Making CPD count!
CIPR Inside committee member Becky Williams shares her tips on managing your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) throughout the year

I’ve had a love / hate relationship with CPD for many years. The CIPR app has been a huge help in getting into the swing of logging CPD but I’ve often been at the end of the year wracking my brain to remember what I’ve done. 

So two months into a new cycle, here are a few tips to help you crack the year ahead! They’re definitely not rocket science but they helped me and trust me when the social chatter gets going, CPD can feel quite overwhelming and it really doesn’t have to be!

60 is just a number … and if it sounds like a lot but trust me you will be surprised at how much CPD you do in a month let alone a year. It’s just you haven’t gone through the formalities of recognising it as CPD. 

The importance here is it’s about quality not quantity! 

There are many resources – courses, books, research, guides, webinars it can be quite overwhelming knowing where to start. 

First, it’s important to be able to dip in and out, you didn’t need everything, but you do need to know what will add value to your development. 

Roll on the personal development plan – it could be scribbled on the back cover of your favourite notebook – nothing too sophisticated! But words on paper help you to focus and keep you accountable!

So here are my top tips to plan your CPD year ahead. 

Take time to understand your development needs for the next quarter, six months or year. Think about what you enjoy the most. Investing a few hours of reflection time at the start will help you identify one or two things to support your development in an area that’s important to you. If you’re a planner – map it out to give it structure. CPD is investment in yourself to help you reach your own personal development goal. 

Be selective - there is so much information out there make sure you choose development that works for you– it shouldn’t be a chore. If it becomes a chore, it’s likely to add pressure and anxiety when let’s face it, we have busy day jobs.  

Logging is self-reflection – personally I learnt that I need to do it in the moment, but others keep a log and do it all in one go. This is the practical bit - how will that blog, pod or vlog influence the way you work and how will you apply the learnings. There may not be any role specific learnings it may be about personal growth but that makes you a better professional communicator – and that is what counts.  

The CPD points quickly rack up so don’t worry about quantity – it’s quality that counts! Reading a blog post, a news article, an industry report or listening to a podcast all translate into 5 CPD points. That’s only 12 items a year to hit the target  - easy right?! You do way more than that!

The CPD 60 is just a marker – you can do much more or you don’t have to log everything. You may listen to a whole podcast series on internal communications just because you love it. 

Similarly – one of those episodes might give you a light bulb moment that changes your thinking or approach on something and you decide to log that. 

Be kind to yourself. 

There is always a new research, theory and content and it can often be hard to keep up or feel like you’re missing out. But don’t worry about what everyone else is doing – it’s got to fit with your plan.

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