The sole purpose of Continuous Professional Development or CPD is to ensure professionals remain exactly that – professional.
Before answering the question “Why you must attend CPD”, we look at what CPD is, its purpose and its format.
CPD – Definition
According to The Business Dictionary, The definition of professional is –
“A person formally certified by a professional body of belonging to a specific profession by virtue of having completed a required course of studies and/or practice. And whose competence can usually be measured against an established set of standards”.
Purpose of CPD
The purpose of CPD is to help keep professionals up to date with technological advances, procedures or legislative and regulatory changes that impact upon their profession. For example, you wouldn’t want to undergo surgery if the surgeon couldn’t be bothered keeping themselves up to date with the latest techniques and instrumentation. Scary thought!
It is also about training, expanding your knowledge and most of all increasing your competency so that you can offer your clients the best advice or service and they can be reassured that they are spending their money wisely with you.
Many professions require CPD to be undertaken to retain a particular status often linked to their chartership, eg accountancy, surveying, human resources management, engineering, information management. The list goes on.
Architecture and building surveying are no different. A surveyor who is unaware of how materials interact or an architect who is blissfully unaware of a building that collapsed due to a design flaw is risking their reputation and the lives of those occupying his buildings. It can be that important.
Not all CPDs are created equal of course and whilst some are common for a wide range of professions others are specific to a trade: for example, learning about the latest wallpaper adhesive might not save lives, but maybe it uses non-toxic, recyclable materials that make disposing of it safer for the environment or taking it off again much easier. If you aren’t open minded and listen – you will never know, and you may left behind by your competitors who will be aware of new developments.
Format of CPD
CPD can take many formats. You can attend exhibitions, conferences, workshops, lectures or host events for your team in your office. Professional organisations such as RICS propose day-long CPD session in various cities in the UK.
Companies like ours, IRT surveys, offer free CPD seminars that will enlighten you as regard the technology, advances in software and changes in legislation. A true CPD seminar isn’t a sales pitch from the company providing the service, but they are provided free of charge, so please give the provider a healthy round of applause at the end.
Companies that offer free CPD often do it to educate the market about their latest innovations and products, but also to present themselves to you as both market and thought leaders in their field.
Personally, I like face to face CPD in the board room. One presenter and 10-12 in the audience. It a nice size to present to, people are not intimidated to ask pertinent questions, they don’t feel the peer pressure like they do with 200 in the audience and consequently they ask great questions. Our calendar of CPD events is filling up and sessions are always well attended.
Why you must attend CPD sessions
There are many reasons you should attend a CPD:
- To keep yourself up to date and relevant.
- To elevate your company above your competitors.
- To train your staff for free.
- To mitigate risk from law suits.
- To maintain your professional status.
- To exploit your new knowledge to increase revenue.
- To increase efficiency.
Do you keep putting off your next CPD session? Do you have the intention to attend the next one, but get distracted at the last minute by something that seems more pressing? Then how can you truly say that you are a professional?
Don’t let your chartered status be at risk. Keep up with your profession, make your services future-proof by attending your next CPD session.
Get one better: organise a session in your office and invite your colleagues and your clients.
We are already looking forward to your phone call to arrange a date and deliver a session on infrared thermal imaging technology, its applications and benefits for building surveying.