To have a consistent approach with your CPD, it’s best to have a methodology that you can use throughout your career.
The circular process by SkillsYouNeed is a good framework to map your CPD efforts.
The process moves from identifying your development needs through planning and then carrying out your learning activities, to reflecting on your learning, and then applying it and sharing it with others.
In this process you have to start by identifying your needs for training.
These needs can be identified by the day-to-day activities linked to your activity, the needs of your managers, feedback from colleagues or personal interests that can be linked to your job.
If your needs are clear, then you need to plan your CPD activities.
When planning your activities, you need to be aware of the different types of training available.
When planning CPD you need to be aware that the training can take some time and be expensive.
Once you have done your training, take some time to reflect on what you have learned. In reflecting about your activities during the CPD, you will be able to identify the most important part of the training.
At the end of each training you need to be aware of how it will change what you do in future to change the way you work.
Once you have properly reflected on those learnings, you can apply what you have learned which can be a difficult process.
When coming out of a training you will need to move through the different stages of learning which begin at unconscious incompetence to move through unconscious competence.
When you reach unconscious competence, you are able to do something almost instinctively, without needing to focus on it, which is when you truly integrate a new skill.
The last step of the process is to be able to teach to others this knowledge.
When you are able to share and teach people about a topic, it means that you have fully internalised it.
Sharing this new knowledge amongst colleagues in your organisation can make your teams stronger and healthier.