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CPD – A requirement or not?

Why leaders need to undertake CPD.
Jenni Miller

We’ve all heard of CPD but what is it and why is it important?

Continuous Professional Development is how professionals maintain and develop their skills, knowledge and experience in order to carry out their specific duties competently. CPD can include formal training such as courses, seminars and workshops; or practice-based learning such as on-the-job training or work shadowing; or unstructured learning such as reading articles, books and journals.

Some sectors such as medicine and law have specific requirements which their professionals must adhered to. For example, the Royal College of Anaesthetists are required to complete at least 50 hours of CPD per year, while Solicitors don’t have a specified number of hours to hit but they must have documented evidence of CPD completed in order to ensure their on-going competence. 

For these professions it seems fairly obvious that this should be an industry requirement given the constant advancement in medicine and changes to the law. However, what about managers and leaders in a non-regulated environment? Do they need to bother with CPD if it isn’t a legal requirement? If you already made it to the glittering hights of Senior Leadership then surely you already just know how to manage a team right? Wrong! 

As a leader, completing CPD (in whatever format) not only helps reach and maintain the high standards necessary to be effective, it also shows a commitment to self-development which you should be role-modelling to the rest of your team. According to the OECD there are approximately 2.4 million managers who are classed as untrained, accidental leaders, that’s pretty staggering to think they are managing business from every industry without ever having any formal training. CPD helps develop fresh ideas, avoids skills gaps and drives motivation for both the leader and the employee. In fact, a LinkedIn report found that 94% of current employees would stay in their current role longer, if they received more investment in training. 

For your business, having a culture that promotes CPD can help you attract a higher quality of candidates when you are recruiting as well as significantly improve your retention figures. Furthermore, it goes without saying that constant improvements in your workforces’ abilities will drive business performance and efficiency, leading to reductions in costs too.

It’s worth remembering that CPD doesn’t need to take the shape of a formal, expensive qualification. It’s also worth mentioning that you should ensure that, when outsourcing any kind of training, you use a provider who is accredited by a trusted professional body such as the CPD Standards Office or Institute of Leadership & Management. They both ensure that the training is of the highest quality, legally compliant and continually monitored.