Making a CPD Plan
How you choose to continue your professional development will be as individual as you. It’s therefore important to ensure your CPD plan reflects your aspirations.
1. Set some goals.
Are you doing this to achieve chartered status, to secure a promotion or stay accredited? Answering these questions will help you identify the types of learning, training, and qualifications to complete.
Be specific: if the goal is to move into a specialism like project management, then it’s likely you’d need PRINCE2 or ITIL accreditations to secure the job contract.
If you want to become a board leader then you will need different skills (for example, understanding governance) to those required to become a manager of a large team (coaching and motivating people.)
This exercise will help you identify the outcomes of the CPD and its value to your overall goal, the value to an employer, as well as understand how much time or money will be required.
Finally, it's also worth considering what makes you happy. Will the goals you are setting help you do more of what you enjoy and get excited about? What will success feel like?
2. Be realistic.
Firstly, be honest with yourself about what you are good at and where the gaps in your skill set lie. It’s helpful to get an appraisal from a colleague or manager to help as it will uncover any blind spots and highlight the strengths you have, including some you underplay or hadn’t realised were highly valued by others.
The second aspect relates to carving out enough time in the month to do the training or learning you’ve identified and stay on top of your existing commitments. This will help you a) map a realistic timeline, breaking your plan into some short- and long-term success criteria and b) identify the support you need to make it happen.
3. Get started.
With a timeline and plan, you can start booking the courses, obtaining the books, and lining up the resource and support you need to start hitting the milestones. It can be helpful to share your plan with a manager or a friend. They will keep you accountable and help you stay on track and motivated.
4. Track progress.
Have you done what you said you would? Are you likely to be in a stronger position sooner than you thought and it’s worth stretching your goals? Have you been too ambitious? Have you discovered this might not be the right plan for you after all, because other opportunities have come along?
No matter the answer, all scenarios should be considered a good outcome – don’t forget that by committing to CPD you are already ahead of millions of other people.
Whatever the situation you find yourself in, make sure you do record your learning, regardless of how small the activity was. ‘Every little helps’ as they say! Professional bodies and institutes will have formal processes for recording your CPD so you can earn your ‘points’.
Find out more about logging logging Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points with MyAxelos