Six ways to support your AHPs with their CPD

26 Nov 2021Resource

There is a wealth of information out there about the benefits of employers supporting their employees with CPD - improved employee retention, a more engaged and happy team, and a better-skilled workforce, for example.

But what are some of the ways in which healthcare employers can actually achieve this?

1. Make sure you are aware of all the requirements

Although the HCPC guidelines are the same for all AHPs, the individual professional bodies provide differing supplementary guidelines. For example, the College of Paramedics lists five principles for CPD and Lifelong Learning, and most, including the Royal Society of Occupational Therapy, have their own career framework which sits alongside the HCPC standards.

So, depending on which professions work within your organisation, ensure you are familiar with all the guidelines your AHPs are trying to align with.

2. Talk about CPD in their performance development review

This might seem obvious, but rather than simply listing what development your AHPs have done or plan to do, use the performance review as an opportunity for them to reflect on it. Has their CPD benefitted how they support service users? Has some of their learning sparked an interest in exploring a particular topic or specialism further? If your AHPs are aware you will be covering these topics in the discussion, it will encourage them to think about their CPD beforehand and make some notes (which may then come in handy if they find themselves selected for audit).

Sharing your own experiences and resources you have personally found useful could also be of great benefit in these discussions, as could connecting them with other colleagues in the organisation who you think may be able to mentor them based on their interests, for example.

3. Encourage knowledge sharing

As well as sharing your own knowledge, consider if there is anything you can put in place to enable employees to share CPD experiences amongst themselves. This could take place formally through setting up CPD forums, meet-ups or via an online platform, or this could be more informal by simply encouraging more conversations around CPD.

Having employees carry out some CPD activities together could offer a greater opportunity for them to embed and apply their learning going forward; they can reflect together and perhaps even set up a project group to apply new ways of working as a result of their learning.

4. Give your employees time

Finding time for CPD activities can be a tough challenge, especially for healthcare workers. When possible try to ensure that employees have some time allocated each month to be able to identify and carry out their CPD activities.

The increase in online learning has made CPD much more accessible, as employees are more able to fit it in around their busy schedules. But, in the spirit of ensuring the employees carry out a broad range of activities, try to support them by introducing some in-person events too.

5. Help your AHPs maintain their records

Keeping an up-to-date record of activities and finding the time to reflect on each one can be another overwhelming activity. Sharing your experience of how to keep these records will not only save them time but also support them in getting the most out of their learning.

Furthermore, helping them to use a system or tool that can collate the information in line with HCPC standards will stop them from living in fear of the dreaded audit.

6. Track and monitor learning

If you’re not already doing so, consider putting a system in place to track the CPD activities that your employees are completing. This could be using a simple spreadsheet or some software that integrates into your existing HR systems.

By having this information readily on hand, you will be able to see if someone isn’t managing to carry out any CPD, or if there are any patterns (for example lots of CPD bunched around a renewal window). You might even discover a previously unknown skillset within your organisation! Having this data will help you to have more informed conversations with your employees and identify ways you can support your AHPs to make the CPD process easier for everyone.

The takeaway

These examples are just some of the ways you can support your AHP employees. However, even just by having more regular CPD-related conversations, you will create a more development-focused culture, and more importantly, your employees won’t feel alone in their efforts to achieve their CPD goals.

If you are looking for a tool to help your AHPs and gain knowledge about CPD patterns to support this workforce better, find out more on how Julia can help your organisation.

Julia helps you record, reflect, and report on your CPD through our website and app.

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