What is CPD and Why is it important for your career and learning development?

At Digital Women we believe that continual learning is vital, especially because the digital landscape is ever-moving and changing. You simply can’t take an exam to prove your knowledge every time something new happens or changes in the digital space. That’s why we believe CPD / Continuing professional development is so important for our members and event attendees. By taking our courses, attending events and studying online with Digital Women you are able to PROVE your skills and knowledge on your CV or Linkedin profile and continue your development of them.

Taking courses, and attending events and workshops is great right? but it’s really hard to prove your knowledge and continual improvement without showing that you have completed the learning. Of course, there are many many courses and events out there but taking courses and attending events that are CPD accredited means that the learning activity has reached the required Continuing Professional Development standards and benchmarks. So you know it’s not just another random course created by someone on the web.

So what is CPD?

Continuing professional development (CPD) means that the learning activity has reached the required Continuing Professional Development standards and benchmarks and for the learner, it is the intentional maintenance and development of the knowledge and skills needed to perform in a professional context.

This could mean honing current skills, it could mean developing them to a new level, or it could mean learning new ones that will allow an employee’s job role to expand or prepare them for potential promotion. (Source CPD Standards)

CPD requirements are present in most professions. Most companies and organisations now prioritise them because they ensure a constantly developing workforce.

This means there are millions of professionals across the UK who are required to undertake Continuing professional development training every year.

Structured CPD gives employees a clear path to success within their current role and progression to future ones. Employees in regulated industries (e.g. healthcare, accountancy, legal work) can lose their license to operate if they don’t maintain their CPD.

CPD activities can range from formal educational activities such as instructor-led courses, workshops or seminars, to more informal approaches such as work-based learning or mentoring. CPD can also include self-directed studies such as e-learning courses and structured reading.

So what are the benefits of prioritising CPD accredited learning with learning providers such as Digital Women?

If an activity has been accredited it means that the learning provision has been confirmed as:

  • High quality across both content and delivery – Based on accurately developed and responsibly sourced information

  • Delivered in an engaging way

  • Relevant to your learning needs

  • Delivers retainable skills that can be actively implemented

Having a CPD section on a CV can drastically improve employment prospects (CPD Research Project 2014). Plus as an employee, freelancer or consultant, you don’t need to be registered with a Professional Body or Regulator to record your professional development, and it can still have a positive impact on your career progression.

Undertaking CPD training in any topic, in addition to qualifications, is a way of showing that an individual is invested in, and committed to, their learning and progression; the CPD Standards Office has conducted extensive research in this area and strongly encourages students of all disciplines to seek regular CPD across a range of topics and activities.

The research found that CPD is directly linked to employability and adding a CPD section to a CV can improve job prospects significantly, with the opportunity of securing a dream job increased by 10% (the CPD Research Project 2010).

Using CPD as employability is not only a trick for Graduates… It is not just graduates who are starting to undertake CPD; individuals who may already be in the world of work but who are not aligned to a professional body or regulator, and who have no CPD requirement, are finding value in CPD training. In professions where individuals work in groups with colleagues or are client-facing, skills training is key to progression and maintaining high-performance levels. All these skills can, and are being, used by people within a CV to build a record of development and increase chances of promotion and employment.

CPD is recognised and applicable across all industry sectors, this means that when an individual undertakes and records CPD training they know it will carry value across the board and in any sector, they wish to work in. Employability skills are often focused on building skills like self-management, communication, teamworking, business and customer awareness and problem solving.

CPD requirements for Marketers / Digital Marketers

Many of our members work in digital marketing careers and marketing as a profession or sector is not regulated. Instead, individuals that are in professional marketing roles may be a member of any of the below professional bodies where they may have mandatory CPD requirements. One of the largest professional bodies is the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) which has a global presence and thousands of individual members. CIM is widely known for its marketing qualifications and its chartered marketer status which requires members to do 35 hours of CPD annually.

Chartered Institute of Marketing Marketers belong to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The CIM sets 35 hours annual target and Chartered Marketers must complete these number of hours a year. The CIM requests that members record all their activities via the CIM online CPD portal. Chartered Marketers must provide an annual CPD submission documenting their development activities for the CPD year. This ensures individuals skills and improve knowledge and remain current and effective as a marketing professionals.

CPD can be any topic. Then the individuals simply record all the learning and development activities that are undertaken over the membership year and complete a short reflection on each one to highlight its impact on their practice. Once the CPD year is completed each member will receive a physical CPD certificate as tangible proof of the commitment to ongoing development. It proves to current and potential employers that each member is serious about maintaining their knowledge and skills in marketing

Digital Marketing

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the trade association for online and mobile advertising. It promotes growth and best practice for advertisers, agencies and media owners.

Other Professional Bodies

•The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) is another institute that expects its members to undertake CPD. Also requires 35 hours of CPD to be completed a year.

• The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) are another professional body who have advertising and marketing organisations and professionals as members. The IPA’s CPD scheme encourages member advertising agencies to provide development opportunities for staff, across departments and disciplines.

You don’t have to work in Digital Marketing for Digital Women’s courses and events to be relevant, if you work in engineering, law, social work, veterinary, construction and many other sectors and require skills to keep your CPD record up to date for membership with other professional bodies you can still use your CPD points earned with Digital Women.

In conclusion, acquiring CPD points from an accredited training provider like Digital Women is key for proving your commitment to your professional learning development within your industry and many employers look favourably on CV’s that include your CPD learning activities.

Digital Women has 3 CPD accredited courses and 2 events that are CPD accredited via our club at digitalwomen.club

Digital Women Live is an accredited event taking place on the 5th November in London Learn more here

SocialDay is a 1 day social media event taking place in London on the 14th Sept. Learn more here

More Resources for learners:

How to Record your CPD

You’ve taken a course or studied with Digital Women, so how do you record your CPD activities?

1. Note

• The number of hours you have achieved by completing this course.

• The main learning points you have gained from this course.

2. Request

• A CPD Certificate from this accredited CPDSO provider

• Store the soft or hard copy in a safe place, where it is easily retrievable should you be audited

3. Log

• Go to your formal CPD recording tool for your regulator, professional body or employer, and where relevant – transfer the number of CPD hours, or complete the reflective practice tool using your main learning points.

4. Next Steps

• Plan the next opportunity for you to undertake CPD or jot down any learning recommendations for further CPD on this topic.

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