Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is something we should all be doing if we want to maintain a level of professionalism in our work. How can we expect our employers and clients to take our work seriously if we don’t nurture our skills and keep our knowledge fresh? For CIPR, CPD has been a key theme for some time.
As the group for internal communication and employee engagement we have been supporting this by providing the opportunities to learn and earn CPD points in a variety of different ways and making sure we offer support to members.
Jo Twiselton, Committee member has been heading up CPD for our group and below she shares her top tips to help us all do better when it comes to managing our CPD.
Over to Jo:
If you’re a CIPR member (unless you have been living in a cave for the last 12 months) you will know that the Institute provides a great CPD (continuous professional development) programme as part of membership. When I signed up for CPD last year, I wasn’t really sure what to expect and I was worried about how I’d fit it in to my day-to-day work. But, I found it surprisingly easy and going into this year’s been pretty straightforward too. In fact, I’ve got so much out of doing it in a relatively short time, it’s even become my ‘specialist subject’ as part of my role on the CIPR Inside Committee.
With the hindsight of experience and learning, I do take any opportunity to talk about why I love CPD and why it matters to anyone who will listen. Having chatted about it many times, I thought it might be useful to share the top tips I’ve picked up to help make CIPR CPD work for you.
- Think about what you do day-to-day. Is there an opportunity to record something you’re doing as professional development?
- As a communications professional, I’m guessing (and hoping!) you read books. If you read industry-related books, you will undoubtedly have points to log.
- Think about your plan at the beginning of the CPD year – what are you going to focus on? How will you achieve and track it?
- It’s not all about CIPR-specific activities (however good they are!). For example, if you attend a conference specific to your industry, you can count this as CPD – just provide evidence of your participation
- Points make prizes – but… look for activities that will get you bigger points more quickly rather than trying to get lots of 5 point activities (back to your plan). It’s the same amount of effort to log a 5-point activity as a 20-pointer. Plan so you can use your time wisely!
- Invest some time finding your way around the CPD database. Last time I checked there were over 700 activities in there and more than 300 of those are free! Although my specialism is internal comms and engagement, there are other topics in there that I’ve found really useful such as guidance on getting the best out of Twitter.
- If I see something in the database I like the look of but don’t have time at that moment to actually do it, I save it as a draft so I can easily come back to it when I’m ready – rather than searching for it again.
- Talk about the fact you’re doing CPD with colleagues, employers and clients. Many other industries have CPD – it’s well-recognised as a professional tool and does carry weight.
- CPD is now available on the go, as it’s been optimized for mobile. Things just got a whole lot easier.
- In conjunction with Spiked Media, the CIPR Inside team made a video about why CPD matters – watch it here to find out more.
11. Finally… enjoy it!
You’ve got until 29 February 2016 to complete this year’s CPD cycle. What are you waiting for?
Thanks to Jo for sharing her top tips. She also helped to create this video with Spiked Media to help us convey what CPD is and why we should all be doing it, so credit to her for sharing her knowledge far and wide to help us all.
If you’ve got any top tips on how you’ve made CPD work for you, please share on email or in comments below.