Survey reports continued growth in CPD importance

Latest research reveals sustained growth in the use of continuous professional development by UK professional bodies.

The third annual CPD survey by e-publisher Echelon Publishing focused on the current provision of CPD by professional bodies, their future needs, and whether and how they will want to publish, distribute and track CPD in the future.

The survey found that:

CPD is mandatory for some 50% of responding institutions. This represents only a marginal increase on the figure from Echelon’s 2006 CPD survey but is still a significantly high figure among the UK’s professional bodies.  

The emphasis of CPD is spreading from professional and technical learning to business and personal ‘soft’ skills.

There is a shift in emphasis from input – that is, the number of hours spent on the learning – to output, in other words, what the relevance of the CPD is to the learner’s job.

Thus there is a shift in CPD emphasis from professional effectiveness to personal effectiveness.

This makes it more difficult to monitor and evaluate ‘CPD’ (because the process is moving from monitoring hours spent on CPD to outcomes spread across a whole range of disciplines).

Although nearly every organisation surveyed offered users the ability to log their CPD activities online, there has not been a significant move to providing online interactive learning applications during the process.

This shows little change from the results of Echelon’s 2004 and 2006 surveys.

Commenting on the survey findings, Echelon’s Chairman, David Hill, said, “This year’s survey reflects – and reinforces – the importance attached by professional bodies to maintaining the professional standards of their members.

“It is unlikely to be long before customers demand that professional advice is given only by those who have kept their knowledge and skills up to date.”

Echelon manages the development and integration of student and members’ learning on behalf of organisations including the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

The Echelon CPD Survey is part of a series of learning surveys conducted by the company.

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