Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of Continuing Professional Development to professional associations, employers and employees.

Essay by ven April 2006

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With the rapid pace of change, many people may find that their skills and knowledge, acquired over the recent past, are outdated. In order to update their members, many professional groups have introduced the concept of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). (Foot and Hooks, 2002).

The Royal Town Planning Institute (2001) holds that CPD is the means by which members of professional associations maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop their personal qualities required in their professional lives. A guide for employers of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST, 2001) states that CPD is the term that describes how employees maintain their competence in the workplace.

CPD comprises of updating particular areas of competence, developing personal and management skills and broadening experience leading to new opportunities. The challenges and opportunities of the work experience provide the central mechanism for maintaining CPD and professional and other organizations should encourage and support their members to maintain their CPD.

Here, CPD can be organized so that it can be carried out almost automatically. It is a continual process of planning, completing activities, assessment of those activities and review/feedback to the plan. A system that encompasses these four stages must be set up. Many employers have a system in the arm of the Human Resource Department and professionals should be encouraged to include their employers in the CPD process, as ideally, it should be a partnership that will benefit employee, employer and the company. The annual appraisal interview is the ideal time to plan development targets and assess progress. The details of CPD are very much the property of individuals and one should not rely on the company's personnel system. If not maintained properly, it may be of no support to an employee if he no longer works for...