Continuing Professional Development
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is crucial for many reasons including maintaining registration with Professional Bodies such as the Health Professions Council and the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
As of the 1st August 2006, the NMC PREP (Practice) Standard is being revised to bring it in line with the PREP (CPD) standard. The changes will be that instead of evidence of professional development occurring over every five year period, it will become a three year period. The number of hours spent on professional development will be required to be 450 hours over the three year period (NMC Circular 22/2005 SAT/ss). As Flying Start England gives you access to over 220 hours of learning activities, it can act as a very sound foundation for working towards this goal, which is why it is recommended for all newly qualified nurses and midwives joining NHS England.
As part of your professional registration you are required to continue to develop your own “knowledge, skills and competency beyond that of registration through continuing professional development…” (NMC 2005a:10).
The Health Professions Council (2005) have devised standards for CPD. From July 2006 practitioners are required to maintain a continuous and up to date record of their CPD activity in order to maintain their registration. The HPC defines CPD as how “professionals maintain and develop throughout their career to ensure that they retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively and legally within their scope of practice.” “
Thus in order to achieve what is expected in terms of CPD you must actively engage in lifelong learning for the rest of your professional life. Lifelong learning is therefore an important feature of maintaining competency in your professional practice and as such is an important part of the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework.
Making time for CPD Activities
One of the keys to dealing with the challenge managing time is to get organised in your work life so that you can achieve what you need to personally and professionally while at the same time think about your work-life balance. You may have noticed the term work–life balance cropping up in the last few years. What it means essentially is that if you fulfil your life outside of work as well as in work, you as an individual, your family and the organisation all benefit.