In broad terms CPD or continuing professional development refers to activities that qualified persons or industry specialists participate in, as a means of progressively enhancing their professional skills and knowledge base. CPD Management Software is custom designed software used to allow professionals to participate in CPD activities by viewing and recording events and training, using a centralized system online.
When it comes to the continuous professional development of individuals there are various sources for ongoing learning and development. Some of the primary activities are as follows:
- Open learning
- Private study
- Training, both online and offline
- Technical and non-technical skills
- Work experience
Professional institutions and similar bodies associated with different sectors and industries governing generally compel or recommend that their members engage in CPD activities. These institutions seek to incorporate the needs of members as well as the clients and industry needs. CPD development therefore becomes a natural extension of the above. Some only advise participation while others have established certain requirements. Those who require participation may specifically set out the required training, events or activities while others may leave it to the individual to make their own informed decision. The main industries with professionals requiring CPD follow:
- Medical and nursing environment including pharmaceutical and psychiatry
- Health and safety
- Financial sector including accounting and insurance
- Architecture, quantity surveying
In order to participate formally in CPD or when it is mandatory, participation is often measured in terms of minimum hours or points. CPD management software is employed to monitor, measure and facilitate the continuing professional development process as outlined below:
- Professionals are given unique barcoded ID cards.
- Individuals are able to record and view their CPD earnings by using the above cards.
- The user will be able to scan in at events, seminars and courses and subsequently scan out in order to earn their respective points. The CPD management software system also records the event details.
- In order to monitor the progress and statistics per CPD year, the user is able to log into his or her account profile online via secure access controlled username and password.
- When scanning at events the participants information and attendance records are uploaded onto the associated website via internet connection and the barcode reader. Information is submitted immediately and updating typically in real time.
- In the event that the user has forgotten their card the CPD management software system caters for manual entry of the professional’s membership number.
- In the event of online events, where applicable, the users profile is updated by login details, which uniquely identify each professional. The features are user-friendly and after each viewing the earnings are recorded.
- Once attendance information is recorded the information is then forwarded automatically to the appropriate CPD organization.
- A verification process then follows and once completed as per quality control measures in place, the CPD certificate is sent via email. It can then be viewed and printed.
The role of CPD management software in the ongoing growth and development of professionals have been considered. The process and benefits of barcoded ID cards to monitor and record earnings in a systematic and efficient manner highlights the advantages to professionals, industry authorities and economic sectors as a whole.