The importance of continuing professional development

We are often asked to describe the importance of continuing professional development. Why is CPD important and why does it matter?

The importance of continuing professional development

  • You’ve finished your degree. Check.
  • You’ve completed all your practical experience requirements so that you can graduate. Check.
  • Your new job is all lined up and ready to go. Mission accomplished.

It’s fair to say the first part of your mission is well and truly accomplished.  Sit back and give yourself a pat on the back. But don’t take too long about it or you’ll be lagging behind your colleagues. The same is true for professionals with many years experience in the workplace.

Continuing professional development is important because it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career.

The ultimate outcome of well planned continuing professional development is that it safeguards the public, the employer, the professional and the professional’s career.

Well crafted and delivered continuing professional development is important because it delivers benefits to the individual, their profession and the public.

  • CPD ensures  your capabilities keep pace with the current standards of others in the same field.
  • CPD ensures that you maintain and enhance the knowledge and skills you need to deliver a professional service to your customers, clients and the community.
  • CPD ensures that you and your knowledge stay relevant and up to date. You are more aware of the changing trends and directions in your profession. The pace of change is probably faster than it’s ever been – and this is a feature of the new normal that we live and work in. If you stand still you will get left behind, as the currency of your knowledge and skills becomes out-dated.
  • CPD helps you continue to make a meaningful contribution to your team. You become more effective in the workplace. This assists you to advance in your career and move into new positions where you can lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others.
  • CPD helps you to stay interested and interesting.  Experience is a great teacher, but it does mean that we tend to do what we have done before.  Focused CPD opens you up to new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas.
  • CPD can deliver a deeper understanding of what it means to be a professional, along with a greater appreciation of the implications and impacts of your work.
  • CPD helps advance the body of knowledge and technology within your profession
  • CPD can lead to increased public confidence in individual professionals and their profession as a whole
  • Depending on the profession – CPD contributes to  improved protection and quality of life, the environment, sustainability, property and the economy.  This particularly applies to high risk areas, or specialised practice areas which often prove impractical to monitor on a case by case basis.

The importance of continuing professional development should not be underestimated – it is a career-long obligation for practicing professionals.

Sometimes it is mandated by professional organisations or required by codes of conduct or codes of ethics. But at it’s core it is a personal responsibility of professionals to keep their knowledge and skills current so that they can deliver the high quality of service that safeguards the public and meets the expectations of customers and the requirements of their profession.

But continuing professional development should be engaging and fun too. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a relevant course that fits in with your other obligations.  Sometimes, as you walk out of a course or seminar it’s hard to assess what you have actually learned. Have you absorbed the necessary skills and will you be able to apply them correctly in your work?  Our online courses for continuing professional development, written by professionals for professionals and involving thoughtful online interaction with your peers, go a long way towards resolving these issues. Try our online courses on Project Management, Risk Management, Finance and the Environment which are available now.  Online courses on technical writing, and Sales and Marketing will be coming soon. And if you want to test the waters before you take the first step, enter our draw to win a free online course.  We run these offers regularly, and by signing up to our email newsletter at the bottom of the page you will be notified about new offers.


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About the Author

Vivian Kloosterman is the founder of Continuing Professional Development which delivers online learning courses over the web. Advancing personalized learning has been identified as one of the 14 biggest challenges facing our world in the future, and Vivian is particularly focused on creating interactive, engaging e-learning courses for professionals that are practical and relevant to help them meet CPD requirements. She is a professional engineer with 30 years of business, governance, management and technical experience.


  1. Habibullah Ishaqi; FCPC, FRCSEng says:

    Dear Vivian Kloosterman;

    I am a consultant general surgeon and a student of MCPS-HPE, The College Of Physicians @ Surgeons, Pakistan, and a senior consultant surgeon in Health Dept., SKBZ Provential Teaching Hospital, Quetta/Pakistan which is a newly health provider and still all of the departments have not been been established. I have started a study of CPD in SKBZ Hospital and now preparing synopsis about it. So, my query from you is, how I can start my study in this hospital where I have my job responsibilities as a consultant, till can issue it as an article.
    Best wishes,
    Kind regards,
    Habibullah Ishaqi,

    • Hello and thanks for your enquiry. I understand from your comments that you are studying Health Professions Education and continuing professional development in a Teaching Hospital, where you are also working as a senior consultant surgeon, and that you want to prepare an article on CPD in the Teaching Hospital.

      It would help to know what your specific area of interest is. For example, Do you want to develop a Structure for a CPD Programme for the Health professionals at the Teaching Hospital? Or are you focusing on the barriers that need to be overcome to implement a CPD Programme? Or are you assessing relevant content that should be included in a CPD Programme? Or another topic? If you can let me know, I would be happy to help further if I can.

      As a comparison, it may help to look at some of our articles on CPD for Engineers in various countries. You can find them here.
      Kind regards

  2. Kumanya Julius Emmy says:

    I would want to do research for my PhD studies on the “The impact of CPD on performance in audit practices by members of the accountancy profession”

  3. Peniel S says:

    Thanks for brilliant ideas

  4. The articles were so inspiring to me.

  5. Samuel Olorunfemi says:

    I am a surveyor by profession i would like to be up to date with my career and other related disciplining .thanks.

  6. Bryan . O. Mc Almont says:

    Hoping that I am kept up to Date on the comming programmes.

  7. BARI says:

    Fantastic. Covered all aspects of the question. Thanks

  8. Florence Chitulangoma says:

    I am doing a research project on CPD for my BA.

    Great site.

  9. Yuusuf says:

    We are grateful your contribution in the field of CPD.
    Many thanks since I benefited personally.

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