Continuing Professional Development
It is no longer adequate to pass an examination at the age of 25, and then practice in a profession for 40 years. To do this without further development is ridiculous. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is vital for a professional Project Manager. CPD is now required by around 75% of all UK professional bodies. Everybody should be maintaining a record of their personal developments.
CPD is also moving from a voluntary to an obligatory and compulsory activity in many organisations.
Moreover, CPD is a requirement for APM Members, Fellows, Chartered Project Professionals (ChPP), and RPP holders. I have previously written about the differences between APM membership, qualifications, and standards.
I’ve already debated the question “is Project Management a career or a second career?” For many people it will be a second career, and development in Project Management will be vital.
Is it time for you to review your CPD in relation to your project management career?
How do I Discover My CPD Requirements?
There are several ways to identify CPD opportunities:
- Training Needs Assessment: Look for gaps between what is provided, and what is required
- APM Competences: Explore the 27 APM Competences to identify development areas
- PMI Knowledge Areas: Examine the 10 PMI Knowledge Areas
- APM Qualifications: Look at the curriculum for APM Qualifications
- Project Classifications: Reflect on the different types of projects that you have managed to identify improvement areas
- Moving onto Complex Projects: Consider the specific skills required to manage complex projects
- Runner Repeater Stranger Projects: What skills do you need for more ‘advanced’ projects?
There are plenty of ways to identify areas of future development. But use a variety of methods to plan your development. Make sure that development is relevant and personalised. Write it into your CPD log.
What Counts as Continuing Professional Development?
Having identified areas for development, the development can be delivered in a variety of manners. These can be both formal, and informal:
- Reading books
- Attending training courses
- Self-Reflection on past project management performances
- Attending webinars
- Reading Project Management case studies from magazines or journals
- Attending events, conferences, and trade-shows
- Networking with fellow professionals
- Watching videos
This part of the process is the act of doing the CPD. Record how long this takes for your CPD log.
Reflecting on Continuing Professional Development Undertaken
Reflection is an important part of learning. Reflection could be asking yourself questions:
- What has been learnt?
- What might be the effect on your projects?
- How could it be applied?
- What has been applied since the learning?
- How did it work out?
This is the third and final part of CPD. Reflection might identify new areas for CPD. Record how long the reflection takes, and add a commentary to your CPD log.
CPD is important for Project Managers because Project Management is often a second career.
Will the Project Management Competences help you identify gaps in your knowledge?