What is CPD?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development

It refers to the process of undertaking, tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work, beyond any initial training. A CPD portfolio is a record of what you experience and learn.
Some sectors require you under legislation to undertake set amount of CPD within defined timeframes in order to maintain professional standards and remain able to work within that sector.

The learning that you undertake as part of your CPD should be rounded and all inclusive.  Not all learning is undertaken in the classroom.  In fact we learn more “on-the-job” than any other way. You may have learnt something from a particular event or incident, from a piece of feedback that you received, from reading an article, from your peers and colleagues. All this can be part of your CPD and, depending on our profession, could towards your overall development plan.  Changing how you think about learning can help how you build your portfolio.

Keeping a CPD Portfolio

Whether you are required undertake CPD for your profession, or are undertaking it simply to enchase your skills and knowledge, maintaining a portfolio of evidence can assist in ensuring you keep on top of your goals and encourage you to reflect on your learning.

What is CPD Portfolio?

A CPD portfolio should be more than simply a record of your learning.  It should support your learning objectives, help you work towards you goals and assist in embedding the learning by providing you the tools to reflect and refresh your knowledge.

Traditionally a CPD portfolio would be as simple as a leaver-arch file of learning certificates; a historic record of the learning you have undertaken and proof of attendance, but it was unlikely to be something that encouraged you to learn or helped you in achieving your goals. But things have moved on since then. Using modern ePorfolio tools, simple applications can keep all your learning in one place, available 24 hours a day, without danger of getting lost or forgotten.

In essence, a modern ePortfolio tool should capture the activities that you have done and when you did them, it should help you calculate the hours you’ve spent on CPD and the different learning types that you have undertaken (formal learning, social learning, reading, conferences, incidents, meetings). It should help you assess what you have learnt from a particular activity and how this will affect your ability/knowledge/practice.

A CPD portfolio is:

  • A record of your professional development and experience.
  • Reflective and evaluative content, not just a historic record
  • Confidential
  • Useful as a historic, current and future learning tool.

Capturing evidence

A good ePortfolio should allow you to log learning reflections, and also act as a store for learning documentation. Use the learning that you record to help you reflect on

  • The impact of the learning on your job role or function
  • The impact of the learning alongside your professional standards
  • What else you can undertake in order to build on the learning and continue to develop

Feedback and Preparation

The evidence you collect in your portfolio may be useful when preparing for your appraisal or performance reviews. However, these feedback session may also provide learning scenarios in themselves. The learning you receive from well delivered feedback can be invaluable. Appraisals can also be used to help build learning paths and set objectives for the following review period, providing you with structure and achievable targets.

Take time to prepare for an appraisal or feedback session by reviewing your CPD portfolio.  Reflect on what you have achieved and learn, document this as part of your on-going CPD and set new goals and objectives for yourself alongside those that are set for you by your employer.

For more information on CPD ePortfolios download our datasheet.

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