MY CPD SECTION – A GUIDE TO CPD
WHAT IS CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a process by which individuals take control of their own learning and development, engaging in a continuing process of reflection and action. The process should be both empowering and exciting to stimulate people to achieve their aspirations and move towards their dreams.
Your Professional Development gives you the opportunity to look at your career progress from a wider perspective. It challenges you to make time for regular personal reflection and review. It reminds you that you have the responsibility for developing yourself rather than pushing the onus on to your managers, peers or others in your organisation.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is all about keeping your hard-won skills and knowledge completely up to date. It delivers many professional advantages, but it is also rewarding on a personal level as a great way to deepen your interest in your field and develop useful skills that could lead to interesting career decisions. To maximise your potential for lifetime employability, it is essential that you maintain high levels of professional competence by continually upgrading your skills and knowledge.
A successful CPD programme will meet the goal of creating an environment that enables you to remain professionally competent throughout your working life. This is done by providing information and guidance to assist you to develop your expertise in recognising and planning your learning needs, recording the activities which you undertake to satisfy those needs and thus maximise your effectiveness, efficiency and employability.
You should undertake CPD to enable you to:
- Be better able to recognise opportunities
- Be more aware of the trends and directions in technology and society
- Become increasingly effective in the workplace
- Be able to help, influence and lead others by your example
- Be confident in your future employability
- Have a fulfilling and rewarding career
Equally, there is an emphasis on competence. Many IHEEM members are required to exercise professional engineering judgement, often on matters linked to health and safety. Only someone able to demonstrate ongoing competence will be able to make a reasonable professional judgement in such circumstances.
Recording evidence of CPD will demonstrate your CPD achievements and is evidence of both continuing competence and the aim to realise your full potential. A subsequent article will look at the importance of developing and maintaining a CPD record.
The benefits of CPD are not just felt when you’re going for promotion, seeking another position or upgrading your institute membership. Many employers now value ‘learning agility’ as a core competency.
As organisations shift the responsibility for personal development back to the individual, the ability and insight to manage your own professional growth is seen as a key strength. Set our below are some of the key benefits of undertaking CPD – to both the individual and the employer.
How CPD Benefits You
- Build confidence and credibility, you can see your progression by tracking your learning.
- Earn more by showcasing your achievements. A handy tool for appraisals.
- Achieve your career goals by focussing on your training and development.
- Cope positively with change by constantly updating your skill set.
- Be more productive and efficient by reflecting on your learning and highlighting gaps in your knowledge and experience.
How CPD Benefits Your Employer
- Helps maximise staff potential by linking learning to actions and theory to practice.
- Helps HR professionals to set SMART objectives, for training activity to be more closely linked to business needs.
- Promotes staff development. This leads to better staff morale and a motivated workforce helps give a positive image/brand to organisations.
- Adds value by reflecting, it will help staff to consciously apply learning to their role and the organisation’s development.
It is an obligation of membership of IHEEM that CPD is planned, undertaken and recorded. IHEEM recommends that members carry out regular reviews of their career aims and objectives and identify education, training and assessment needs. Having identified such needs, members should then ensure that sufficient CPD activities are undertaken to meet those needs.
All members of IHEEM are expected to:
- Be committed to continuous learning and improvement
- Own their own development
- Manage their development in a systematic manner – through the processes of planning, doing, recording and reviewing
- Provide evidence of their development, when required
- Focus development on achieving outputs, defined through professional or other competence standards
Additionally, registration with the Engineering Council places obligations on registrants to maintain and develop professional competence. Equally, members who are professionally registered in other disciplines will also be required to maintain their professional competence.
Any member who wishes to upgrade their membership with IHEEM, or register as a professional engineer with the Engineering Council, will be required to provide evidence of the CPD activities.
Your CPD should ideally be a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth. The focus of CPD is firmly on results – the benefits that professional development can bring you in the real world. Perhaps the most important message is that one size does not fit all. Wherever you are in your career now, and whatever you want to achieve, your CPD should be exactly that: yours.
It is guaranteed that you’re already doing some form of CPD, because we all learn new things on a regular basis – whether it’s talking to colleagues, listening to the radio or reading a relevant publication. CPD embraces all these everyday activities – it’s not just about going on courses and needn’t involve a great expense of time or money.
Anything that helps you to meet your development objectives could count as CPD – as long as you can demonstrate real value in your work. So, if you do something at the weekend that changes your perspective on teamwork or teaches you something about interpersonal communication, you can use it in your CPD record. Similarly, if there are personal learning experiences you don’t want to share, leave them out. You decide what goes in and what stays out.
Activities, which are relevant to your own professional development, may include the following activities. This list is not exhaustive and you should also identify other activities that meet you own specific requirements.
- IHEEM committee work
- Reading technical articles, Health Estate Journal (Note: you should record what you learnt and how you will use it, related to individual articles)
- Attending or presenting at IHEEM seminars, IHEEM branch events and IHEEM conferences
- Special project work or job secondments
- Planned coaching from colleagues or specialists
- Discussions or training with colleagues
- Studying towards further qualifications
- Developing your technical knowledge and skills in your current field
IHEEM Members are employed in a very varied range of jobs and at all levels of responsibility, and it is recognised that this will be reflected in their continuing learning needs which will be equally varied.
There are no limitations to the range of subjects that can be included, although it is recommended that, in order to develop your expertise on a broad front, you may also need to undertake CPD in the following areas:
Developing practical skills such as IT or giving presentations
Acquisition of non-technical knowledge and skills: management techniques, communication and presentational skills, law (Health & Safety, environmental, employment), finance, foreign languages amongst others to prepare you to assume wider or greater responsibilities when the opportunities arise
Broadening your technical knowledge and skills into fields parallel to your own, thus enabling you to move into another job or role should the need or opportunity arise.
MyIHEEM CPD is your system for recording your lifelong learning outcomes and is accessible via your IHEEM website login.
MyIHEEM CPD has been developed to enable you to capture both the quantitative and qualitative areas of your CPD activities in a very useful, friendly interface.
It allows for easy capture of your reflective learning by answering 4 simple questions, with quick uploading of support evidence – preloaded IHEEM events will exist where applicable (via session code under new CPD).
There is no need to record CPD anywhere else now, as MyIHEEM CPD provides you with the unique facility to share your CPD records with other professional bodies for review.
Almost certainly, all IHEEM members undertake CPD as required by the IHEEM Code of Professional Conduct, partly for that reason, but mainly because they know it is a good idea and benefits both them and their employer. However rather fewer record it, and fewer still submit their record for approval and feedback by IHEEM. The Engineering Council requires all its licensed institutes to implement a programme of monitoring its registrants CPD activities. The aim is to ensure that all registrants are appropriately planning and reflecting upon their CPD activities properly.
- How do you know what good CPD is?
- Are you undertaking the correct type of CPD?
- Are you getting the most from it?
IHEEM will periodically be asking a sample of registered members to submit their CPD records for approval and feedback. By providing feedback it is hoped that the exercise will benefit submitting members by giving an endorsement of their current practice if found satisfactory, or pointing out areas for development if necessary, or required.
This monitoring, auditing and feedback will be carried out in the first instance by the IHEEM Membership & Registration Committee, who are familiar with peer reviewing and have been trained to monitor CPD records and provide appropriate feedback.
The procedure need not be onerous; in fact, it is designed to assist you. If you record your CPD via another institute or body, you may submit that.
No doubt all IHEEM members undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as required by the Code of Conduct, partly for that reason, but mainly because they know it is a good idea and benefits both them and their employer. However rather fewer record it, and fewer still submit their record for approval and feedback by IHEEM. This is common across all engineering institutes.
For this reason, the Engineering Council has for several years required all of its licensed institutes to implement a programme of monitoring its registrants CPD activities. The aim is to ensure that all registrants are appropriately planning and reflecting upon their CPD activities properly and by providing feedback it is hoped that the exercise will benefit submitting members by giving an endorsement of their current practice if found satisfactory, or pointing out areas for development if necessary, or required.
For some time now, IHEEM has been undertaking a rolling programme of the auditing of registrants CPD records in accordance with this requirement.
From 1 January 2019 recording of CPD has been mandatory for all Engineering Council Registrants. In addition, from 1 January 2020, those who persistently refuse to engage in the process may be subject to removal from the Register.
This activity of recording CPD applies to Registrants at all levels; Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer, and all Institutes are complying, so if you are not registered with IHEEM, you may hear from another Institute.
The programme of audit will continue, and we will shortly be in touch with selected registrant members requesting them to submit their CPD records covering the last 36 months.
These records will then be reviewed by a peer group of IHEEM registrants, and the relevant members will be provided with constructive feedback. This exercise has already proved beneficial to IHEEM members, who have valued the feedback provided.
So, if you do not already do so, start to recording your CPD using your MyIHEEM CPD account.
You may find the following websites helpful for additional research regarding continued professional development: