Engaging in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) ensures that both academic and practical qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete; allowing individuals to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves, regardless of occupation, age or educational level.
The phrase ‘continuing professional development’ (CPD) describes activities undertaken by professionals to ensure their skills and knowledge remain up-to-date.
Continuing professional development (CPD) is becoming more important in all professions as the rate of change and number of specialisms increases. In the construction industry, CPD has become a vital part of a professional career as a result of; continuous and accelerating changes in technology, regulations and procurement practices; increasing specialisation; and the complexity and integration of the supply chain.
It is no longer adequate to obtain a professional qualification at the beginning of a career and then to work for 40 or 50 years with no further structured pattern of learning. Instead, lifelong learning is becoming the norm, with professionals taking part-time courses and short courses to understand emerging innovations such as building information modelling (BIM) or taking career breaks and returning to full-time education to improve or develop an aspect of their practice.
Many of the industry’s professional institutes require that members undertake CPD as a condition of continued accreditation (such as the RIBA, CIOB, RICS, RTPI, CIAT, ICE, IStructE and so on), and for some professions (such as architects) it is a statutory requirement.
Some requirements for continuing professional development are relatively generous, for example the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) requires that architects keep relevant knowledge and skills up-to-date, and are aware of the content of any guidelines issued by the Board, but they permit architects to ‘think laterally’ and encourage them to undertake cpd in a number of ways. Similarly, the CIOB states, ‘We think members are in the best position to know how best to brush up their skills‘.
In contrast, others are more prescriptive. For example, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) expect chartered members to participate in a system that focuses on time and gaining 100 CPD points each year, and a core curriculum, requiring that architects undertake at least 35 hours of CPD, with 20 hours coming from the ten topics in a 10 core curriculum topics (with 2 hours on each topic each year). These are: Being Safe, Climate, External Managements, Internal Management, Compliance, Procurement and contracts, Designing and building it, Where people live, Context, Access for all.
CPD may be formal, informal, structured or self-directed. Generally, if an activity helps meet a professional development objective (or helps others meet professional development objectives), it may count as CPD. This might include:
Accredited CPD providers offer face-to-face, online or distance CPD products which often involve reading materials and sometimes answering multiple choice questions. CPD certificates may be issued on successful completion of a content, subject or module.
CPD is required for architects in these countries (to name but a few): Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Hungary, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Jamaica. Many of these have based their systems on ours. Most other EU countries will soon be implementing mandatory CPD for architects.
CPD is a standard requirement and recognition for most countries around the world.
These are not necessarily all the organisations that provide the CPD certified courses; these are the organisations that require their members to gain CPD points by attending CPD certified events in order to remain current members.
Impartiality of CPD certification is maintained by professionals working in the public and business sectors, all of whom have considerable experience of continuing personal and professional development.