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
- Accurately record all your learning activities (see Professional Portfolios)
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.