Continuous Professional development

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Define CPD and analyse its role in professional updating and improvement of practice with particular reference to your own approach to CPD

Continuous professional development (CPD) is a framework of learning and development that ensures a professional’s competency, effectiveness, knowledge, skills and practice are continually kept up to date through ‘lifelong learning’ strategies and activities.

There is not a fixed CPD standard or structure and a ‘one size fits all’ process would not work for all professions and individuals who work for companies with diverse objectives and working practices. The various approaches may have common themes and goals such as setting objectives for development and charting progress towards them, or
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Formal training may include on-line and CD-ROM based courses or full or part time study leading to qualifications. Development on the other hand can be more informal and has a broader outlook on learning and may include private study such as reading, observing and reflection.

Structured continual learning is important in any profession because new research and practices may require new knowledge and skills. For example the QCF Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development is one example of formal learning that I have considered and want to undertake. This is for both professional and financial reasons. Professionally it proves a level of academic ability, knowledge and credibility. It is the standard that many career companies now expect from professionals delivering career guidance in schools. Gaining the qualification should also help me remain competitive when applying for a job and hopefully keep me within a reasonable pay scale.

Conferences, workshops and seminars also help keep professionals up to date with changes to practice and can be a vehicle for networks to be built up and experiences shared.

On the job training such staff training, shadowing, secondment, coaching and mentoring all provide excellent provision for professionals to learn new skills and build up work based knowledge. Professionals may also learn by taking part in working groups or involvement in research projects.

Babcock recognises the benefit of CPD and
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