The Importance of Continuing Professional Development

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We are often asked to describe the importance of continuing professional development. Why is CPD important and why does it matter?

Continuing professional development is important because it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career.

The ultimate outcome of well planned continuing professional development is that it safeguards the public, the employer, the professional and the professional’s career.

Well crafted and delivered continuing professional development is important because it delivers benefits to the individual, their profession and the public.

1. CPD ensures your capabilities keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field.
2. CPD ensures that you maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills you need to deliver a professional service to your customers, clients and the community.
3. CPD ensures that you and your knowledge stay relevant and up to date. You are more aware of the changing trends and directions in your profession. The pace of change is probably faster than it’s ever been – and this is a feature of the new normal that we live and work in. If you stand still you will get left behind, as the currency of your knowledge and skills becomes out-dated.
4. CPD helps you continue to make a meaningful contribution to your team. You become more effective in the workplace. This assists you to advance in your career and move into new positions where you can lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others.
5. CPD helps you to stay interested and interesting. Experience is a great teacher, but it does mean that we tend to do what we have done before. Focused CPD opens you up to new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas.
6. CPD can deliver a deeper understanding of what it means to be a professional, along with a greater appreciation of the implications and impacts of your work.
7. CPD helps advance the body of knowledge and technology within your profession
8. CPD can lead to increased public confidence in individual professionals and their profession as a whole

Depending on the profession – CPD contributes to improved protection and quality of life, the environment, sustainability, property and the economy. This particularly applies to high risk areas, or specialised practice areas which often prove impractical to monitor on a case by case basis.

The importance of continuing professional development should not be underestimated – it is a career-long obligation for practicing professionals.

Sometimes it is mandated by professional organisations or required by codes of conduct or codes of ethics. But at it’s core it is a personal responsibility of professionals to keep their knowledge and skills current so that they can deliver the high quality of service that safeguards the public and meets the expectations of customers and the requirements of their profession.

Read more from CPD 

4 Reasons Why You Need to be Professional

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By Kelsey Granowski

Professionalism is not just dressing nice or having an advanced degree. In the working world, there are many more guidelines to follow in order to be considered a professional. According to dictionary.com, the definition of professional includes the following: Expert in field which one is practicing, excellent practical and literary skills in relation to profession, high quality in work, high standard of ethics, reasonable work morale and motivation, appropriate treatment of relationships with colleagues, and commitment to the field.

This article is based on this definition of professionalism, and it will explain why it is important to strive to be a professional in your field.

1. Valued in the Workplace

Demonstrating professionalism is important at all levels in a company. Professionalism can benefit the company reputation, morale and success. It is not only the individuals in leadership roles that need to show professionalism. All people should demonstrate the skill of professionalism to be considered for job advancement, recognition and to show colleagues their supportive and team-player side. Professionalism will go a long way in your personal career success, as well as the success of the company you are working for. It will also be valued when looking at those up for possible promotions.

2. Professionalism to the Client, Employer and Co-Workers

Professionalism is not required for clients only. Professionalism must be displayed at all times and to all groups of people. If you display professional behavior to your boss only, your co-workers will start to see that you are not honest, and you are not able to provide appropriate relationships to all that you work with. Professionalism to each group shows your true self, your commitment to the field and your high standards in work and ethics. If you are rude or inappropriate to others, you will not advance in your career and may even lose your job. All people you encounter deserve to be treated professionally.

3. Professionalism in Your Work Product

It is important to know your professionalism is not just displayed to others, but through your work as well. To be successful you need to show a quality work product that you take pride in. Your professionalism to your work can be as simple as correct grammar and consistency in presentation. You must take pride in all aspects of your work.

4. Practicing Professionalism

Now, you know why it is important to be professional, but how do you do it? How do you demonstrate professionalism? You can demonstrate this through interactions that are appropriate, job-focused, team oriented and with a positive attitude. You want to treat all people with respect, and you want to be open and accepting of feedback. Can you control your emotions if something frustrates you? Do you storm out of a meeting if something is decided on that you don’t agree with? How do you behave if you are feeling stressed? Are you rude to others? Avoid a grungy appearance, inappropriate language/volume of voice, missed deadlines, lack of motivation or care, blaming others, not respecting privacy and not holding up your end of the work. Demonstrating your pride in the company and your work, your ability to be non-judgmental, your self-control and your maturity will show the world that you are a real-life professional. You can start now in building your high standards and appropriate working relationships.