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  Continuing Professional Development – (CPD)
CPD is the planned acquisition of knowledge, experience and skills, and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional duties throughout the working life. It encompasses both technical and non-technical subject areas.

By and large the policy of the Professional Institutes (listed below) is that all practising members should feel obliged to undertake a structured programme of CPD. This is mandatory for those wishing to change class of membership. Candidates for the class of ‘Member’ normally have to demonstrate a commitment to CPD; those for ‘Fellow’ usually have to must also provide recorded evidence.

CPD should be started as soon as an employee commences employment and particularly after completing so form of Graduate / Initial Professional Development period: this could be a company's own scheme; or an Institutes Monitored Professional Development Scheme or similar.

CPD involves:
  • keeping up to date with the latest advances in your profession;
  • developing a deeper knowledge in your specialist area;
  • broadening your knowledge over the wider industry spectrum;
  • improving your general knowledge and life skills; eg management, finance and language.
Examples of CPD activities:
  • Obtaining formal qualifications (eg MBA)
  • Short courses (technical and non-technical)
  • Attending conferences or seminars
  • On-job training
  • Distance learning
  • Being active in the local community
  • NVQ units

You should have a structured plan for your CPD. Each person has unique aims and objectives. A Professional Development Record is a vital tool in helping you to identify these and to plan to achieve them.

Formulating and managing your CPD Plan:
  • Form a realistic view of where you are in your career.
  • Identify your personal needs eg: promotion, keeping up to date, enhance your competence, improve life skills such as management.
  • Identify outside influences such as your employer's needs and those of your profession.
  • Develop a statement of your personal aims and objectives.
  • Develop a structured plan to achieve these.
  • Record and summarise your achievement on the CPD record card.
  • Review and update your plan at least annually. Evaluate the benefits you have gained from your plan at this time.

Anything which is relevant to you or your employer may be counted towards CPD. It is the learning outcome of your CPD that is important. The CPD record form is your record of your achievement, and should prove a valuable addition to your CV.

The employer's role in CPD
Most benefit from CPD is gained if the employer and employee work as a partnership. Employers can contribute to CPD programmes in a number of ways:-

  • By helping employees to identify future roles; assessing their professional ability and identify their CPD needs.
  • By providing the opportunities for employees to gain experience and new skills.
  • By supporting employees on courses.
  • By assisting with counselling and monitoring progress.
  • By encouraging employees to continue their professional development.
Links to Your Professional Body
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Institute of Internal Auditors
Chartered Institute of Taxation

Institution of Chemical Engineers
Institute of Engineering Designers
Society of Environmental Engineers
Institute of Electrical Engineers
Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers
Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
Institute of Plant Engineers
Society of Petroleum Engineers

Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Engineering Council
Chartered Management Institute

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