01 October 2021

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

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CPD (Continuing Professional Development) includes all learning activities conducted by professionals to develop new skills and strengthen their current capabilities. It is a multi-faceted strategy for long-term career development.

What sets CPD apart is how it supports hobbies that aren't limited to mandated training and education. It is a lifelong commitment to continuous growth that encompasses a wide range of academic and professional pursuits. Some people choose career paths that include mandated training and development along the way and as a result, the question "What is CPD?" emerges. CPD entails actively seeking out opportunities for improvement. E-learning programs, classroom-based studies, conferences, workshops and private research are examples of diverse learning approaches used in CPD. When choosing which employees to hire and which to focus their career progression efforts on, employers place higher value on those committed to CPD.

By committing to continuous development, you will distinguish yourself as a thought leader in your profession. Whether you're considering a new job position or applying for a promotion in your current workplace, it's imperative that your knowledge and skills are up to date.
Employees that participate in CPD generally have improved performance and more career opportunities and organisations that support and encourage CDP benefit from the best human resources available.

CPD can take the form of a wide range of beneficial activities including but not limited to:

  • Learning in the classroom
  • Workshop participation
  • Programs for online learning
  • Lectures and conferences
  • Reading and private study
  • Practical work experience
  • E-learning

Why is CPD important?

Continuing Professional Development can aid in the development and updating of professional knowledge and skills by allowing you to reflect, review, and document your learning. CPD may be a fantastic self-motivation tool since it reminds professionals of their development, which can help increase confidence, strengthen professional credibility, and encourage staff to be more innovative when confronted with new issues. Furthermore, the flexibility and diversity of the various types of CPD learning offered provides an opportunity to select a learning method that best suits the individual.

  • CPD provides the following benefits to the learner:
  • It improves your abilities and helps fill any knowledge gaps.
  • Maintains academic and practical qualifications – In today's fast-paced environment where rapid advancement can soon render previous knowledge obsolete, keeping skills relevant is critical.
  • Provides opportunities for career advancement or re-orientation, such as higher salary and work security.
  • Improves your ability to learn and improve regularly - As you become more familiar with the process, your learning speed will improve and you'll become a more autonomous learner.
  • Shows a commitment to self-improvement.
  • Provides practical examples and scenarios for demonstrating professional growth and successes in CVs, cover letters, and interviews.
  • Reduces feelings of insecurity or fear of change - CPD provides you with a strategy for achieving your goals in the future and the ability to adjust quickly.
  • Encourages independence — self-directed CPD demands you to intentionally engage in learning activities and adhere to your plan, whereas certain structured CPD activities may benefit from additional research and study.

Recording Your Development

An essential part of continuing professional development is being able to provide evidence of cpd, especially if your professional body membership depends on it. Therefore, you should keep a folder or portfolio of all your development activities, drawing on your learning diary. The aim of this is to show how your skills and knowledge have developed over a period.

You should, therefore:

  • Keep a note of your development needs and goals, and make a regular (quarterly, six-monthly, or annual) assessment of your progress against them.
  • Record any training courses attended, with a copy of any certificates or qualifications obtained. Keep a record of the date, provider, aims of the training, and your thoughts on what you learned from it.
  • Make a note of any shadowing, video-assisted training, or similar. In each case, record the provider, the aims and your thoughts about what you learned.
  • For any coaching or mentoring sessions, make a note of the date, the person you were with, what you discussed, and what you intend to do differently as a result.
  • For any reading and other informal development that you do, make a note of the book or website and what you have learned and will do differently as a result.
  • If you are involved in any critical incidents or make particular mistakes from which you learn, record the details of the incident, what you learned, and what you will do differently as a result.

Are you ready to begin?

Sign up to RiverCPD today for a systematic, step-by-step approach to your professional development. RiverCPD is a more innovative approach for end-users and management to track their learning and CPD. Keep your attention on your professional progress and let RiverCPD keep track of it.

Features of RiverCPD

User administration

With a few clicks, you can create new users or import your members into the CPD site.

Objective management

Easy objective management makes it simple to stay on track with your professional progress. Create personal objectives to hit CPD targets and take a proactive approach to your learning.

For organisations, you can easily monitor the progress of members who are enrolled onto objectives to ensure users are learning the skills they need to succeed in their job.
Organising your diary

View user CPD diaries to keep track of training and progress toward goals so you can concentrate on more important responsibilities.


Show your competitive side! The leaderboard allows users to see their progress against their peers helping them to stay motivated and keep learning.

In conclusion, Continuing Professional Development is both an ongoing and cyclical process. You will almost certainly continue to learn throughout your career. RiverCPD gives orgnisations and users all the tools they need to manage their CPD diaries online through an intuitive CPD portal. Contact us today to see how you could benefit.