How to plan your CPD in 2021

Sarah Paton Briggs – Director Share

CPD (Continuous Professional Development) is an essential part of the necessary growth for psychotherapists, counsellors and mental health professionals. Keeping professional skills sharp and up to date ensures that clients get the best from their experience and that the therapist is able to bring to their work the latest developments, tools and techniques from the wider professional arena.

2021 offers unique challenges and opportunities for mental health professionals. However, online delivery of courses can widen opportunities to access some great learning. So planning your CPD courses early on in the year provides a firm foundation on which to build towards the professional goals one might have set.

CPD is a very broad term

This could include any activity that maintains, enhances and develops professional practice from e-learning and seminars to mentoring, peer discussion review and courses such as a certificate or diploma in a focused area; like working with psychological trauma. CPD is a professional requirement but also an opportunity to develop your practice and perspective in a way that will bring greater depth to what you do.

The benefits of CPD Course planning

The challenges of work and life can sometimes push CPD to the sidelines or make it part of a last-minute decision-making process that can result in commitments that feel time consuming and onerous. Planning CPD in advance can convert this into something truly rewarding, supporting the development of your practice and of your skills and insights as an individual therapist.

A proactive plan can instill confidence that you’re meeting professional requirements and give you more insight into yourself in terms of what you’d like to focus on next year. There are also a number of other advantages to doing this, including:

  • Aligning the CPD courses you do with what you’re actually interested in and the way your practice is developing.
  • Planning CPD in advance can create the opportunity to make CPD an asset, finding new ways to fulfil professional requirements that are helpful rather than creating last minute pressure to respond to CPD events as they arise.
  • The more prepared you are with CPD the more affordable, flexible and convenient you can ensure it is.

CPD planning for 2021

  1. Look at your learning needs. Where do you feel that your practice has a gap that could be filled with CPD learning? Is there something that you have a burning desire to go deeper into, such as working with couples and relationships or focusing on companies? Identify one or two learning needs for 2021 to get started.
  2. What’s the best way to meet these needs? CPD can be fulfilled in a number of ways so look at what appeals most to you, whether that is training courses or peer review.
  3. What resources are you going to need for this? Time, financial commitment and technology, for example, may all have a part to play.
  4. How will you assess whether the learning need has been met? You may want to think about specific goals, testing your knowledge or defining when a standard will have been reached.
  5. Establish your timeline. When do you want to ensure that this specific piece of CPD has been completed?

The Grove Practice has been running CPD courses for over a decade, with  an enviable reputation as a leading curator of exceptional quality training courses for qualified mental health practitioners. To find out more about these CPD initiatives, visit The Grove’s training page.

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