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The benefits of CPD impact on professionals, organisations and the community as a whole. 

CPD covers the whole spectrum of independent learning. It is much more than just formal training. By utilising CPD you are maintaining and developing skills which enables you to perform as effectively as possible. It is a business essential, as it means that individuals are improving and therefore the company has knowledge and expertise to outperform competitors.

But what is CPD? Why is it a necessary essential? And what are the top 10 benefits of CPD?

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development is the term used to describe learning activities that professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. CPD can take the form of in house training, as well as training which takes place outside the organisation.

Many people tend to focus on formal training, but CPD encompasses any form of activities from which you learn and develop. This can therefore include e-learning, case discussions and reading, but can also be as simple as sharing knowledge and challenges with colleagues.

According to the Health & Professions Council:

CPD is important because you continue to learn and develop, keeping skills and knowledge up to date so you are able to practice safely and effectively throughout your career.

What are the benefits of CPD?

CPD can mean businesses and individuals stay up to date with legislation, update a career qualification, can deliver a personalised service, and are also trained to meet regulatory organisation or government bodies’ standards and criteria. It also means individuals can work towards a qualification.

According to

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.

Continuous professional development is a career-long obligation for practicing professionals.

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.

Is CPD just more formal training?

CPD can be split into formal CPD and informal CPD. Formal CPD involves participating in organised activities, such as courses, seminar, workshops, conferences and group meetings. Courses can be taken face to face, online or via an electronic delivery method. Attendance at these events can be evidenced.

Informal CPD involves activities undertaken by the individual, like workplace learning, reading and research. It can be difficult to gain third party evidence for informal CPD, so it is recommended that individuals’ records are kept and self-evaluated.

Professional engineer, Richard Denning, said:

Many people see CPD as being about formal training activity be that classroom based, computer based or book based. I see it as being much more than this and would estimate that maybe 10% of development in recent years has been formal.

I have also developed from working with great people where some of their approach to problems has rubbed of and where they either show me how to do something or more likely have helped me to tackle a new area or experience. Much more of my development has been through trying new things or taking on new activities.

Of course, many development opportunities can be a combination of all three, trying something new, getting a friend to assist or perhaps research a better way of doing things.

To me CPD isn’t just about learning or doing the new thing, it is about structuring what you do by proactively seeking out opportunities to either improve on weaknesses/gaps or to reinforce existing strengths and then reflecting on what you have learnt, and of course recording this so that if you do get audited, you have the records of what you have done.

How do people use CPD in different customs?

CPD is undertaken in most countries and around the globe. CPD requirements worldwide can be dependent on the presence of international regulation in certain sectors, e.g. banking; the extent professional bodies and institutes are becoming global with CPD requirements for a region; and the amount of developed business in the area focused on competence, professional practice, and professional education.

The role of CPD varies by region:

Australia & New Zealand: CPD in this region follows a similar model to the UK, with many professionals led by professional instates, bodies and regulators. CPD is highly valued, with various training schemes, events and online services available.

Africa: CPD is an emerging practice with many individuals and professionals keen to undertake CPD for ongoing educational purposes.

America: CPD in the United States can be referenced using slightly different language. CE stands for Continuing Education; CPE is Continuing Professional Education; CME is Continuing Medical Education; and CLE is Continuing Legal Education. However, different states have varying requirements in place for the time individuals should be spending on CPD, depending on industry.

Europe: CPD requirements in Europe vary from country to country. There are a large number of professional bodies and institutes in Western Europe, while in Eastern Europe professional bodies are starting to be more established.

Middle East: There is rising demand for CPD training within the Middle East. The Gulf region is focused on delivering high quality education and increasing standards of professionalism and competence.

What are the top 10 benefits of CPD?

1.To keep pace with the standards of others in the same field

Self-improvement of individual professionals can improve due to a wide range of factors, but not everyone within the profession will improve at the same rate. By investing in CPD, professionals can ensure they keep pace with others in the same profession, who are also undertaking CPD. Members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) are required to obtain at least 40 units of CPD per calendar year, divided into 21 verifiable and 19 non-verifiable units.

2. Maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills to deliver a professional service

Through investing in CPD, you can ensure your skills and knowledge will be in the best position to deliver a professional service. This has benefits to your customers, clients and the rest of the community. The Association for Project Management (APM) required chartered members to undertake a minimum of 35 hours of CPD per year and record their development in an individual CPD log.

3. You stay up to date with changing trends

With CPD, knowledge can stay relevant and up to date. Trends are changing all the time, and current knowledge and skills will become outdated if you are not able to keep up with the pace of change. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) requires Chartered Marketers to have documented evidence of at least 35 hours of CPD per year.

4. You become more effective in the workplace

Through the increased knowledge created by CPD, you can become more effective in the workplace. This helps increase the chance of career progression, where you can lead, manage and mentor others. The Institute of Sales and Marketing Management recommends at least 20 hours of CPD are undertaken by all members every year.

5. You stay interested in your profession

With CPD, you can stay interested and engaged with your profession. Trough focused CPD, you can be open to new knowledge and new skill areas. The more interested you are, the more focused you are and the more efficient you can be. The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) expects all members to keep records of CPD and samples of these are inspected. If a member cannot demonstrate that they undertake CPD, then they may have their chartered status removed.

6. You have increased understanding of the implications of your work

CPD can help you increase knowledge of the benefits or implications of what you do, which can lead to increased engagement in your work. The Institute for Administrative Management (IAM) has grades and ranks directly linked to participation in CPD.

7. You can help advance the body of knowledge and technology within your profession

By investing in CPD, you can stay at speed with knowledge and technology used within the profession, and even help to enhance it further. The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) states members should participate in a minimum of 20 hours of CPD per year. Five hours of this should be formal learning.

8. It gives you access to experts in the fields

Through investing in self-developments, you can build knowledge through opportunities to speak with experts in the profession. The Institute of Directors (IoD) expects Chartered Directors to undertake 30 hours of CPD per year and log evidence of this online.

9. Potential to increase public confidence in a professional or group of professionals

Another one of the benefits of CPD is that the increased abilities of professionals can help to improve confidence. This can be both internally within an organisation, to a group of professionals or to the wider public. CPD requirements apply to all 684,000 registered nurses and midwives on the NMC register. Each person must complete 35 hours of professional development every three years to be eligible for revalidation.

10. Outside impact of CPD

CPD can improve quality of life, as well as outside factors such as the environment, sustainability and the economy – it is far wider than just benefitting an individual. You can read about the expectations of CPD in teaching here.

How can EDQuals help with CPD?

EDQuals is a CPD delivery and training platform. The online platform enables any training business or development team to create a bespoke course using their collective knowledge, experience and materials to aid CPD.

Our CPD tools combine training workshops, conferences, events, e-learning programmes and best practices to provide a focused programme to improve individuals and have effective professional development. This allows you to stay up to date with current trends and upskill or reskill as required.

For more information, call 01909 776 910 or email