So, what is CPD? Yet another acronym … what does it stand for?
But is this just another name for – training?
Here is a good definition put forward by the CIPD (Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development)
“CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It refers to the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work, beyond any initial training. It’s a record of what you experience, learn and then apply. The term is generally used to mean a physical folder or portfolio documenting your development as a professional.”
Many of the professional associations put emphasis on CPD and even insist on a set number of hours to be completed yearly to keep your accreditations current.
CPD and the measurement of CPD is a great way to keep people’s skills current and in the changing world at work it is essential. Peoples skills and expertise if not kept up to date can go out of date very quickly and this can affect the productivity of your workforce and eventually your bottom line.
Organisations can encourage and reward their employees by keeping up to speed in their chosen subject or area and can easily monitor manage and encourage such behaviour.
If CPD is enacted correctly in a given organisation the onus can swing to the employee to ensure that their skills are keep up to speed in a changing workplace.
Many organisations now grant a number of CPD days to their employees on a yearly basis (like annual leave) so they can sharpen their skills and develop their own skills to become more proficient in their jobs and in some instances prepare for new jobs in their own organisation where skill gaps appear.
So how does Training and development differ to CPD?
Training and development tends to be more formal and instructed by the organisation while CPD can be more fluid. For CPD to be effective it needs to be required in attaining a level of competence in a field or area of expertise, it needs to be measured and documented but it can vary from being a requirement to remain a member of a professional body or can be written into a development plan for a person.
If an organisation is expanding or growing the development of a formal CPD policy can be really good to help internal employees grow with the company and not feel hurt when a person is hired from another company to fulfil a new skill requirement in a company.
Smart employers should allow employees to be able to suggest a CPD plan from their Manager, they should propose what they want to achieve by this training, be it a new role in the company or a new skill set that will help the Company attain their objectives and goals.
Companies who go this route and implement strong organisational culture statistically retain more good people than those who don’t.
The maintaining of CPD logs and costs is imperative to manage the effectiveness of the initiative and such logs may be required by Professional Bodies so that your existing employees can maintain and enhance their professional accreditations going forward.
When we looked at the area of managing training in HRLocker.com we went that one step forward and called it our CPD area. Our CPD feature allows companies to manage and report on training certs and events but with our self-service employee philosophy we allow employees to suggest training and CPD items.
The CPD are also allows the execution of Performance Management Systems / Employee Performance Engagement workflows for carrying out reviews, (reminder automations and document distributions for scheduling and completing one-on-ones).
This approach helps the employees manage their skill sets better and helps the company better manage their own skills requirements and resourcing needs going forward.
We would encourage all progressive employers to implement a CPD policy and system and watch their employees flourish.
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