How to get the most out of Continuous Professional Development, quickly and cost effectively.

EmilyCoghlan1Our CIRI CPD administrator, Emily Coghlan, simplifies the CPD process for us, and explains why it doesn’t need to be time consuming or costly, and can be of real benefit to your work.

A year ago, when I first started working with the Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI), some companies considered Continuous Professional Development challenging and its practice difficult. Time, cost and access to relevant learning options were the most frequently cited barriers to carrying out CPD.

On the other hand many companies were tremendously positive about CPD. They found it particularly useful in adapting to industry changes and the demands of an ever changing workforce. Most companies will utilise CPD to develop and retain staff in an increasingly competitive labour market.

Those companies slow to embrace CPD shouldn’t be scared off by the title. Companies have adopted continuous improvement in their business processes as it results in reduced costs and improved productivity. CPD is simply a continuous improvement process for your people.

The Lean Methodology looks at ‘continuous improvement’ to business processes in construction and other fields. Manufacturing companies have ‘continuous production’ lines and software companies are fast moving towards ‘continuous integration’. By observing continuous improvement best practices, companies are figuring out ways to continue business as usual while analysing improvement opportunities along the way. CPD allows you to do the same for your development and that of your staff. The overall effect is an improvement in your organisation’s capability, improved productivity and better decision making.

Some companies believe that continuous professional development can only occur through participation in training programmes. Consequently, it is mistakenly seen as taking substantial time and effort from employees’ time. Training programmes do play a role, helping learning of the essential tools for daily tasks. Seminars and conferences can help you and your staff find out about new practices and methods through the experiences of other specialists.

However, the most beneficial continuous professional development happens through our daily interactions. The daily accumulation of the small but significant insights gained through working with people in your field leads, almost subconsciously, to a large body of expertise. CPD can be used to measure and optimise this accumulated learning and ultimately keep you and your staff motivated and engaged.

So while, daily experiences teach us how to move forward, CPD opens our minds up to new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas. CPD can help us build that continuous learning mind-set – rather than an intermittent training mind-set. If we are willing to strive to achieve continuous improvement for our business, we need to continuously improve the people who make that business work.

For further information on CIRI CPD training, please contact Emily directly: [email protected] 

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