According to the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) continuing professional development is defined as “the way professionals continue to learn and develop throughout their careers so they keep their skills and knowledge up to date and are able to work safely, legally and effectively.” (HCPC, 2012). Continuing professional development (CPD) is an important factor of health care professionals work and practice as it ensures that they are up to date with relevant policies and procedures, that their quality of work is of a high degree and also to benefit the service users.
CPD was originally not mandatory though it was recommended by the HCPC and was based on the amount of time that you spent carrying out CPD activities. Since 2006 it has been compulsory and is now focusing on the relevance of CPD and how it impacts upon practice. As Barnett (1994) has always promoted that, professionals must be prepared to look into how society is changing and how relevant steps are taken to shape change, embracing new practices and discarding outdated ones.
Under the HCPC legislation, CPD is required and the HCPC have a right to ensure that registrants have undertaken CPD by maintaining a written record as well as any supporting documents of how CPD has been achieved. There is not a set number of hours that has to be completed within CPD, it is dependent upon how learning outcomes have been achieved by undertaking activities that are relevant.
CPD is an important part of a health professionals work life, as it has an impact upon the individual themselves, employer and patient. CPD is a key element as the individual themselves has a responsibility to enhancing existing knowledge that they have learnt during medical school or previous practice and to reflect changes in practice. It also gives the opportunity to the individual to learn about new legislations, documentations and new learning techniques to be learnt and taken on board and put into practice. Also there would be an element of building confidence as goals that may have been set out have been achieved. To the employer, having staff that have completed and are up to date on their CPD benefits them by knowing that staff are motivated, they are up to date on the latest documentation and legislations, as well as enhancing patient care. Finally, CPD has an impact on patients, there should be a higher quality of service and care given, staff would want to be there and help support patients which then improves patient satisfaction.
The HCPC have outlined five standards that registrants must undertake to stay registered with the HCPC. They are:-
1. To ensure that there is an up to date and correct record of all CPD activities. Before an individual gets chosen to present their CPD portfolio they would have to have 2 years of experience. In the CPD portfolio the date of the activities, which have been carried out, would have to be presented with a brief description of how...