People say that “Life is a continuous learning process”. There are two ways one can learn, either formally or informally. Formal learning can be characterized by having a structured or controlled approach in learning. This learning can generally be done through formal education or formal training programs where the learner has the intention of achieving a goal or objective as to what to learn and/or how to learn it. On the other hand, Informal learning is more of incidental and is mostly undergone through life experiences and is taught by someone who is more experienced in one aspect.
What I want to talk about in this article is about Continuing Professional Development. I will explain it by answering the basic questions of what, when, who and why. What is Continuing Professional Development or CPD? Continuing Professional Development, in layman’s term, can be defined as a formal learning undergone by professionals so as to either be more credible and confident, be able to take the next step in moving up in a career, be updated with current issues, standards and developments in a profession, or may even be a requirement by a government body so as to promote the status of their professionals. When is CPD done? This can only be done, of course, by professionals, being able to pass a national exam conducted by a regulating government body. Who are involved in this undertaking? The first entity in Continuing Professional Development is the learner or the professional. He is the one seeking additional knowledge or training so as to level-up his or her profession and/or be able to contribute more on his/her organization. The second entity is the accredited CPD provider and I would like to put an emphasis on the word “accredited”, meaning approved by the professional regulatory body, so as to be assured of the credibility and quality of the program to be taken.
From all the things written here, I think the question that readers would be most interested in is the “Why”. Why undertake Continuing Professional Development courses? Learning, unlike what other people may think, does not end when one finishes school, passing a licensure examination and work as a professional. Professionals still has the responsibility to learn and educate themselves even after having to work for a long time. We know that change is inevitable, and one way that professionals are updated with current changes in their respective profession is through CPD’s. It can also be taken to be able to focus in training and development that the course would offer to achieve one’s career goals.
Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”, which can be applied to a professional career because CPD’s can also be a way to evaluate a professional’s stage in his/her career and to assess whether or not career objectives are still being pursued and be able to plan for next developmental stages in the profession, for an unexamined career may be viewed as pointless, not having satisfaction as one goes through its different stages.