Continuous professional development

As managers we always talk about continuous professional development of ourselves, teams and colleagues, but how do we turn these words into action or for comms professionals ‘outcomes’.

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Yesterday I received the notification that I had for the third year since starting my achieved ‘Accredited PR Practitioner’ status from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

To achieve with accreditation each year between March and February I have to demonstrate to the CIPR my commitment to investing in my own career via the CIPR CPD (continued professional development). Each year at the start of March I think I must keep my log up to date this year and of course in December I realise that I hadn’t logged the activity.

Fortunately this year I had invested time in my own and the development of others, and I had recorded most of the details in a file this year. I certainly had more evidence than I submitted, it rightly takes time to record it (our most precious resource) so I concentrated on a 50/50 split between evidence of my own development and how I supported the development of others.

It was good to see a mandatory section in the CPD on ethics this year. Ethics has been a theme over the last year or so in policing and we have been communicating with colleagues about the College of Policing Code of Ethics, so it was good to see this considering the ‘bashing’ PR professionals sometimes get.

Now I am planning for the next 12 months of development and I already have a number of activities in mind that will support both my knowledge and experience development and that of my wider team.

So what about the outcomes of continued professional development (CPD)? Well like most of us, I have had some form of CPD/PDR or RPD. Very few seemed effective but that isn’t the case with the CIPR CPD. Having external challenge helps to focus activity on development and prevents it from being a case of just logging normal business. That means you examine the impact of activity and focus on what matters and provides the outcome desired. Isn’t that what try and achieve in everything we do as PR professionals?

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