Research Library

Practitioner-Determined CPD

The development of PDPs assists professionals to tie their learning to their personal development goals, thereby facilitating more meaningful participation by professionals in CPD activities.


Author(s): Andrew Lumsden

This title explores the concept of practitioner-determined continuing professional development (CPD), which is a view of CPD that seeks to connect the learning objectives of individual professionals with their participation in targeted CPD activities. Generally, most professions give their members significant scope to complete their CPD requirements as they choose, subject only to hour or credit caps on certain types of activities or learning in a certain subject matter.

Beyond this, the active involvement by professionals in the formulation of a Professional Development Plan (PDP) has the benefit of situating the learning objectives of individuals in their specific context, allowing them to meet objectives in a manner which suits their learning preferences and day-to-day work. This is particularly apt given that no two professionals’ objectives and learning styles are identical.

The PDP also engages another important aspect of CPD – reflection – which is pivotal in ensuring that CPD is a continuing process of engagement by an individual with their learning objectives and the methods they intend to use to meet them. Reflection also ensures that professionals implement key performance measures to track their progress against such objectives. The value of reflection also lies in guiding professional associations to develop CPD programs that meet identified trends in the market or gaps in knowledge, which are identified through a process of engagement with members. This can be seen in the brief description of the Professional Standards Council reporting requirements in this title.

This title explores practitioner-determined CPD under the following headings:

  • Benefits of practitioner-determined CPD;
  • Professional Development Plans; and
  • The importance of reflection.


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