Friday, 2 January 2009

Continuous professional development?

Around this time of year I am required by my professional institute to confirm that I have completed the mandatory amount of continuous professional development over the past 12 months. This is something that I've been doing for many years now - having participated in the scheme when it was voluntary, and maintained that now that it's mandatory. The Institute specifies a number of hours that we must achieve, but the rest is largely up to us.

So this morning I flicked through my diary for last year, highlighting the events that I attended and the major projects that I was involved in... and as ever, I easily exceed the minimum requirements.

So what does this have to do with developing discipline?

Well, it occurs to me that 'ticking the box' is easy to do - you just need to turn up to a few events. The discipline issue revolves around the reflective aspect - have I actually grown in the last year, professionally and personally?

To answer this question, I'm planning to write a narrative review of my cpd year (which I'll probably use in my personal performance appraisal in a few weeks). I want to think about the good things that I was involved in last year, and also some of the not-so-good ones. What have I learned? Have I adapted accordingly? What do I need to work on this year?

In my opinion, cpd will only be developmental if we move beyond compliance to growth - but that requires a degree of discipline!

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