CPD and Public Relations

By Jennifer Valentine-Miller
15th November 2023

When I informed my university lecturer that I am using my leadership and management degree to go into PR; they informed me that amongst all the things I should do whilst embarking upon Public Relations as a profession is to “think outside of the box”. During the time of my studies, I was supporting the NHS and managing my own business initiative. To me, it made sense because my workplace was also part of my ongoing professional development. Choosing to work in public relations can lead to attractive career opportunities, however creating content and working alongside brands is not glamorous but a necessity. Continuous professional development within the field of public relations is immense especially if you get paid for what you do. Or, if you want to from time to time save money as the sole proprietor; conducting one’s own comms and social media management is a useful idea.

Public relations (PR) - what does it mean to me?

PR refers to all the efforts of an organisation, company, or  trading business who communicates with the public strategically. The purpose is to create and maintain a public image and respond to public inquiries. The endeavours of Public Relations also engage with stakeholders across multiple platforms. In my case, I was also working for the Estates directorate alongside NHS Property Services building a positive relationship during difficult times within the NHS.  Some of overarching missions of my role are:

Studying various trends from major providers and whether the services support the NHS standard operations and everyday goals.
Work alongside consultants and leadership on matters relating to positive communication with the public.
Work alongside constant evaluations that connect with the public and patients.
Protect and enhance the organisation's reputation
Support strategic implementations with the purpose of enhancing the policy in place for the benefit of the organisation.

The reasons why people like me chose to pursue a career in PR is because the estimations are high and point of entry positions can start with customer services and front desk positions, Public Relations also offer careers that are high in demand. Most large organisations require support to distribute information to the public using digital channels, such as social media.

Gaining access to a variety of roles 

I chose to carry out various roles within the PR field. That is why it is relevant to keep up with CPD; this enhances the purpose behind what I do and gives me that ongoing feeling of professionalism and academia. I don't feel like a round peg in a square hole whilst combining passion for communications with a personal interest in other fields. As a PR practitioner, there is a wide range of areas of interest to choose from. PR practitioners  can either work for a PR agency, a large company, volunteer, or work as a freelance consultant.

Public Relations roles usually involve different tasks, such as communicating with clients and creating campaign strategies according to their specific needs. The fact that each client has particular needs means that

PR in a professional capacity develops a varied skill-set too and quickly adapts to new conditions, providing a positive effect to one’s profile.  

Why CPD and CIPR?

Personal and professional development has managed my own learning and growth throughout my working-life. Continuous learning helps me open up new doors in my career. I also keep my skills and knowledge up to date and ensure I continue to practise safely and legally. CPD can range from:
on-the-job learning as a  Fire warden
courses and workshops from topics as vast as EDI
Volunteering during the Pandemic vaccinations
E-learning to understand more about Information Governance (IG).

Earning accreditation with CPD 

Displaying a CIPR Accreditation proves that an individual like me is making a commitment to career-long learning with the highest professional standards. The accredited PR Practitioner status is awarded once two consecutive cycles of CPD is completed. Annually, my aim is to record 60 CPD points either by completing a webinar or e-learning session, reading literature, engaging with podcasts, and attending the annual conference.

Earning extra points CPD

Having gained points towards my CPD in a few ways it is good to see from the CIPR the ways where points can be earned.

If you were to study for a qualification with CIPR (depending on the level of the qualification) you can be awarded between 30 to 60 points towards your CPD.

There are several training courses specialising in communications and media; upon successful completion that can earn you 20 CPD points.

Attending an event to further your professional development can earn you 10 CPD points.

Reading through skill guides and reports on measurements can gain you 5 CPD points.

Making a note of what you have learned for a networking or social evening event can earn some points (usually 5 points).

Custom-log points are logged for volunteering outside of the CIPR, however it has to give value to your professional development.  Christian outreach events do not qualify.

Reading books, listening to webinars, and following interesting Podcasts can get you 5 points each!