Why is CPD important for AHPs?

16 Dec 2021General

CPD, or continuing professional development, is important in any professional career as a way to continue to learn and develop. It helps you, as an Allied Health Professional (AHP), to keep your skills and knowledge up to date, ensure you are practising safely and effectively, and providing the best possible care to your service users.

And, of course, it enables you to meet your registration criteria with HCPC, as CPD is a standard that HCPC registrants must meet in order to continue using your respective AHP title.

But carrying out regular CPD is about more than that.

Did you know that CPD is actually part of the NHS Constitution? One of the seven key principles of the NHS is "The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism". As part of this, “its commitment to innovation and to the promotion, conduct and use of research to improve the current and future health and care of the population” is included, along with the aim for staff to "take up training and development opportunities provided over and above those legally required of your post" - aka, your CPD activities. CPD isn’t just an added overhead on your time, it’s part of what makes the NHS.

Aside from being an important part of the core registration for your profession and the NHS as a whole, what else does CPD contribute to? Why is CPD important?

Well, it…

  • ...can help with your career progression as an AHP, helping you gain the skills you need and demonstrate areas of interest and expertise.

  • ...enables you to progress into a new specialism. Carrying out CPD allows you to improve your knowledge steadily and get to where you’d love to be.

  • you ideas and direction for you to create your personal development plan, which you can talk about at your annual review, allowing you to showcase your work and get further buy-in from senior/HR staff.

  • ...contributes to building and enhancing your confidence and credibility. Sometimes CPD isn’t about learning something new, but instead confirming that you’re actually doing the right thing for your service users already!

  • ...allows you to keep up to date with the latest research, trends, and news from the industry from around the world. You can ensure that your practice is on the cutting edge and give your service users the most relevant treatment.

  • ...keeps you from feeling stuck in a rut. There’s always more to learn, improve on, or specialise in. If you’re getting bored with your CPD practices, mix it up a bit - try reflecting on a specialist podcast, attending a webinar, discussing techniques with colleagues, or mentoring a student.

  • ...can help you change career direction. Perhaps your personal situation has changed which means you no longer want to be out on the road working in the community, you want to move away from clinical practice, or you need to be earning more and moving up the career ladder to managerial positions. Your CPD is vital in helping you achieve those goals.

  • ...enables you to have the tools and knowledge you need to drive change and innovation, either in care or in changing technology and service demands.

  • you a sense of personal fulfilment. That buzz of learning something new - and then actually putting it into practice! - is something that can’t be beaten.

Ultimately, although carrying out, recording, reflecting and reporting on your CPD can feel like a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare, the benefits are endless. CPD is important for AHPs as your learning is enabling you to ‘be a better you’ and this impacts what you can provide to your service users. Everything you do to improve yourself through lifelong learning is improving in some way the quality of care your users receive.

So what will you be working on next?

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