In the classroom: learning should really be fun

You may have attended classroom- based courses in the past where you

were crammed into a room the size of an aircraft hangar and the thought of
another day of the same can seem a little depressing. But there are many other
more engaging ways to ensure you meet your CPD requirements without the boredom.

A good classroom course should be interactive and hands-on. Learning occurs
best where communication is two-way and where delegates get a chance to try new
ideas through case studies, worked examples and by discussing illustrations from
real companies.

If you simply book on a course and turn up it is never going to fit
completely with your specific needs and circumstances. If you have a number of
colleagues in the same situation, a tailored in-house course might be the best
bet. With enough lead-time, a good provider should be able to design a course
that is personal to your organisation.

Any good tailored programme should include lots of specific examples from
your business. It should even be possible to work through individual real-life
transactions to see how the issues covered might really affect your business.

CPD training doesn’t just have to be all about number crunching. Improving
your broader management skills can also provide CPD points, as can taking part
in one of the many business simulations available today.

These are probably the most fun you can have, while getting CPD points as you
compete against your colleagues to build and run a business. But not just any
business ­ one that operates in your industry sector. These simulations can aid
your broader understanding of your business and the markets in which it
operates. And they’re not just for accountants. Colleagues elsewhere in the
business will benefit from attending too.

Of course, it can often be difficult to find time to attend training events.
For some, e-learning may be the best way to top up your CPD points. E-learning
has come a long way in recent years ­ these days you’re looking at a truly
engaging multimedia experience, not just the equivalent of an online text book.

Bob Hawken is chief executive at BPP Professional

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