Monday, March 29, 2010

Use a CPD to boost your Professional and Personal Development

Since the last 2 years, after the completion of my Masters Degree, my personal and professional development have known very little or insignificant progress. This is unfortunately what I can deduct following a self-assessment performed around 3 months ago. Still, I've been constantly reading so many articles and books, been through so many tutorials and printed so many pages of the internet..And if you ask what did I learn last November I would be in the incapacity to answer you. Last year, same time I mastered CMDB and a question on the subject today may echo like: 'Yeah I've seen that somewhere.'

So if you people have the same problem as me, its time you also learn the secret of Continuing Professional Development aka CPD.

What is a CPD?

A CPD is one of the best tools used nowadays to manage your learning and growth.Its about capturing learning experiences and providing a framework for broadening of professional knowledge. It also helps assess our current level and identify the skills needed to undertake our duties throughout our career.
It is indeed true to say that we learn continuously from our day to day experiences and other structured studies. But a CPD provides a proactive approach to professional development than just wait for knowledge to come towards us.
The CPD should state where you are now and what you want to achieve. 
I believe that as Professionals we are responsible for our own professional development and we should ensure that we progress to keep up with the rapidly evolving business world.

Planning a CPD
  • The initial step to do is to carry out a SWOT analysis on yourself. What are  you strengths and weaknesses? Identify the opportunities and threats that you may encounter.
  • The second step is the planning. Set your goals and its priorities. Think of cost and time implications if any and set a realistic time frame. And don't forget to take your SWOT analysis into consideration when planning.
  • In the Development stage, design and build up a CPD record card to manage your learning as per your training needs. Being a personal activity most of the time, the log should be how you want it to be. It is a flexible process yet powerful. Use your imagination as far and possible to create a CPD card aligned with your learning style.
  • The final phase is the evaluation one. This is where you reflect on what you  have learned and assess your gains and other practical benefits. Its now time to think whether knowledge acquired has been applied and where.


The Record Card


A very simple example of a CPD record card is shown below.

All knowledge acquired should be captured: Education in any form, workshops attended, trainings, private study, structured reading and so on.
Scholarly works have also shown that the process of reflecting on the card has the great capability of moving knowledge from our short-term to long-term memory.

Benefits of using a CPD
  • Value each learning experience and make the most of them.
  • Be more confident as you see your learning track and progression.
  • Increase in motivation to acquire more knowledge.
  • Can be used as a Portfolio and presented to future employers as evidence.
  • Identify opportunities for career development and design a path to achieve objectives
  • Enjoy all the benefits of Reflective Learning. (Will be covered later)


Being committed to a CPD will ensure your lifetime employability in this competitive work environment. It helps both the individual and the business and can prove effective in its strategy.
Come on. Back to learning now and show me your CPD.


References
1. Influencing Information Acting, 2010. Continuing Professional Development. Available at: http://www.agi.org.uk/pooled/articles/BF_PSART/view.asp?Q=BF_PSART_195054
2. CIPD, 2010. Benefits of CPD Available at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/cpd/benefitscpd.htm
3. Graham Guest, 2010. CPD and Lifelong Learning. Availalbe at: http://sites.google.com/site/gastiz/cpdandlifelonglearning
4. University of Plymouth, 2010. CPD for individuals, employers & staff. Available at:http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=10320
5. The British Computer Society, 2009. Continuing Professional Development. Available at: BCS - Young Professional Group
6. The CPD Certification Service, 2010. CPD and Individual Needs. Available at: http://www.cpduk.co.uk/aboutcpd/whatiscpd.htm



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