What comes to mind when you think of continuing professional development (CPD)?
Do you see it as an burden placed on you by your employer – something you ignore until you must submit your CPD log; or is it an opportunity to take stock and think about your career goals and whether you have the necessary skills to achieve them?
The chances are that it is probably somewhere between these extremes. You know that developing your skills is a good thing but CPD is often overlooked as we focus on juggling multiple work and home life demands. The good news however, is that we all undertake more CPD activity than we realise or recognise. It’s just a case of knowing when you’re in a ‘CPD moment’.
Learning every day
Professionals often talk about being in the moment. A zen-like state where you focus on a specific action, or set of actions, without distraction. In other words, giving it your absolute attention.
CPD is full of these moments. This may involve learning something new but more often it is about refreshing and refining our knowledge and skills or supporting the development of others. It helps to maintain and enhance professional competence and support our career development, as well as maintaining public trust in our abilities.
Golfer Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 major championships, was once asked, “Are there any really talented golfers who never make it?” “Hundreds of them,” he replied. “A lot of people out there are more talented than I am and yet through the years I’ve passed them by because I was never satisfied with my game. I was learning new shots every day.”
Emergency service personnel are another good example; they have training embedded into their daily routine, they repeat things over and over, there’s a strong ‘watch one, do one, teach one’ culture with people feeding back into their community as well as learning from it. There is a constant review of their own performance as a routine.
It is about staying prepared to ‘be effective’ both now and in the future.
As a project professional there are a whole range of activities that would count as CPD if they are relevant. These include:
- Reading an article (Project journal, for example)
- Attending and/or delivering a webinar or face-to-face event
- Completing online learning (on APM Learning)
- Writing an Insights article (for the APM Hub)
- Supporting the development of content either books, guides or learning modules
- Having a topical discussion with colleagues
What is most important is to plan, reflect on and record the activity regularly.
The project profession is chock-full of learning opportunities; so why not explore the different options available to you and find your CPD moment.
Find out more about how APM can support your CPD by visiting our dedicated web area