PracticeAccounting FirmsIn the classroom: CPD matters

In the classroom: CPD matters

Continuing professional development has been defined in many ways: one is as the set of learning activities that develop and maintain capabilities to enable professionals to perform competently in their professional environment

A profession’s strength lies in its capacity to challenge and develop the
knowledge on which its practice is based. CPD promotes public confidence in the
profession, and delivers benefits for individuals and the business. It has a key
role to play in the communication of agreed standards, and in ensuring members
comply with procedures.

By its very nature CPD should be developmental, not simply maintaining your
ability to do your current role. Taken seriously, it should be forward looking,
helping your progression within your organisation, and resulting in more career
opportunities.

There is the possibility that you may move to a different employer. While
there seems to be a skills deficit in the UK, CPD would give you wider options,
even in an economic downturn.

How often do you hear senior executives say ‘Our greatest asset is our
people’? All too frequently, those making this remark only have a lukewarm
commitment to the personal development programmes that really build skills. But
change is in the air. More employers are realising that a competitive salary is
not enough on its own to retain good people. You need to let them build the
skills that will improve their promotion prospects and make them more valuable
to the firm.

Against this background of more formalised CPD and the benefits to both
employer and employee, we can expect training budgets to be seen increasingly as
core, rather than discretionary spend. We can also expect them to be set with
greater care of whether better staff retention and capability is achieved,
meaning there will be renewed efforts to ‘measure the impact of HR’.

What further benefits are there? UK plc needs to consider the services it
supplies to the wider global community. The Leitch report highlights the lack of
skills here and identifies the improvements in numerous other economies.
Important in helping ensure the UK retains its high economic standing within the
world community, the report frequently refers to economically valuable skills.
The accounting profession provides significant value to the UK economy.

Significant benefits will accrue to everyone if we keep it that way.

Bob Hawken is chief executive of professional
development at BPP Professional Education

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