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Continual Professional Development: you’re already doing it!

Blog posted by: Emer O’Sullivan, AXELOS Membership Marketing Lead, 26 November 2018.


Last year, AXELOS interviewed over 1,000 best practice professionals* to understand attitudes towards professional development. An impressive 74% of professionals we spoke to demonstrated an interest in their continual professional development (CPD). However, when asked what their top blockers to undertaking CPD activities was they cited:

  1. Learning and Development is too expensive for my organization
  2. Budget cutbacks have affected how much my organization can spend
  3. It’s not easy to take time away from the office.

Whilst this is a frustration that many of us have experienced, it does suggest a potential misunderstanding of what CPD entails. Training, of course, is an important part of professional development – but it is not the only thing. If you are struggling with a lack of time or budget, there are many alternative activities you could be doing. In fact, you probably already are!

Our content subscription service My AXELOS includes a CPD toolset which encourages professionals to log 20 CPD points a year by completing activities under four categories: Professional Experience, Training, Community Participation and Self-Study. This results in a verifiable digital badge, reflective of your investment in your professional development. Our guidelines define one CPD point for one hours’ worth of work and Professional Experience is the only category we mandate. This category is about demonstrating how you apply best practice to your day-to-day role, which can include examples of work, or broader activities such as coaching, mentoring or shadowing colleagues. These are all great examples of ways you can take ownership of your professional development, without having to overcome budget challenges.

We find that Community Participation is underused as a category, yet it is probably the most accessible! This could include a whole range of activities, from watching webinars right up to organizing your own industry event.

We distinguish between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ community participation but both are perfectly valid forms of professional development. Anything that involves developing your skills and knowledge in a professional capacity is. Digesting content, be it a blog or podcast, is demonstratively expanding your knowledge in your specialism. And it is, for the most part, free!

You might not have consciously thought about your professional development throughout the year, but it’s likely you will have attended a webinar, or read a white paper or blog – after all, you are doing that right now! Take a moment to consider the activities you do, or the content you read, and think about how many points you could be logging. You’ll probably surprise yourself!

For more information on My AXELOS visit

*as part of our 2017 ITSM & PPM Benchmarking Reports


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