Why is ‘Continuing Professional Development’ important for career success?

4 min read

Career Trends: April 2, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS


CPD is important as it creates a culture of dedication and happiness at work, instilling a sense of purpose and achievement. (Image Credit: Canva)

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a way for professionals to keep learning about their job, develop new skills, and stay up to date with industry trends. It is important for long-term career success.

If you’re an employer, continuing professional development can keep your staff engaged and make sure they’re meeting quality and regulatory standards.

For a self-employed person, it’s a chance to upskill or fill gaps in one’s knowledge.

Why is CPD important?

CPD is important in any industry.

First, let’s understand why continuing professional development is important for employers:

  • It creates a culture where employees are engaged and happy at work, which is great for any organisation.
  • Keeps staff up to date with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Fills knowledge gaps in your team.
  • Maintains high standards of quality and innovation.

The benefits of continuing professional development for employees include:

  • Keeps your skills up-to-date
  • Supports career progression
  • Maintains membership qualification in various industry bodies
  • Gives a sense of purpose and achievement at work

Here is an example:

A restaurant owner needs to follow a range of legal and regulatory requirements. From understanding major food allergens and health and safety for hospitality businesses to providing good customer service.

Continuing professional development courses for restaurants would include:

  • Cleaning course (for areas where food is handled and prepared)
  • Allergen Awareness
  • Communication skills
  • Nutrition for children

What is CPD training?

CPD training can be done online or in-person through a range of methods:

  • Workshops
  • Courses
  • Conferences
  • E-learning
  • Learning on the job

While the above examples are more formal methods of CPD training, it’s also possible to continue learning by reflecting on news articles or reading books by industry experts.

Continuous learning is particularly important if you’re registered with a regulatory body as you’ll often need to complete specific training to keep your membership.

Creating a training and development plan

Employers regularly hold appraisals with their staff to help keep them on track and manage their performance. These meetings are also an opportunity to discuss any training and development opportunities.

You might also have annual courses that everyone in the business needs to complete, for example health and safety training or compliance modules.

A training and development plan should consider aspects like:

  • Business goals – What skills do you need within your team to help grow your business?
  • Personal development goals – Where do your employees want to improve on an individual and personal level? This could be practising public speaking or working on a specific project.
  • On-the-job learning – Lots of continuous learning happens simply by doing a job every day.
  • Specific training courses – Think about external courses that build knowledge and fill gaps in your team.

You’ll need to write down the key steps you plan to take to continue learning, noting any specific courses along with their dates.

It’s a good idea to regularly review how this action plan is going, and evolve it over time if you need to.

It can also be helpful to break your CPD plan down into the following sections:

  • Active learning – courses, workshops, conferences
  • Passive learning – reading industry news or listening to podcasts
  • Unstructured learning – reading publications, trade magazines, and industry books

Find a CPD-accredited course

The CPD Certification Service lists approved CPD courses by industry, from engineering and IT to construction and education.

You should also check directly with the regulatory body of your sector to stay on top of required education and training.


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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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