Every BCS member has a personal responsibility to keep their skills and knowledge up to date by carrying out CPD activity. We provide them with a wide range of tools, resources and opportunities to help them do so.
What is continuing professional development?
CPD is the organised process of continually improving and developing your knowledge, understanding and skills. It’s something you probably do without realising but, to carry out CPD effectively, it helps to identify your development needs and then plan how you’re going to meet them.
What are the benefits of CPD?
Undertaking CPD is a clear indicator of professionalism, and getting it right can enhance your employability. By keeping up to date and broadening your skills and understanding, you’ll:
- be able to recognise and evaluate your learning and its real value
- identify your knowledge gaps and ways to address them
- plan more effectively to achieve your career goals
- demonstrate your commitment to your self-development, your career and to the wider IT industry
What activities count as CPD?
There are many activities that can contribute to enhancing your knowledge and skills - these might include:
This is about working outside of the usual scope of your role, maybe with different technologies, in other business departments or a larger team, or with more responsibility. You might have a new role requiring you to undertake training and development to become effective.
You might study for a qualification over an extended period, or undertake a short course to gain knowledge of a specific system or application or to develop personal skills in leadership and management. These qualifications could be:
- a programme or short course run by a Higher Education Institution
- a practitioner qualification awarded by a specialist training provider
Earn your place on a professional register by demonstrating your knowledge and competence. Professional registration awarded by BCS includes the following standards:
There’s always an event or meet-up happening, where you can connect with other technology professionals and learn from your peers. Start by attending a conference or trade show, or check the BCS calendar for a branch or specialist group meeting near you. Organising or presenting at these events will also contribute to your CPD.
Learn new skills and acquire new knowledge through self-study. This might be by reading and researching in books, blogs or journals, listening to podcasts or watching webinars.
Keeping track of CPD
As you complete your CPD activities, it’s essential you keep a record of them so you can track what you’ve done and monitor how your knowledge, skills and competencies improve over time. This will also help you to plan your future development goals.
The BCS personal development plan is designed to help you do all of this - and you don’t have to be a BCS member to use it.