Membership Tips

10 June 2022

What is Professional Development?

Achieving success in one’s career is no longer dependent on having a degree or being good at one’s job. It requires continuous training, learning and education geared towards professional growth and development. 

The professional world has become increasingly competitive and is constantly changing, so professional development and continual learning are more important than ever in being successful and achieving career goals. 

What is Professional Development? 

Professional development refers to all trainings, certifications and education that a professional needs to succeed in his or her career. Different jobs require different skills and even if a worker has the necessary skills now, the job might require additional skills in the future. Through professional development you can equip yourself or your organisation/association’s members with these skills to become vital and more efficient workers. 

Professional development is a continuous process that involves learning and education as well as recording, tracking and reviewing progress. In order to remember and keep track of your development, you need to record your program of activities using CPD (Continuing Professional Development) platforms like RiverCPD. 

Professional development can come in many forms. It could be in the form of: 

  • Scholarships 
  • Internships 
  • Online courses 
  • Job trainings 
  • Online training programs 
  • Mentoring and consultations 
  • Industry certifications 
  • College studies 
  • Coaching, etc. 

Benefits of Professional Development 

Some associations and organisations are reluctant to invest in continuing education for their members; especially in industries where it isn’t a requirement. What they don’t realise is that professional development not only has benefits for professionals but also the organisations in the long run.  

For Organisations/Associations 

Organisations and associations can benefit from professional development in several ways. First, it promotes higher member retention rates. As your organisation offers professional development to its members, it will increase their loyalty and encourage them to renew their memberships.  

Professional development also signals competency on behalf of the organisation.  

For Members 

Professional development to a professional means taking positive steps toward improving their skills and knowledge. Taking ownership of your own development can help you feel more empowered and confident in your abilities.  

With the help of professional development you can add to your skill sets and knowledge base, which would add to your credentials. Besides, it will also make you more acceptable to the job market at large. 

The following points will give a clearer picture about the importance of professional development: 

  • Increases awareness: When you’re aware about the demands of the job sector, you’ll be more motivated to increase your efforts for self-development. 
  • Makes you versatile/Creates opportunities: As you keep adding new knowledge and skills, you become more flexible and new avenues are opened up to you.  
  • Promotion opportunities: Professional development paves the way for promotion opportunities. Among several candidates with equal seniority and experience, the person most likely to be promoted is the one who is more professionally developed. In addition, promotions which are triggered by increased efficiency and productivity happen much more quickly. 
  • Increases status: With professional development, you increase the status quo. Your improvements will be noticed, you’ll become more valuable and your position becomes stronger in your organisation. 
  • Career improvement: Naturally, the fact that you’re improving yourself regularly will increase your productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency, which will lead you towards an improved and promising career. 
  • Increases productivity level: Professional development plan plays a vital role in establishing yourself in your future. With advanced knowledge, your productivity would start increasing at a rapid speed. 
  • Increases confidence and savviness: With self development, you can update and modify yourself. You would be savvier to your work and your comprehensive knowledge in your field will increase, which would make you sounder, well equipped and more confident as you will be in a position to apply for higher positions with better career opportunities.  
  • Competitive edge: Continuous professional development keeps you ahead of your competitors and makes you more acceptable to the ever increasing market standards. 

As a member of a membership organisation, you get to enjoy: 

  • Broader networking opportunities. 
  • Access to free and discounted CPD.  
  • Professional certifications. 
  • Mentoring schemes, career advice and industry information. 

Supporting Trainees and Apprentices 

When it comes to the growth and development of professionals, one key aspect is the effective management of trainees and apprentices whether they're an experienced colleague, a secondary school drop-out, or university graduate. 

A major benefit of supporting trainees and apprentices for organisations and associations is the opportunity to coach and shape them without concerns about previous workplace experiences. 

An apprentice/trainee can gain a great deal by accessing the insights from multiple mentors throughout the apprenticeship, providing access to a range of thoughts, ideas, and work values.  The key for success is in the early identification of mentors, ensuring continuous mentor engagement, and involving the mentor with planning and implementation of learning/training activity.   

Upon completion, trainees and apprentices can be awarded with certificates of completion which can be updated onto their RiverCPD profiles. 

For employers and membership organisations that keep directories of their staff or members, it is important to verify that their skills, knowledge and qualifications are up to industry standards. RiverCPD can help your organisation keep track and manage your staff’s and members’ development process.  

Need more information? Contact Senior Internet today.