Continuing CPD while on a career break

During the course of your career, there may be times when you are on a career break. As part of your membership with us, you've been asked to commit to maintaining your personal and professional development and to provide evidence of CPD activity. If you're not currently in employment you might be wondering how you are going to do this. Our policy on CPD identifies four main sources of continuing personal and professional development:

  • learning through work-based activities
  • attendance at courses, seminars and conferences
  • personal activities outside work
  • self-directed and informal learning.

Even if you don't have access to the first two sources of learning for a period, you can maintain your own development through other learning opportunities.

Personal activities outside of work

These activities can help broaden your knowledge and understanding of many issues relating to people management. Here are some examples of CPD activities that you might want to consider:

  • A range of public duties - such as being a school governor, or member of an industrial tribunal.
  • Voluntary work. Involvement with voluntary/charitable organisations can be an enriching experience and a source of learning.
  • Organising social or sports events, or helping in the management of a club or society. This offers opportunities to develop your organisational skills.
  • Providing assistance to family members or friends who have job or career problems or who run their own business.
  • Writing and lecturing. This will help you develop your communication and presentation skills.
  • Travelling - route planning, budgeting personal finances and developing interpersonal skills.
  • Job hunting - completing job applications, signing on with recruitment agencies and updating CVs.

Self-directed and informal learning

The subject matter and methods of personal studies which are relevant for CPD purposes can be much wider than those directly related to your work. Examples of self directed learning include:

  • Reading HR books. Our bookstore is a great source.
  • Taking language courses.
  • Courses about running your own business, which would assist in a career plan to start a consultancy.
  • Various types of self-development courses which may give you a deeper insight into your own personality, strengths, weaknesses and potential.
  • Personal reading plans. Our Library is a rich source of material in the people management and general management field.
  • Reading professional and research publications, including People Management, Coaching at work and other information resources.
  • Self-teaching DVDs and CD-ROM materials.
  • Attending exhibitions, courses and conferences. View upcoming CIPD exhibitions and conferences
  • Information gathering eg childbirth, caring for the sick, coping with redundancy and employment law updates.
  • Developing knowledge of caring for the young/elderly/disabled.
  • Entertaining students from overseas can help you learn about people management and practices in other cultures.
  • Attending CIPD branch meetings and events.

Further reading

MEGGINSON, David and WHITAKER, Vivien. Continuing professional development. 2nd ed. London, CIPD, 2007. (ISBN 9781843981664)

CRITTEN, Peter. Developing your professional portfolio. Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, 1996. (ISBN: 0443051704)

FORREST, Andrew. Fifty ways to personal development. London, Industrial Society, 1995. (ISBN: 1858352398)

ERAUT, Michael. Developing professional knowledge and competence. London, Falmer Press, 1994. (ISBN: 0750703318)

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