Continuous Professional Development
What makes a Profession? Well, as stated on the IP3 website, Professions irrespective of the field share the following common features:
1. Body of academic and research literature, or a Common Body (Book) of Knowledge.
2. Agreed statements of ethics, values and discipline.
3. Membership bodies with differing grades or levels and status.
4. Qualification requirements.
5. Continuing professional development requirements and criteria.
Interestingly, some professions include “Service”, as in giving back to your community one of the hallmarks of a Professionals.
So Continuous Professional Development is a hallmark of a Professional. It is the concept that the members of a profession should commit themselves individually to improving their knowledge and understanding throughout their careers, and keeping up to date with all developments within their chosen professions – crucially important in the ever-changing ICT industry. This also entails learning from their own experiences and making a conscious effort to identify deficiencies and weakness in order to redress these through formal training and development. Apart from needing to track it to maintain Professional status, it is also a mindset where we demand of ourselves that we learn and grow.
It’s advisable to systematize your CPD. In the book by Eddie Davies, The Training Manager's Desktop Guide, Davies lists the following stages in the planning the process.
1. Where am I now? - This involves making an analysis of the current state of your skills, knowledge and management style.
2. Where do I want to be? - Identify your key areas for personal development.
3. How do I get there? - What action do you need to take to bridge the gap and set yourself up to reach your goals?
Remember that although your Society will require CPD from you, it’s up to you to keep track of this. You should find ways to track and keep proof of formal and informal learning you do.
To find out more about CPD requirements, and the resources and events available to you, contact your Society. You might also do further education in your particular specialism. Preparing and presenting a paper also counts towards CPD, so consider becoming submitting papers to events. And investigate the wide variety of online courses, webinars and other resources available.
If it isn’t already, make CPD part of your life today!
© 2013 International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3)