The CPD cycle can help you to identify, plan complete and reflect upon the right types of CPD to maintain and develop the professional skills, knowledge and competence you need for your work. You are responsible for your own learning, but your employer may also provide support.
You are likely to develop through a combination of formal and informal learning opportunities, inside and outside your workplace.
Competency frameworks provide a structure for planning development
The Chartered Geographer framework of competencies outlines the knowledge, skills and approaches expected of geographers in professional practice. Your employer may have similar career frameworks or competencies that will guide you in your professional development. You may find it helpful to plan, complete and record CPD with these frameworks in mind.
The development you undertake will use these frameworks in different ways, at different points over the course of each year, and over your career. For example, sometimes you will focus more on specific technical knowledge, at other times more on the transferable skills of communication and negotiation. However, you should always aim to show evidence of development across the breadth of the framework you are assessing yourself against.
You may find it helpful to think of your CPD in two broad areas of focus:
Learning related to professional competence, which includes: developing your area of specialism, growing or innovating your technical knowledge, skills, methods and techniques, and enhancing your application of geographical knowledge and skills to a range of professional contexts.
Learning related to career adaptability, which includes: developing the (transferable) skills of being a professional, from communication, teamwork and innovation to leadership, project management and strategic planning, perhaps within the context of your geographical knowledge and approaches.
The CPD cycle
Although it is usually recorded as an annual activity, for example in relation to your performance appraisal and longer-term professional development plans, your CPD should be considered cyclical over time:
Identify your development needs, i.e. the challenge or gap you need to address. You can draw upon competency frameworks, appraisals/feedback, job descriptions and your career planning to identify your specific skill, knowledge or competency needs.
Create an action plan to meet those needs, through formal or informal learning opportunities, training, mentoring, or other development activities. Try to include a range of activities and range of areas to be developed.
Carry out the activities you have planned (and those that you didn’t plan, but also learned from), and record them. (We recommend using the CGeog CPD Record template). Share what you have learned with others.
Reflect on the value of those activities, and identify new development needs for the next cycle, so that you continue to develop. You might find our advice on reflective practice useful.
The following resources may support you in planning your CPD: