Many employees belong to a profession of some sort, whether that is function-specific – such as marketing, HR, software engineering, accounting, teaching and so on – or generic, such as management. Some of these professions require their members to undertake some form of continuing professional development (CPD) as a condition of membership; others simply encourage this.
Resources for CPD can originate from professional bodies, but also from commercial providers such as publishers and conference organisers. Those employees who identify with a particular profession are likely to have a wide range of resources to choose from:
- Magazines and journals
- Conferences and webinars
- Meetings of regional groups, chapters, working parties, etc.
- Books, videos, podcasts and other media resources
It is impractical for all but the largest organisations to provide CPD resources internally. There is also a strong argument for actively encouraging external CPD events and resources as a means for learning what other organisations are doing and benchmarking one’s own organisation against the best in class.
Continuing professional development is:
- at its best when the resources are engaging and relevant, when the outcomes are shared with other professionals in the same organisation, when integrated into an employee’s development plan;
- best avoided when participants are just doing it because they have to, when the resources are paid for but never used.