CPD also known as Continuing Professional Development, refers to the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain. This can be both formally and informally as you work, beyond any initial training. It’s a record of what you experience, learn and then apply.
It is important that staff continue working on their progress and development of their individual practice, especially in health and social care settings. This process will help increase the staff member’s potential through different types of educational and training opportunities, these extra opportunities will not only benefit the staff members but it will benefit the service users within that setting. By having additional training days and learning new skills, the staff members are able to use those skills and put them into practice for the service users, this can potentially improve the quality of care given. There are many strategies and activities which can be carried out within the workplace to help improve staff development. These strategies are things such as reflective practice and training days. It is crucial that staff continue to develop their practice so that they are able to see how far they have come, what they have achieved and what they need to improve on. Reflective practice is put in place in order to improve the quality of the service. When reflecting, they are frequently going over the policies and procedures and any new standards that have been set. This means that are up to date with them which enables them to do their job to the quality that is expected. When staff members are regularly reflecting, they are able to see where there has been a lack of knowledge or skills and what they have to improve on. They can work on these as soon as possible to keep the quality of the service at a good standard.
Training days are put in places such as schools, hospitals and care homes to make sure that staff members are aware of the current practices and legislations. When going through staff training, the staff members will gain more knowledge and experience as they are able to develop their skills as well as learning new ones. Due to this, they are also able to gain more self-confidence within their practice. However, continuing professional development does not have to just include training days, new skills can always be learnt throughout day-to-day life this can include, watching tv programmes or documentaries, taking the time to read books or online copies. CPD can also be taught and learnt in college or universities, having specialist coaching, even on the job learning by watching colleagues or shadowing a mentor. Continuing professional development is extremely important due to many factors which includes; Being able to make meaningful contributions to the team in the workplace, by becoming a more effective and advanced staff member by gaining new knowledge and experience and learning from it and showing it in the health and social care setting. Continuing professional development helps you to stay interested and interesting. Experience is a great teacher, but we tend to do what we have done before due to the fact we feel most comfortable when carrying out a task we have done in the past, some individuals may be worried or scared to try new things as they feel they could get something wrong, mostly it is fear of the unown. Focused CPD opens up new doors to new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas.
Finally, another important reason why continuing professional development influences health and social care settings is being up to date. This is possibly one of the most important factors for CPD, being up to date on information will allow staff members and other service users to be giving and receiving the best care possible. Continuing professional development ensures that you and your knowledge stay relevant and up to date. Staff members must be aware of the changing trends and directions in their profession. The pace of change is extremely fast and this is a feature of the new normal that we live and work in. If you stand still you will potentially get left behind, as the currency of your knowledge and skills becomes outdated. For example, individuals and staff members who work in a Nursing Home must be aware of new equipment, this can be taught to them by having training sessions with their training coordinator, by having training sessions about the new equipment they are expanding their knowledge and can be up to date. Different methods of care are always being changed equipment is being updated and manual handling is changing, training sessions, reading books, watching documentaries will all benefit the staff members and service users in one way or the other.