Continuing Professional Development

It is important for anyone who takes their work seriously to maintain competence in their profession; this is the foundation of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

If you are in the process of registering for accredition with a professional organisation then you will be undertaking some form of professional development review and plan, but this sort of planning is vital throughout your career. Institutions such as the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology; formerly the IEE) insist on continuation of professional development throughout a member's engineering career.

A CPD process will also be of vital importance - or at least a distinct adgantage - if you find yourself out of a job or if your employer changes your job profile considerably.

There are various activities that count for CPD, and some may not be very obvious. Training, work experience and academic study form the backbone of a decent professional plan, but you can also include volunteering, self study, events and seminars. In your plan, record your intention to do all these sorts of activities, and later on record the actual activities as you did them. It is also important to perform a periodic retrospective of how your plan worked out.