So you finally have the job you’ve always dreamed of, and it took a lot of work to get there. Earning impressive certificates and degrees goes a long way toward getting a job, but what will happen in a few years when you need to relearn old skills and develop new ones to stay employable? That’s where CPD courses come in.
What Is CPD?
Attending Continuing Professional Development courses will ensure that you are constantly learning and mastering new skills and are staying up to date with developments in your field. For example, someone who works in mental health might attend conferences on ways to better assist their patients.
Attending seminars is just one great way for professionals to stay abreast of current trends in their field, to meet with colleagues, and to collaborate. Just because you have already earned your degree doesn’t mean the work is over.
Doctors who graduated from med school 40 years ago don’t prescribe outdated medicine or perform obsolete procedures. They hone their skills and gain new knowledge through continuing professional development.
CPD Learning Styles
There are a few ways to take advantage of continuing professional development. Namely, you would choose which type of learning is best suited to you, active or reflective. This will depend on your place of work, your superiors, and your position.
Active CPD is what we think of as the “normal” methods of continuous professional development, like seminars, classes, and job training. These methods put you in an active role, ensuring you are learning through first-hand experience.
This more passive form of CPD involves studying online. These CPD courses may include supplemental materials, like medical journals or interviews by experts in your field. You will interact with the media and retain the pertinent data.
Different Types of CPD Courses
Continuing professional development courses vary greatly by career, from marketing to learning how to break into the medical field. In addition to different subjects, there are also many methods of education.
First, let’s see what types of CPD activities are the most popular. The formats for this type of learning range from formal affairs like trade shows and seminars, to more casual educational opportunities, like volunteer work.
Training workshops are great tools for collaboration. Rather than sitting and listening to a lecture, participants will join in interactive training exercises. These are perfect for business management or human resource professionals.
Helping out in your community can boost certain skills, like caregiving. Volunteering and public service work will put you on the frontline in your particular field, and will also allow you to see a different side of your co-workers.
Job shadowing is a particularly useful style of continuing professional development. It involves an employee (or prospective employee) observing the daily duties of another employee. Job shadowing lets you see what your future position may entail and you can also help out in the workplace as needed.
Formal Education and Certifications
Your superiors may forgo any sort of workplace training in favor of sending you to earn higher education credits or a certificate. For example, a sous chef must pass the ServSafe certification before they are considered kitchen-ready. An employer can sponsor a lower-level employee to pursue this opportunity.
CPD Courses to Explore
Finding CPD courses tailored to your position and field is a lot easier than you might think. Let’s look at a few programs that might be worth your while.
Online CPD Courses
This is a fantastic resource if you are trying to decide which CPD course is a good fit for you as it explains in detail what each CPD course entails. You will see that there are tons of opportunities available to you depending on where you work.
The online course catalog lists many diplomas and certificates you can earn. Some of the courses contain units dedicated to specific sectors within a particular profession. For example, if you’re employed in a mental health field, you may choose to earn a new certificate in child psychology.
Specifically developed for those in the financial sector, Cuna deals primarily with credit unions. Cuna has worked diligently to build a reliable program to help credit unions give their employees the financial education updates they need.
Project Management Essentials is a course designed specifically for business management professionals. Project managers, contractors, consultants, and cross-functional team leaders are encouraged to apply.
Over four modules, this CPD course takes learners through the business development cycle, professional organizational styles, and how to define project goals.
Is a CPD Course Right for You?
Taking a CPD course online may be a fantastic way to gain new knowledge. You’ll develop the skills you need to further your career and move on to better opportunities in the future.
So should you take a CPD course? Absolutely. Employers always want their workers to stay current, so there’s really no downside to pursuing CPD.
If you thought that the learning stops once you get your degree, let CPD courses be your wakeup call. By continuing to study, you’ll have the skills and knowledge essential to staying relevant in your industry.