consultant – Education
Email: thinktreedave@gmail.com

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This post was written by Admin KK

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