Menu Close

What is continuing professional development?


People often talk about CPD. Well, CPD stands for continuing professional development. According to CIPD (2014), CPD is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth. It is in fact a process to document any new skills and knowledge that you may gain as you work.

Benefits of CPD

Does CPD matter? The answer is ‘yes’.  It is certainly important for both individual employees and organisations. CPD can benefit both in a number of ways. For example:

  • CPD is important because it helps employees to remain competent in their professions. As the name suggests, CPD is an ongoing process which benefits an employee throughout his/her career.
  • CPD helps professionals keep their skills and knowledge up to date to work effectively. Things change so rapidly in this ever-changing business environment that without CPD, an employee may become irrelevant anytime.
  • CPD boosts the morale of employees. Employees can indeed keep track of their progress made through CPD activities which should in turn stimulate their self-confidence and make them more effective.
  • CPD  is a good tool to help employees focus their achievements throughout the year (CIPD, 2014).

Barriers to CPD

There are a number of barriers to continuing professional development which emanate from both individual employees and organisations as follows:

  • Organisations sometimes may not have enough funding to run CPD programmes. This barrier may be further acute during economic difficulty such as recession.
  • CPD programmes may sometimes be hampered due to heavy workloads employees already have on their shoulders. Some employees may feel that CPD is an additional burden on them!
  • CPD may sometimes be associated with staff turnover. Through CPD, employees gain new skills and experience which in turn help them search for better opportunities.

CPD methods

A number of methods can be used for CPD. For example, attending a workshop or training event, listening to someone’s lecture, attending a conference, joining in an online course and many other options are available for CPD.  Employees should check with the employers to explore CPD provisions available for them.

The article publication date: 02 September 2016

References/Further reading

CIPD (2014) What is CPD (Online), Available from: (Accessed 15 March 2014)

Photo credit:  The University of Sheffield

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.

Related Posts