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Continuing Professional Development – Making Professional Personal


This article has been submitted by My Development Zone 

If you have been a member of a professional body, then the likelihood is that you will have had to record your CPD. CPD is an acronym for Continuing Professional Development, and is a formal process of tracking and documenting your learning activities throughout the year to evidence the maintenance of competence and to ensure that your skills and knowledge are kept up to date.

A CPD record is a good idea, so why don’t many businesses and employees record their learning and development throughout the year, particularly if they are not a member of a professional body?


As part of our drive to highlight the workplace learning shift, My Development Zone is encouraging all of our learners to take control of their personal development and to use our 4 step model to ensure that they get the most out of skills development to encourage personal growth and development in the workplace.

Before you begin recording your personal development, you should consider what you need to learn and why:

  • What skills and knowledge do you need to develop?
  • How will these skills help you in your job role and how will they help you develop in that role?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What tools do you have at your disposal to help you become more knowledgeable and competent?
  • How you can effect positive change to the business that you work in and help that business grow?

It’s important to take time and build a learning plan that will help you meet these targets. Structure time into your working week to develop these skills. If you could manage 1 hour per week of learning and development, then you will amass 52 hours of learning each year, which is typically more than most professional bodies require for their members. It’s not a lot.

The My Development Zone 4 step model

Mirroring formal CPD, we have developed an online tool that all of our learners on My Development Zone can use to help provide structure and evidence of learning and development. When recording your Personal or Professional Development you will be supported through our 4 step model:

  1. What will your activity be? – give a brief description of your activity, the type of learning that it is and whether it meets your learning objectives through structured or unstructured study. Most of the learning on My Development Zone is structured, meaning that we make this stage easier by highlighting the learning objectives before you begin the learning.
  2. Why will you do this activity? – give a brief personal development objective and identify your learning needs. Your development needs might be identified during an appraisal or you might identify a need through your day to day job role where you wish to improve or learn new skills to help you grow in your job.
  3. When will you do this activity? – keep a record of when you will complete or have completed the development activity, give an indication of how long you spent on the activity and use this to motivate you to continue more personal development and provide evidence to your managers and team leaders.
  4. Reflection on the activity – one of the most important and often missed stages of any personal or professional development is the need to record reflection. Now that you have completed the activity, how did it meet your learning needs and importantly, how do you feel this will provide a benefit (directly or indirectly) to your customers? What did you learn and how will these new skills improve your performance?

Don’t think that because you are not a member of a professional body that continuous personal development is not for you. More and more businesses are waking up to the fact that a skilled and more knowledgeable workforce will help them grow faster and help them react to change and deliver better services and products to their customers.

Whether you learn from journals, the business press, face to face training, on the job learning or you use online learning tools such as My Development Zone, then we recommend using the 4 step model to plan your learning and development and add more focus to the way in which you develop your skills.

To find out more about how My Development Zone can support your personal and professional growth then sign up for a free trial where you can build your own learning plan from any of our 250 online business skills courses and CPD recording tool. The workplace learning shift is here. Head to for more information.