The Importance of CPD continual professional development – and how it could work for you - NABS
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The Importance of CPD continual professional development – and how it could work for you

Words by Jo Irvine, career coach at NABS

It’s easy to gaze at your laptop for years and get angry that no-one offered you that promotion, or you apply for a job and find out you did not get it. You wonder, why? Or maybe secretly you want to stay in the same role for years, which is fine, but if you want more you need to show how you are developing yourself. You need to be confident about what you need, to get what you want.

Career coaching could be your first step. It is a resource that encourages you to take responsibility and action. Continual professional development (CPD) can help you to realise what you need and help you to explore practical and creative options. It’s about taking your career seriously and not just going to practical training courses that are expected as part of your role, but starting to cast your net wider to find your career path.  It’s an opportunity to talk about where you are now and where you want to be. In discussing the skills you have and the next role you want, you can start to identify what development you might need to get there.

A CPD plan can help you to identify what you need to improve on and start to plan a course of action to develop those skills. It’s a way of monitoring your career plans and making sure you on track. It also makes you challenge yourself and be brave.

This is particularly relevant to networking and mentoring. Each of us has our own network and we take it for granted. Our friends, family and colleagues. It’s worth thinking about who you know and what they do. Could they help you? What does your network look like? Starting to utilise your network to develop your career is next. This is when you need to be brave. Who do you want to learn from? What exactly do you need from them the take the next step? Decide on a course of action and do it. Remember there will be people out there who want you in their network, so don’t forget to look out for them too, networking is a two way street.

With mentoring you need to think about what you need. Is it a formal relationship you are looking for? Often you are already having this relationship with someone, a colleague old or new, or an industry friend, but you may see it as a casual chat about work. One option is to make this relationship more formal. Your network may hold the key to the mentor you want or you may need to look further. Peer-to-peer mentoring can also be really useful.

Sometimes it is difficult to find the support you need to develop yourself and understand exactly what you need at that moment. Often specific leadership networks are not easy to find or get to. Think about creating your own group in your area. Don’t wait for it to happen, make it happen.

Developing a CPD plan helps you to focus on your career. It’s a commitment that you are responsible for. Nobody tells you what to do, its about you taking control. The plan will be personal to you. You set the time frames, you design it and make it happen.  A CPD plan should give you a 360 degree plan to move your career forward.


Career coaching could be your first step to creating your CPD plan. Why not book a session at NABS where your coach can work through your goals, motivations and help you to better appreciate your skills and experience to help you figure out how to take that next step in your career.

Using your personal network and finding a great mentor can also help to develop your plan and will ensure your plan is unique to you. NABS’ Masterclasses and events are also fantastic not only for learning new things and developing your soft skills, but for expanding your network and meeting like-minded adlanders.

Take a look at our calendar to see when the latest talks and Masterclasses are in your area.

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