Engineers are responsible for addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the world, both now and in the future. But this can only happen if the world’s engineers can keep up with, create and implement the latest developments in technology and ideas.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a fundamental part of any career in engineering – ensuring ‘professionally registered and active’ engineers keep up to date by constantly learning and improving, to develop skills and stay at the cutting edge. Not only will this aid your contribution to engineering, but it’ll help you get the most out of your career.
What is CPD?
Continuous professional development refers to the process of training and developing professional knowledge and skills through independent, participation-based or interactive learning. This form of learning allows professionals to improve their capabilities with the help of certified learning. CPD courses for professionals should reflect their current expectations as well as future ambitions. As your career develops, the knowledge and skills you require will also evolve. This is where CPD will come to your rescue and help you steer your career in the future.Also Continuing professional development (CPD) is a cyclical process of reviewing your skills and competency to practice. It involves reviewing gaps in your knowledge and planning your learning goals and activities. DPHU CPD can help provide the knowledge to fill those gaps.
DPHU CPD S learning activities are designed to extend or update your knowledge as part of your CPD through engineering courses and engineering seminars.
CPD can only be effective when:
- It is part of a planned process;
- There is a clear perspective on the improvement required;
- It is tailored individually to each professional;
- It is taught by people who have the necessary expertise, experience and skills.
In addition, professionals have to set their short-term and long-term objectives while implementing a structured learning plan. They may also be required to record what they are learning and the progress they make in order to keep track of the skills and knowledge they obtain. CPD training helps professionals to:
- Stay up to date with the latest trends and learn new skills;
- Improve their performance at work;
- Boost their self-confidence;
- Enhance their professional reputation and future job prospects;
- Obtain concrete proof of their professionalism and commitment.
What are the benefits of CPD?
Continuous professional development programmes provide two-fold benefits — for the learner and for the employer. Let’s take a look at the benefits of CPD for the learner:
- Improves intellect, personal skills and confidence;
- Opens doors to excellent future employment opportunities;
- Improves learning ability;
- Promotes independent learning;
- Demonstrates ambition and commitment to professional self-improvement;
- Relevant practical qualifications that will impress current and prospective employers.
Now, take a look at the benefits of CPD for the employer:
- Sets a high standard across the company for staff development;
- Improves productivity with the help of motivated and skilled employees;
- Endorses a learning culture in the organisation;
- Enhances the reputation of the company among prospective employees and clients;
- Increases employee retention;
- Allows the company to keep up with the latest trends and changes in the industry.
A company can only bring in these benefits if it supports the professional development of its employees.
If you are a working professional who wants to keep up with the changes in your field, taking up a continuous professional development course could help you revitalise your career and improve future employment prospects. London School of Business and Finance offers a variety of continuous professional development courses that are suited to a number of industries.
Types of continuing professional development
- Formal CPD:This type of CPD involves active and structured learning that is usually done outside the organisation for which you work. Formal CPD usually consists of more than one professional, however in some cases it could just involve a single professional. Some activities in this form of structured learning include:
- Offline and online training programmes;
- Learning-focused seminars and conferences;
- Workshops and events;
- Informal CPD:Informal CPD is also known as self-directed learning, in which the professionals carry out development activities according to their own choice and without a structured syllabus. This form of learning usually consists of:
- Studying publications written by industry experts;
- Perusing relevant case studies and articles;
- Listening to industry-specific podcasts and following industry-specific news;
- Studying and revising for professional exams.
Objectives of CPD
- The objectives of CPD shall include,-
(a) application of theoretical knowledge to practical situations and to evolve innovative solutions to real life problems;
(b) application of concepts and ingredients of management to professional works including relevant legal and financial aspects;
(c) acquisition and application of necessary communication skills;
(d) knowledge of latest developments in various fields of engineering including information technology for specific and cross disciplinary application; and
(e) adherence to professional ethics and acquisition of a broader understanding of obligations of engineers to society.
The five steps to perfect CPD:
Planning your CPD starts by making an honest assessment of your current situation and determining your professional development goals for both the current year and the medium term e.g. next 2 to 3 years. Because the needs of each individual will vary, there is no prescribed programme. It is for you to recognise your own needs and opportunities inside and outside the workplace and to take advantage of learning experiences in developing your own continuing professional development.
It is useful to ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve?
- What do you need to learn?
- How will you learn it?
The next step is to create a plan of action to achieve these goals. Our myCPD system categorises learning into different activities.
It is also possible to link your CPD record together with your Personal Development Plan (PDP).
Once you plan your CPD, it is time to get out there and start developing.
Although getting out there and attending some activities requires time management skills and motivation, it offers valuable returns as it keeps you connected to the wider food science community and improves networking skills. As educational psychologists say, you learn more by networking than by attending a course.
Please remember to reflect while 'on the go'. It is easier to remember the key light bulb moments which often result in improvements and changes to the current practices.
Show the CPD you have done.
Monitor and record your progress against the plan.That includes recording items that you may not have planned, such as training, learning and experience which nevertheless have contributed to your professional development. Having said that CPD is all about quality of the learning rather than quantity of the activities performed. CPD-recording should be output focused (what are benefits of learning) rather than input focused (list of dates and actions).
Be mindful when considering an activity which is part of your normal working day routine as in most instances it does not qualify as development.
For help with logging in to myCPD, understanding your dashboard and recording your development, you can check out our handy online guide.
Reflection is the most important part of CPD reporting since it makes you think of the value of your work for yourself, your colleagues, clients, company and the wider community. If reflection is missing, then CPD becomes less beneficial and meaningful as a tool.
It is useful to ask yourself the following questions:
- What did you get out of this?
- What have you learned?
- How did you learn it?
- How will you apply it in practice?
- What is the resulting change?
- Does this flag up any additional development which would be helpful for you to undertake?
- What benefits will it have for your clients and/or your service?
- How does this help you prepare for a new role?
This is the time for you to harness the value of what you have learned by bridging the gap between theory and practice. Getting this section of CPD writing correct is a key element of professionalism and successful career management.
Professionals who regularly record CPD and are good at reflecting what they have learned tend to become professionals who continuously drive for development and bring in new ideas. This benefits not only themselves but most importantly colleagues, their company and the industry overall.
If you are part of a CPD-scheme, you must be prepared to send your CPD-report for annual assessment. We will contact when it is time to review your CPD.
If you are new to CPD writing or would like further guidance related to any section above, please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information.
- Importance of continuing professional development
- CPD activities
- CPD Requirements
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” – Albert Einstein.
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.
- CPD ensures your capabilities keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- CPD helps advance the body of knowledge and technology within your profession.
- 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.
Sometimes it is mandated by professional organisations or required by codes of conduct or codes of ethics. But at its 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.
CPD records may include participation in the following activities, providing that they satisfy the Objective in paragraph 1 and the Specific Requirements in paragraph 3 above:
a) formal post-graduate study leading to an award or individual tertiary course units not taken for award purposes;
b) short courses, workshops, seminars and discussion groups, conferences, technical inspections and technical meetings;
c) Learning activities in the workplace that extend competence in the area of practice;
d) Private study which extends knowledge and skills;
e) service to the engineering profession;
f) the preparation and presentation of material for courses, conferences, seminars and symposia; and
g) any other structured activities not covered by a) and f) above.
A practitioner’s CPD records must document a minimum of 150 hours of structured CPD over the past three-years.
a. For all practitioners, of the 150 hours:
- at least 50 hours must relate to their area of practice;
- at least 10 hours must cover risk management;
- at least 15 hours must address business and management skills; and
- the remainder must cover a range of activities relevant to the practitioner’s career.
b. Engineering academics and teachers must demonstrate that at least 40 hours of the CPD satisfying the criteria of 3.a. have been obtained in an industry environment.
Continuing Professional Development is becoming more important in the increasingly competitive engineering global market place.
Both employers and clients support and endorse CPD as an activity which they expect all professionals to undertake, as part of the strategy to maintain and improve their competitiveness ( Engineers).