You’ve just graduated from your degree. Check.
You’ve completed all your internships and completed your practical experience. Check.
You have your new job lined up and ready to go. Mission accomplished.
Or so you think.
It would be fair to say that the first part of your mission is well and truly accomplished. Sit back and give yourself a pat on the back. But don’t take too long about it or you’ll be lagging behind your colleagues. The same is true for seasoned veterans in the workplace.
Continuing professional development is important because it ensures you continue to be competent and efficient in your profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career.
The ultimate outcomes of well-planned continuing professional development is that it safeguards the public, the employer, the professional and the professional’s career.
Continuing professional development
- Ensures your capabilities keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field
- Ensures you maintain and enhance the skills you need to deliver a professional service to your customers, clients and the community.
- Ensures that you and your knowledge stay up to date and relevant. You are more aware of the changing trends and directions in your profession. The pace of change is probably faster than it’s ever been – and this is a feature of the new normal that we live and work in. If you stand still you will get left behind as the currency of your knowledge and skills becomes out-dated.
- Helps you to continue to make meaningful contributions to your team. You become more effective in the workplace. This assists you to advance in your career and move into new positions where you can lead, manage influence coach and mentor others.
- Helps you stay interested and interesting. Experience is a great teacher, but it does not mean that we tend to do what we have done before. Continuing professional development opens you up to new possibilities, new knowledge and skill areas.
The importance of continuing professional development should not be underestimated – it is a career – long obligation for practicing professionals.
Sometimes it is mandated by professional organizations or required by codes of conduct or codes of ethics. But at its core it is a personal responsibility of professionals to keep their knowledge and skills current so that they can deliver the high quality service that safeguards the public, meets the expectations of customers and the requirements of their profession.