Early Careers Network

Top Tips for Using Continuing Professional Development to Boost your Career

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a structured and self-driven form of learning that helps professionals maintain and improve the knowledge, skills and personal qualities required for career development.

In July, the AGI’s Early Careers Network teamed up with the Royal Geographic Society (with Institute of British Geographers) to deliver a webinar focused on how CPD can drive career development and progression. We’d like to take the opportunity to share the ‘top tips’ from the breakout discussions to help the wider geocommunity make the most of CPD.

ECN Top Tips Image

Photo credit:  Nick Morrison

  1. Get started and keep going

Continuing professional development is something that any career professional can do.  The key is getting started and maintaining momentum.  Regularly setting aside time dedicated to CPD activities can be helpful, along with setting objectives (it’s worth writing them down so you can review them on a regular basis).  Having a ‘CPD buddy’ can also be a useful source of motivation and accountability on your CPD journey!

  1. Record and reflect

Evidence of your commitment to CPD will be essential when applying for and maintaining professional accreditation. Regardless of which professional body you seek accreditation from, it’s worth laying the foundations early by taking part and recording in effective CPD activities as you complete them. You’ll identify areas of your skills and competence that require development as well as having completed CPD records when you come to submit an application for professional accreditation.

  1. Remember CPD is all about YOU!

 CPD is all about you and your own career development, rather than the goals of the company you work for or the requirements of your job role.  Think about how you want to develop as an individual and tailor your career development activities accordingly.   Keep in mind that your objectives may change over time, it’s all part of the reflection process!

  1. Keep an open mind

 Anything that contributes to furthering your knowledge and skills counts as CPD.  As well as formal activities such as training courses and workshops, informal activities such as learning from colleagues, undertaking research, learning lessons from mistakes and gaining insights from new responsibilities also count towards your CPD.  Make sure you log them all down!

With a small amount of effort on a regular basis, CPD can make a big difference to your career development. Hopefully these top tips will help on your professional development journey!

To find out more about the AGI Early Careers Network, you can:

You can also learn more about CPD via RGS-IBG career resources: