This month I would like to discuss CPD and the importance of starting from now to record your two years of learning activities and reflective practice as you learn, in order to keep your profile up to date.
As you are aware CPD is a mandatory requirement for all AHP’s to remain on the HCPC register to evidence how they meet CPD standards. Each allied health profession is audited every two years and I am sure you are aware that Occupational Therapists were audited in October. If selected for audit, this can become a very stressful time if you are unprepared as gathering two years of evidence is time consuming in order to collate your CPD profile. This may result in your CPD profile not providing a true reflection on your professional learning as reflective practice was not completed at the time of the CPD activity. Maintaining CPD is paramount as an allied health professional as this enables you to provide evidence how you keep your professional development updated and give you the opportunity to share your learning experiences and reflect on your learning activities.
CPD can be seen as a ‘chore’ and the audit process can be viewed as ‘daunting’ as you are required to pass to continue practicing as an allied health professional. I would like change the negative view of CPD into a positive as CPD should be used to highlight and evidence all the hard work and learning you gain throughout your career. Each allied health professional participates in CPD activities on a daily basis within their work role, either through a work based activity, training opportunity, reading articles, and many more activities. The issue in why people get stressed when it comes to the audit process is that the reflection process is neglected at the time of the CPD activity, making it difficult to compile CPD profile.
In order to help others with CPD maintenance, I would like to share the six key tips in keeping CPD updated over the next two years in order to keep an updated CPD portfolio.
- Get supported- discuss your professional learning with your supervisor/ facility lead or other colleagues. Join CPD learning groups, journal clubs and so on to broaden your professional development.
- Know your role- have a good understanding of your role within your profession and also multidisciplinary team in order to make the most out of your learning and skills.
- Simple structure- when completing reflective practice, use clear headings and simple structure to keep your learning clear and concise.
- Date your diary- record all learning activities so you do not miss any when collating your two years of professional learning.
- Get to the point- when reflecting on your learning be concise with relevant information. Its quality not quantity.
- Learn from others- share your learning with others to seek support and guidance on learning.
My advice regarding CPD is to keep it clear and concise. Reflect regularly on your learning to provide an accurate view of your professional development. Reduce the stress by keeping your CPD portfolio up to date and be proud of your professional growth. Share your experience with others and support your colleagues with their professional journey also. Remember, CPD is not always work based. Reflective practice can also be from a life experience that will contribute to your professional development or benefit your service provider. You can view shared experiences within our reflection templates in order to help focus your learning.
- CPD is an opportunity to evidence your professional development and growth
- Reflect regularly and record all learning activities
- Share your learning and support one another in your career.