What is the Purpose of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

Change is constant, and in the ever-changing world we live in, it becomes almost imperative to keep progressing in our professional endeavours. The best option to keep up with this is to use continuing professional development (CPD) programmes to stay ahead of the curve. Continuous learning results in superior growth, so if you want to achieve greater success in your professional career, CPD is the way forward.

What is continuing professional development?

Continuous professional development refers to the process of training and developing professional knowledge and skills through independent, participation-based or interactive learning. This form of learning allows professionals to improve their capabilities with the help of certified learning. CPD courses for professionals should reflect their current expectations as well as future ambitions. As your career develops, the knowledge and skills you require will also evolve. This is where CPD will come to your rescue and help you steer your career in the future.

CPD can only be effective when:

  • It is part of a planned process;

  • There is a clear perspective on the improvement required;

  • It is tailored individually to each professional;

  • It is taught by people who have the necessary expertise, experience and skills.

In addition, professionals have to set their short-term and long-term objectives while implementing a structured learning plan. They may also be required to record what they are learning and the progress they make in order to keep track of the skills and knowledge they obtain. CPD training helps professionals to:

  • Stay up to date with the latest trends and learn new skills;

  • Improve their performance at work;

  • Boost their self-confidence;

  • Enhance their professional reputation and future job prospects;

  • Obtain concrete proof of their professionalism and commitment.

Types of continuing professional development

  • Formal CPD: This type of CPD involves active and structured learning that is usually done outside the organisation for which you work. Formal CPD usually consists of more than one professional, however in some cases it could just involve a single professional. Some activities in this form of structured learning include:

    • Offline and online training programmes;

    • Learning-focused seminars and conferences;

    • Workshops and events;

    • Lectures.

  • Informal CPD: Informal CPD is also known as self-directed learning, in which the professionals carry out development activities according to their own choice and without a structured syllabus. This form of learning usually consists of:

    • Studying publications written by industry experts;

    • Perusing relevant case studies and articles;

    • Listening to industry-specific podcasts and following industry-specific news;

    • Studying and revising for professional exams.

Importance of continuing professional development

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” – Albert Einstein.

In order to improve their skills and knowledge while working, professionals usually opt for continuous professional development programmes. This is because at this level, they have already earned academic qualifications and are now working in the industry of their choice. CDP helps business professionals learn in a structured and practical format that boosts their overall skills and knowledge. It also helps them ascertain the knowledge and skills they need to obtain within a short time period, so the improvement can be recognisable.

Benefits of continuous professional development

Continuous professional development programmes provide two-fold benefits — for the learner and for the employer. Let’s take a look at the benefits of CPD for the learner:

  • Improves intellect, personal skills and confidence;

  • Opens doors to excellent future employment opportunities;

  • Improves learning ability;

  • Promotes independent learning;

  • Demonstrates ambition and commitment to professional self-improvement;

  • Relevant practical qualifications that will impress current and prospective employers.

Now, take a look at the benefits of CPD for the employer:

  • Sets a high standard across the company for staff development;

  • Improves productivity with the help of motivated and skilled employees;

  • Endorses a learning culture in the organisation;

  • Enhances the reputation of the company among prospective employees and clients;

  • Increases employee retention;

  • Allows the company to keep up with the latest trends and changes in the industry.

A company can only bring in these benefits if it supports the professional development of its employees.

If you are a working professional who wants to keep up with the changes in your field, taking up a continuous professional development course could help you revitalise your career and improve future employment prospects. London School of Business and Finance offers a variety of continuous professional development courses that are suited to a number of industries.


This article was written by Varun Mehta and edited by Luna Campos.

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