Just a quick one this week, but the topic is still very important.
It’s on the vexed subject of CPD – or Continuous Professional Development to give it the full title. Basically, this is the discipline that all financial services professionals should engage in (after all, everyone needs to keep their knowledge up to date). But if you’re a member of a professional body, there’s the additional box that needs to be ticked to say that you’ve carried out a certain amount of CPD throughout the year. And if you don’t manage to meet the minimum requirement, then your ability to continue as a member of that body could be brought into question.
Although it doesn’t sound too draconian, this could be a serious issue, if membership of a particular body is a prerequisite for your job. For example, if you’re an actuary or an accountant.
And, although this doesn’t apply to everyone, many of you may be looking at the end of the calendar year to make sure that your CPD requirements have been met – especially with Christmas being not too far away.
It’s there for a reason
It’s very easy to think of CPD as being something of a spoilsport; something that’s there to make trouble and to cause people to take time out of their schedules.
The reality is though, that in a fast-paced and ever-changing world like financial services, the need to force ourselves to take time out and keep up with our learning is absolutely essential. Especially as we can all get so busy that it’s really difficult to find the time to do this.
But everyone needs to keep on a path of developing two key areas in particular. Firstly, technical knowledge and secondly, personal or business skills. Most CPD programmes recognise that both of these are important, and make allowances in their programmes for learning of both types to count towards the CPD allocation.
Meeting the challenge
But again, the challenge still remains. How do you make sure that your CPD requirements are met (and actually, exceeded if you’re particularly keen on personal development and learning) whilst not letting your work objectives slip? This is the problem that constantly needs solving.
Here are three suggestions
Often seen as the traditional way of acquiring a lot of CPD time quickly, there’s no doubt that conferences suit this requirement particularly well. A one- day conference can in many cases enable you to claim 7 hours of CPD. If your annual requirement is 15 hours, for example, that’s nearly half of the requirement achieved with just one day out of the office.
And if the conference is on a subject that’s particularly relevant to your business at the time, then so much the better.
Extremely powerful, these. Half an hour to an hour sat at your desk listening to a webinar on a particular subject is a great way of acquiring CPD with very little intrusion to your working day. And over the course of the year, a few of these and you could find yourself well on your way to your CPD target with no trouble.
3. Training Courses
Have a subject you need to learn more about? A particular personal skill that you need to develop? Then go on a course.
There are more and more training providers emerging that are offering one or two day courses on a wide variety of subjects. And again, these can all count towards CPD. For many people, a two-day course would be enough to meet the CPD requirement for an entire year.
So there you have it – three particularly time-efficient ways to make sure that CPD is a problem that’s easily solved; and in fact can be turned into a positive.
But actually there’s one more.
One particular thing that you can do to make the process even easier. And that’s to find somewhere that you can access all the information you need about training courses, conferences, seminars, webinars and qualifications. In fact, all the information you could ever need to construct your training and development plans every year.
The good news is that there is such a place – and you can access it really easily by starting here, and then click here to make it even easier again.
By Martyn Oughton a Professional Member of the International Compliance Association (ICA). Martyn now writes a regular blog for Industry Events Online focusing on the importance of training in all aspects of compliance. Read Martyn's other publications at Martyn's Writers' Residence website.
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