14 November 2016

Have you been selected for CPD? - Part Two


Here is the final blog piece on commonly asked questions about continuing professional development (CPD) and the HCPC audit process from three of our CPD Assessors Felicity Court, Dr Mick Harper and Emma Barclay.

What CPD advice would you give somebody even if they have not been selected for audit?
  • Make sure you have a system in place for recording a log / list of all the CPD activities you do. For example I have a shortcut on my desktop to a simple table where I can add a brief description of CPD activities as they occur. It’s best to be ready, have a system that works for you in your day to day work. If your professional body has a mechanism for doing this then make use of it.
  • A few minutes (e.g. once a month) can pay dividends if you are selected for CPD assessment. It also means you do not have to rely on your memory/trawling through old diaries to recall what you have done over a two year period!
  • When recording CPD think broadly about the range of learning activities this can include. It is easy to get ‘stuck’ on course attendance’ but assessors are very interested to read about many other examples of activities that illustrate reflective practice. This can be as simple as describing a conversation you had with a colleague that may have challenged your thinking, led you to explore the evidence base and may then have led to a change in practice.
What would you recommend to a registrant who says they do not have time to complete CPD activities on top of their daily workload?
  • The bottom line is that registrants must undertake CPD to stay registered with us and there are CPD standards that must be adhered to. 
  • We know that everyone is busy at work these days however there is also the fact we have a duty of care to our patients and service users to ensure that we maintain our professional skills and stay abreast of developments in our areas of work. 
  • You'll be surprised how many things you do every week that contribute to your CPD that you may not be recognising so make sure you familiarise yourself with the examples provided at the back of the HCPC CPD guide. So it could be a conversation about new techniques / processes; new equipment that you have been taught on or an article that has been shared with you but of course it doesn’t have to be a specific task. CPD is what it is to you as an individual as long as it seeks to benefit you in your role and the services users you engage with.
What advice would you give someone who says their employer does not give them much time off to complete CPD activities?
  • It is important that employers are made aware that maintaining CPD is a key aspect of re-registration and should be supported if their employees are to meet the necessary standards. As a Registrant you have the responsibility to ensure that you continue to meet the standards and are entitled to perform your role and enjoy your protected title.
  • It’s a common misconception that your employer has responsibility to ensure that you continue to meet your regulatory standards, or to offer you courses for your own CPD or time to undertake your own activities. Make sure you use any 1:1’s or appraisals to identify and capture your learning needs and then your employer is perhaps more likely to support you to take some time to complete them. That said be savvy and organised and make sure you are capturing all the day to day CPD activities.
  •  Think of discussions you may have with colleagues that lead you to trying a new method/approach with a patient or perhaps internet searches you may do to investigate equipment solutions for a patient along with briefings you may be sent by email that alter your practice in some way.

What would you say to a registrant if they asked whether they are expected to attend expensive courses as a part of their CPD activity?
  • It’s important to remember that assessors are looking for a mixture of learning activities and many of them have no cost at all.
  • It’s not necessary to attend expensive courses. There are plenty of other ways to meet the CPD standards. Be creative. Think of things like job shadowing, e-learning, case discussions and reading you may have done. The smallest activities often impact on the registrant’s knowledge, ability and service delivery. Reading an article and reflecting on your role, making changes based on evidence to benefit you and the service user is as legitimate an activity as a 5-day conference.
What do you think the benefits of completing CPD are?
  • Colleagues who have been selected have told me that after the initial ‘why me?!” response, they have actually found that reflecting on their achievements over the previous two year cycle has proved an affirming process.
  • It can be a great way of maintaining your confidence, motivation and skill as a health care professional. Embrace it and recognise it as part of your daily work and hopefully it won't seem like just another job on the do list! Whatever stage we may be at in our careers it is important that we do not ‘stagnate’ in our practice.
  • We have a great responsibility to discharge our professional duties to our service users in an accepted, safe and up-to-date way and CPD supports us to do this. In addition, I see registrants who come into annual reviews at work and take in their CPD profiles as a starting point to discuss their careers. This is a fantastic way of showing your manager that you know your own strengths and limitations and demonstrates that you have thought out your personal future needs. You are much more likely to be supported by employers if you take control of your own career in this way.
There are a range of resources available to support registrants undertaking CPD on our dedicated webpages and on our YouTube channel, visit www.hcpc-uk.org/cpd.