Planning CPD

One of the most important parts of CPD is planning. Typically planning for CPD includes 5 key steps:


1. Review yourself and identify your goals

  • What are your strengths, weakness and area of further development?
  • Reflect on where you are now. What have you learned so far?
  • Review your qualifications, courses attended, job experience, skills, interests and methods of learning.
  • Analyse the current and future demands of your job
  • Compare your experience with the benchmark standard (see Competency Frameworks).


2.  Determine the skills you need and set your learning activities

  • What do you want to achieve? Try and think both short term (12 months) and long term (3 years).
  • Define your needs by writing a learning goal.


3.  Plan to achieve by identifying activities to achieve learning goals

  • What learning activities will help you meet your needs?
  • Match your learning activities to your learning goals.
  • Identify time frames and learning outcomes.
  • Develop a learning plan.


4.  Record your learning


5.  Review and evaluate your learning

  • Once the plan has been implemented, review what happened and what you learned.
  • Did you meet your objectives?
  • What was the value to your clients?
  • How will you share your new knowledge?
  • How will your change your work practice?
  • Make any necessary amendments as circumstances change.


Alsop, A. (2000). Continuing Professional Development: a guide for therapists. Oxford: Blackwell.


Planning CPD & You

Spend some time developing a Learning Plan (if you don’t already have one). Remember when developing your learning plan:

  • Make your plan simple and achievable within the time available to you.
  • Keep in mind the financial and time resource implications of your plan.
  • Taylor the plan to when and you learn best, and the type of activities most effective to you.
  • Consider how the types of support your employer is able to provide.
  • We all have many demands on our time. A good plan should serve many purposes (e.g. linked to professional registration/credentialing, performance management etc).
  • Remember your plan is a living document - keep it flexible.
  • Constructing a good plan takes time and effort, but this is amply rewarded in CPD terms.