By Guest Blogger:
Rosemary Cooper-Clark, Chief Executive,
Many membership organisations recommend that their members undertake CPD (Continuing professional development) hours as part of their professional development. For example, the Institute of Directors recommends 30 hours annually. Whether it is a recommendation or a mandatory requirement, membership organisations across different sectors recognise the value of their members continuing to develop their competencies and skills. These sectors include, as you might expect, medical and health with requirements ranging from half a day a month to a longer-term 250 hours in 5 years to professional services such as legal, financial and insurance. Whether its hours or points, mandatory or recommended, membership organisations could add significant value to their members in pointing to where free, low-cost or approved CPD could be gained.
We all understand that time is a precious commodity and guiding people to what is available saves them hours of research into this activity. Multiply that by the number of members an organisation has and you can probably put a seven-figure sum on the value. Of course, some membership organisations offer CPD professional training direct and this usually covers the technical dimension of a role. Also including signposts to improving leadership and managerial competencies, sometimes referred to as “informal” CPD hours, can offers more support and guidance. A great professional will have the technical expertise and be more effective if they know how to deliver and apply them to maximum effect. This might include raising awareness of their activities, influencing those around them to improve process based on their technical knowledge or simply raising their profile as a technically proficient professional. Signposting to high quality CPD activities is as useful as direct provision by membership organisations because curating and signposting are regarded as valuable activities to a busy professional.
So whether your membership organisation offers CPD skills or technical training programmes directly or refers to requirements without signposting, there is value in including CPD resources in your services. CPD accredited providers are able to offer networking events, webinars, conference presentations, e-learning and even coaching. Such interventions can deliver short worthwhile learning that fits into a member’s busy schedule. So whether its an hour or 30, highlighting the wide variety of CPD available and the routes to follow can save Members time and money, thereby increasing the value of membership. It is worthwhile noting that the CPD Standards Office has seen an increased interest in face to face and networking events over the past few years, alongside the huge growth in online consumption of CPD resources, as professionals increasingly value expanding their professional networks whilst learning. Membership organisations should consider how they keep up with these emerging trends in member requirements and look to ways they can demonstrate alignment of their services, thereby increasing value to members.
Rosemary Cooper-Clark PCC (ICF) is an experienced and CPD accredited leadership coach and coach mentor supervisor with unique best practice approaches. Rosemary possesses Board Level blue chip and public sector experience incorporating leadership, change, people and business management.