CPD Points: What are they? Why are they important?
A short guide to CPD points.
What does CPD mean?Continual Professional Development (CPD) refers to the learning activities professionals do to expand their skill-set. These activities could be training workshops, online courses and conferences that enhance personal skills. An example of a CPD course would be a Level 1 First Aid course. The CPD process includes recording and evaluating the professional’s learning and development, which is reported to and monitored by the governing body to which the professional falls under/belongs.
The compliance requirements differ vastly from one professional governing body to another. For example, the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) requires healthcare providers to acquire 30 CPD General points and 6 Ethics points every two years. Whereas the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) requires a minimum of 120 CPD hours during a 3-year rolling cycle, 60 of which must be verifiable and a minimum of 20 CPD hours are acquired annually.
Professionals need to check and verify with their related governing body their unique CPD requirements.
What are CPD Points?CPD points are a record of the time you have spent developing a particular professional skill. CPD points equate to the hours you have spent in your professional development. 1 CPD point = 1 hour spent on CPD activity.
For example, say you attend a day’s training course about delivering first aid. The course runs from 8 am to 4 pm, plus an hour break for lunch. That training course would award you 9 CPD points.
Most accredited CPD courses are assigned a set number of points. This information is usually accessible through the course details or provider. It is crucial to verify the number of CPD points available, especially if CPD training is an industry requirement.
It is also imperative to keep a record/portfolio of all the CPD courses you have taken. Most CPD providers will send you a hardcopy certificate of your CPD training. This may be a requirement of your employer, and you may also get peace of mind with having something tangible in your hands.
In some industries, CPD points are a requirement, and the professional body sets a minimum number of points to be achieved each year. This is why a portfolio of all CPD training is vital. Your CPD can be added to your CV to negotiate promotions or pay, demonstrate your commitment to the field and gain admittance to professional bodies.
How does CPD benefit professionals?Keeps their knowledge current and up-to-date.
They are more equipped to provide a better service to their service consumers.
It upgrades their professional credentials.
It enhances their CV, which can open favourable employment opportunities.
It can expose them to new business opportunities.
It demonstrates their professional standing and compliance to clients and employers
In conclusion, CPD is beneficial to many professionals. Keeping a record of your CPD in a portfolio will mean you don’t have to try to remember everything over the years. It’s a way of you tracking your development and path towards achieving your goals – you will quickly be able to see how far you’ve come in your professional development.