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What is Continuing Professional Development?

Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, is continued professional learning and training undertaken by professionals. CPD can be formal or informal.

Formal CPD can include a professional undertaking further training in his or her field in order to advance his knowledge and career (usually post-graduate level studies). It can also take the form of undertaking non-accredited short courses, workshops, online learning, or conferences.

Informal CPD refers to activities that contribute to your continued knowledge and skills within your field, but are not necessarily designed to be formal courses.  These may include participating in work-related committees, participating in a relevant professional association of which you are a member, writing articles for your local professional newsletter, doing independent research, etc.  However, the informal activities are only useful if you engage in reflexive thinking after the activity, to document how the activity added to your current knowledge and/or skills. 

Benefits of CPD

CPD (either formal or informal) is undertaken for various reasons including:

Ensuring their qualification remains currentKeeping up to date with the latest knowledge and skills
Remaining ethical in the delivery of their professional servicesFuture job opportunities and/or promotions

ACCA includes in its code of conduct (linked here) the requirement that its members:

Be committed to ongoing personal and professional development.
Be responsive to the needs of peers and provide a supportive environment for their professional development
Be responsible for their own updating and continued knowledge of theories, ethics, and practices through journals, the association, and other relevant bodies.

What can ACCA offer

  1. In partnership with Australia College, ACCA is proud to offer its members free access to over 150 accredited and non-accredited formal short courses that they can access online, anytime. Further, if members wish to have formal recognition of their professional development activities through Australia College, they can receive a Statement of Attainment for each course for a small fee.
  2. Further, the ACCA website is regularly updated with current literature for members to read at any time for their informal learning.
  3. Finally, ACCA members have access to formal supervision, which has a secondary role as professional development for the supervisees.