Continuing Professional Development (CPD) has been described as ‘like eating vegetables’ – something we might not always wish to do, but an action that is beneficial to us in the long-run and is significant to our development.
During IOSH 2019, IOSH’s Director of Professional Services Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher chaired a session with speakers Joe Chambers from Abintegro and Gary Latta from PepsiCo illuminating the importance of CPD and how it can improve your soft skills, leadership abilities and future employability.
Across the globe, there is a growing need for safety and health practitioners to be able to influence within their organisation through good communication skills and competencies in a broad range of areas.
Whether it is the ability to deliver presentations at a boardroom level, or the need to deftly demonstrate the business benefits of investing in safety and health, CPD can make a vital difference in enhancing the skills you already have and filling in the gaps where knowledge may be absent.
Ultimately, CPD is a personal journey, and self-assessment is key. You need to be open and honest about areas where you may be able to improve in order to see the benefits. You get out of CPD what you put in; and those who invest the time often see significant return for their commitment.
During the session, the following key tips were shared for getting excited about your CPD journey and staying motivated:
- Understanding the value of keeping a professional record – Keeping a record of your professional activity is a great way of keeping track of your successes and achievements. It’s very easy to undertake training and forget to log it. By logging as you go, you can keep track of the themes and topics you are learning and identify where you may need to undertake further training.
- Pushing yourself beyond your day-to-day – Those who invest time in their CPD are often those who are the most driven to succeed, pushing themselves beyond what is expected to ensure they are at the top of their game. Maintaining your core competencies and learning soft skills can make a huge difference, not only in how your organisation perceives you, but also in how you perceive yourself.
- IOSH is here to help – As an IOSH member, you have the opportunity to use our online CPD programme to develop your career plan and reflect on your learning and work. Maintaining your knowledge and competence is quick and easy, and linking the CPD activities you do to the goals you have set yourself is a great way to meet your objectives.
- Getting into the mindset – CPD is a very personal journey. While it is mandatory, maintaining your CPD is ultimately a way for you to assess your own abilities and to set the goals for your own development journey. It can be useful to view doing your CPD as a way of setting targets and thinking about your future. Where do you want to be next year?
- Demystifying the term ‘leadership’ – It isn’t just those in senior positions within a business who can demonstrate leaderships skills. Anyone can showcase their own leadership abilities by maintaining their competency and showing a commitment to innovating and learning new things. Whether you aspire to a leadership role or not, having the skills to engage and influence others is vital and can pay off in many areas of your professional career.