What is CPD and why is it important for your career?

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CPD stands for continuing professional development and is the maintenance and growth of your knowledge, skills and experience relating to your career. It is mandatory for AAT members, including affiliate members.

It’s, therefore, the responsibility of every AAT member to undertake CPD activities after considering their own personal training and knowledge needs. It’s also important to document the details, outcomes and benefits of these CPD activities on an ongoing basis.

This is partly to help with CPD planning and development, but also to provide written evidence should a member be selected for CPD monitoring which AAT conducts with a sample of its membership throughout the year.

Why is CPD important?

CPD encourages professionals to follow changes in legislation, technology and working practice, to develop skills and to acquire experience which will support them in meeting their career aspirations.  It can also help with personal development – confidence will grow alongside knowledge and credibility.

How to plan your CPD

Think about what skills and knowledge gaps you have and your ongoing career objectives. With CPD you can plug those holes and reach your goals. It will also give you lots of evidence to add to your CV and examples to talk about in interviews. CPD demonstrates your commitment to your job and shows a strong work ethic.

What counts as CPD?

You may be surprised to know that you’re most likely completing CPD activities on a daily basis without realising. CPD comes in many different formats – some that you can even complete on your commute or lunch break.

CPD examples include:

You can search for upcoming AAT CPD courses and masterclasses using our AAT events search.

Members can access AAT networking events and a huge range of free CPD resources including our award-winning e-learning, podcasts, webinars and blogs which means that you or your teams can do their CPD with complete flexibility.

AAT’s CPD Policy

AAT’s CPD Policy has recently been updated to make it simpler and more streamlined. It was created by a small CPD Policy Working Group whose work has been informed by extensive internal and external research and benchmarking.

You can read AAT’s CPD Policy here. The key updates that we’d like to draw your attention to are listed below.

  • AAT Members who work for organisations that are in the AAT Employer Scheme (previously known as Accredited Employers) will no longer be exempt from CPD monitoring.
  • Similarly, AAT members who are also full or fellow members of other IFAC membership bodies are no longer exempt from CPD monitoring but can supply the CPD records by which they are compliant with their IFAC body.
  • The policy is now more specific in the required CPD areas that are applicable to the licensed service activities that licensed members must include in their activities, including anti-money laundering and practice management.

In Summary

Whatever direction you want your career to go in, it’s worth focusing on your CPD so that you can continue to improve your skills and put into practice what you’ve learnt.

By keeping your CPD portfolio up to date you’ll always have a full overview of the professional development that you’ve achieved to date and this individual documentation will allow you to reflect and plan for the future. Instead of avoiding activities or areas that you consider as weaknesses, consider all the options for increasing your competence.

Further reading

Sophie Cross is the Editor of Freelancer Magazine and a freelance writer and marketer at Thoughtfully.

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