The importance of continued professional development (CPD)
You’ve completed your studies; you have practical experience; you have clients lined up. Well done, mission accomplished.
Well, the first part of your mission has been accomplished. However, as with most things in life worth having, or worth achieving, the process never really stops. You go backwards by standing still in an environment as fast moving and competitive as bookkeeping.
Continuing Professional Development is important because it ensures you continue to be competent, well informed, and aware of all new legislation, and what it means to your profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout your professional career.
If you don’t stop learning, you can gain new qualifications, upgrades, or updates; you also stay abreast of all legal requirements. As a result you can offer peace of mind to the public, and the client. And you as the professional can ‘future proof’ your professional career.
What does CPD do for you as a professional?
- CPD ensures your capabilities to 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 clients
- 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. This could be in terms of legislation, directives from HMRC, or technological enhancements.
- CPD helps you continue to make a meaningful contribution to your profession. This could assist you to move into new areas where you can lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others – perhaps newly qualified bookkeepers?
- CPD helps you to stay interested and interesting. Running your practice is a great way to hone your skills, but it does mean carrying out tasks you 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.
Sometimes CPD is demanded by professional organisations, or required by codes of conduct, or codes of ethics. But at its core it is a personal responsibility. YOU as the professional keep your knowledge and skills current. YOU do this in order to deliver the high quality of service that reassures the public, satisfies your client base, and enhances the reputation of your profession.
CPD should be engaging and fun too. It is sometimes portrayed as a necessary evil, but it can also be a way to enhance your business and offer more to your clients.
CPD benefits for the learner:
- Refines your personal skills and intellect and helps to plug any knowledge gaps.
- Keeps academic and practical qualifications up to date – keeping skills relevant is integral in today’s fast-moving world, where rapid progression can quickly lead to previous learning becoming obsolete.
- Enhances your ability to regularly learn and improve – you’ll learn quicker as you become acquainted with the process and will become a better independent learner.
- Demonstrates ambitiousness, aptitude, and a dedication to self-improvement to current and prospective clients.
- Provides valuable examples and scenarios for showcasing professional achievements and growth in CVs, cover letters, and interviews.
- Reduces feelings of uncertainty or worries about change – CPD gives you a plan for future aspirations and the ability to readily adapt.
- Promotes independence – self-directed CPD requires you to consciously engage in learning activities and follow your own plan, while some structured CPD activities can benefit from you engaging in further research and study.
CPD benefits for your clients:
- Ensures that the standard of service being delivered is consistently high.
- Improves efficiency and productivity
- Enhances the business’s reputation among customers and clients, as well as potential clients.
- Enables the company to positively react and move with current trends and shifts in the industry, and demonstrate this to clients and potential clients.
Whether you have completed your studied via ICB, AAT, or any other bookkeeping & accounting awarding body, we have CPD training options that fit the bill. Within our ICB course structure we have courses available that cover all their available qualifications – CLICK HERE FOR INFO. If you are with any other awarding body, we have accredited many courses via the CPD Service – CLICK HERE FOR INFO