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Continual Professional Development: you’re already doing it!


Last year, AXELOS interviewed over 1,000 best practice professionals* to understand attitudes towards professional development. An impressive 74% of professionals we spoke to demonstrated an interest in their continual professional development (CPD). However, when asked what their top blockers to undertaking CPD activities was they cited:

  1. Learning and Development is too expensive for my organization
  2. Budget cutbacks have affected how much my organization can spend
  3. It’s not easy to take time away from the office.

Whilst this is a frustration that many of us have experienced, it does suggest a potential misunderstanding of what CPD entails. Training, of course, is an important part of professional development – but it is not the only thing. If you are struggling with a lack of time or budget, there are many alternative activities you could be doing. In fact, you probably already are!

Our content subscription service My AXELOS includes a CPD toolset which encourages professionals to log 20 CPD points a year by completing activities under four categories: Professional Experience, Training, Community Participation and Self-Study. This results in a verifiable digital badge, reflective of your investment in your professional development. Our guidelines define one CPD point for one hours’ worth of work and Professional Experience is the only category we mandate. This category is about demonstrating how you apply best practice to your day-to-day role, which can include examples of work, or broader activities such as coaching, mentoring or shadowing colleagues. These are all great examples of ways you can take ownership of your professional development, without having to overcome budget challenges.

We find that Community Participation is underused as a category, yet it is probably the most accessible! This could include a whole range of activities, from watching webinars right up to organizing your own industry event.

We distinguish between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ community participation but both are perfectly valid forms of professional development. Anything that involves developing your skills and knowledge in a professional capacity is. Digesting content, be it a blog or podcast, is demonstratively expanding your knowledge in your specialism. And it is, for the most part, free!

You might not have consciously thought about your professional development throughout the year, but it’s likely you will have attended a webinar, or read a white paper or blog post – after all, you are doing that right now! Take a moment to consider the activities you do, or the content you read, and think about how many points you could be logging. You’ll probably surprise yourself!

For more information on My AXELOS visit www.axelos.com/professional-development

*as part of our 2017 ITSM & PPM Benchmarking Reports

Current rating: 4.4 (10 ratings)


27 Nov 2018 Atique Sheikh
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Somewhat I agree with the article , It keeps aspiring as well as experienced managers on toes and pushes them to learn more. But , at same time I have concern that you kept 15 points for training.Here , I would like to refer your top blockers, when it is difficult to go for expensive trainings, you should think of reducing the weight-age given to same.
7 Dec 2018 Richard Firth
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Having been a PM for over 10 years, I've only just started with formal CPD this year and found it very useful to sit back and take stock of what I've learnt. I've been trying to incorporate this into my project lesson learnt session for the whole team to be involved with.
5 Sep 2020 Corinne Farrell
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Logging 20 professional points throughout the year definitely helps keep up to date with market trends and the latest project management developments which is key to maintaining knowledge and expertise.
9 Sep 2020 Eric Malatji
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logging CPD points is good to keep professionals on thier toes and keeping pace.
13 Mar 2021 Qasim Arshad
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logging CPD 20 points is good to keep professionals on their toes and keeping pace for latest trends and project management developments.
30 Mar 2021 Rares Balan
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Logging 20 CPD points per year is an easy task. I recommend making an excel spreadsheet with your activities spread out per certification that you undertook. Do not leave it to the last minute and it should be easy to put in throughout the year.
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