Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an interactive process by which health professionals maintain, enhance and extend their knowledge, expertise and competence throughout their careers. Alsop (2000) described the key features of CPD as:
- A process, rather than a product
- Lifelong, ongoing through professional life
- Embraces formal education and informal learning, including on the job learning
- Builds on what is know in order to
- Assure competence
- Develop personal qualities
- Enhance professional and technical skills
- Maintain, enhance and broaden professional knowledge
- Expand and help fulfill potential
- Have a positive impact on health outcomes
- Maintain quality and relevance of professional services
- Develop and enhance practice
- Prepare for changing roles in service delivery.
All practising professionals want to develop their careers and strive for excellence. Effective CPD will make you:
- Confident because you have the evidence to show that you can practice effectively
- Competent because you have an up to date knowledge and skills base
- Capable because your CPD skills equip you to meet the changing demands of practice
CPD can be of enormous profession and personal benefit. It can improve your professional effectiveness, career opportunities and work satisfaction. As Allied Health Professionals, we are also ethically, legally and professional bound to life-long learning through our Code of Ethics, professional regulations and standards of practice.
Key Principles of CPD
- You, as the individual learner, are responsible for managing, undertaking and evidencing your CPD activities
- Your CPD learning process is continuous in a systematic cycle of analysis, action and review
- Your learning objectives should be clear and serve organisational needs and patient/client needs as well as your individual goals
- The process is planned and based on identified and achievable learning outcomes
- CPD should be linked to the Performance Development process.
- Alsop A. Continuing Professional Development: A Guide for Therapists; 2000.
- Continuing Professional Development for Health Professionals (ACT, 2005)
- Pollard Y. Professional Development. In N. Skinner, A.M. Roche, J. O’Connor, Y. Pollard, & C. Todd (Eds.), Workforce Development TIPS (Theory Into Practice Strategies): A Resource Kit for the Alcohol and Other Drugs Field. National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia; 2005.