What is CPD?

What is CPD?

CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development, and it means the tracking and documenting of any skills, knowledge and experience you gain throughout your career.

When most of us think about CPD, we automatically assume that this will come in the form of certified courses, training and examinations, but actually, the most CPD we gain is from the everyday tasks we carry out in our jobs.

Think about your typical day at work. How often do you have to revise the way in which you carry out a task to suit a particular set of parameters? Probably quite often, and you do this without considering it a learning curve or career progression. But if you have learnt a new process or skill that has helped you to perform your job at a higher level or with a better outcome, it is CPD.

For example, you fill in a spreadsheet each day that logs everyone’s working hours. In the course of handing over this document, the management team decide it is too hard to work out how many hours employees are working in total and what this means for their overhead costs with the layout the sheet currently has. You offer to deliver the spreadsheet in a format that collates the data from an hours perspective rather than as an alphabetical list, you take it away and sort it in order with totals for the hours column and re-produce it to the management team who can now see at a glance, who is working the most hours to the least hours, what the total hours worked are and which employees contribute the most in regards to overheads. This is CPD, and it is instances like this that you should be documenting.

Why should I be documenting this CPD?

Today you demonstrated your ability to alter documentation to assist the management team in better understanding their overheads. When you look at it from this perspective, you have actively assisted in managing the company’s budget considerations and constraints. Without your input, obtaining this data from the sheet you have always completed could have been a long drawn out task and could quite easily have resulted in incorrect budgetary figures being submitted. Your ability to alter your day-to-day task to suit a new set of parameters has effectively culminated in accurate budgeting and forecasts to be submitted.

By documenting this CPD, you are demonstrating your ability to evolve and improve upon your skills to offer more effective and accurate data. When you are next looking for a similar job, but in a higher position, this CPD will demonstrate to a prospective employer that you are able to take your roles and responsibilities to a new level with intuitive and forward thinking - an admirable quality in any candidate.


So next time you approach your tasks in a different direction to improve the working processes or you’re asked to explore alternative avenues in your approach to your job, and you learn a new skill or improve upon existing working methods, make a note of it. CPD is a high commodity on any CV, and by not tracking your professional improvements you are underselling yourself when it comes to that next big career move.

Posted by: Employment Partners