What's the point of ongoing professional development?
In "My CPD Life", a short series of blog posts to coincide with the launch of the AXELOS Professional Development Programme, experienced practitioners share their views on the value of keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date.
The AXELOS Professional Development Programme - an online annual membership programme aligned to AXELOS’ global best practice frameworks - has been designed for individuals to ensure their skills and knowledge remain current while supporting them in their professional development.
1 How important has Continuing Professional Development (CPD) been in developing your skills and competencies?
Working in technology, CPD is critical to developing my competencies in using new techniques and technology. With the rapid pace of change in technology and the challenges it presents to many organizations, I need to understand the implications so I can advise and guide people who depend on my judgement to be successful in their business.
2 Why is it important for practitioners to continue learning and developing beyond gaining a qualification?
Things change – quickly. Competition is fierce and we will drown in our own inertia if we fail to test new ideas and embrace those that provide better outcomes for our customers and other stakeholders. A certification only demonstrates that I have a base level of knowledge, and perhaps experience, in the field at the time I received the certification. There is a difference between doing the same thing for 20 years and 20 years of growth and experience. CPD helps me achieve the latter.
3 Why do you think it's important for your skills and knowledge to remain current in your sector?
Working in IT governance risk and compliance, if I don't understand what exists or what is possible I can't help people reduce the risks involving new technologies to an acceptable level.
4 How has CPD helped to differentiate you as a professional in your field?
My first career was in a field very different, but similar in some ways to what I do today. CPD in my first career helped me develop transferable skills such as problem identification, process analysis and communication that allowed me to shift to a different career in a different industry. I look at life as a continuous learning experience, both professionally and personally. This has been critical for my success and CPD is one way I can demonstrate to my employers that I am continuing on the learning journey.
5 What advice would you give to other practitioners about the value of CPD?
Even if you think you know it all, you don't. Keep learning and challenge the way we think about how things should work. Seek out how people in different fields; approach similar problems and test different ways of managing the problems you face in your work on a day-to-day basis. Don't constrain your learning by thinking something is too long or too hard to do.
See our Professional Development Programme section for more information
Have you found that your CPD activity has helped you stay ahead in your industry or field of expertise? Have there been lessons or skills you learned from CPD that also helped you in a professional position? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments box below.
Read more AXELOS Blog Posts from Joanne Molesky
Agile – can the dream become a reality for ITSM?
Is it time to change Change Management?
Creating a culture of collaboration and feedback to achieve working software solutions
More posts in AXELOS' My CPD Life series
My CPD Life - ITSM Consultant Barclay Rae
My CPD Life - independent PPM trainer, coach and consultant Steven Deneir
My CPD Life - project leadership coach and mentor Elise Stevens
My CPD Life - Interim Portfolio Director Craig Kilford
director John Earwood
My CPD Life - Project Management Expert Centre Leader Dave Watson