Picking the right CPD is vital to ensure that this important aspect of advice is seen through to completion and meets the highest standards – as well, of course, as meeting your client’s needs.
By using your CPD to maintain and build on the knowledge and skills you use to deliver a professional service, you will improve your client relationships. That will help your business stay ahead and grow.
In short, you should choose areas of CPD that are going to be worth the time you are spending on them – that are going to be genuinely worth your while. Look for CPD that is going to be interesting, relevant and of a high quality.
But how do you find the right CPD for your specialism, for your business and clients? And how can you be sure it is something you enjoy and can get your teeth into? Here are five things to consider which will help you find the right CPD for you.
Make a plan
It’s important to make sure you do your CPD regularly and space it out to avoid squeezing in at the end of the year when the Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) is due.
An old boss of mine had a very simple mantra: plan the work, work the plan. That is something I have not forgotten in 30 years. If you can notwork the plan, then the plan was not realistic or achievable. Use a study planner to schedule your CPD and block time out in your diary to work the plan.
Following a planned study approach, much as you would have done when studying for your exams, will also help you choose the CPD that matters to you.
Fit CPD around the rest of your life
What sort of CPD will fit around work and family life? This is an important consideration, especially as things are so busy for advisers at the moment and most of us are working from home.
My advice here is that you should focus on CPD in isolation from anything else you are doing – especially when working from home. There are so many distractions that will take you away from what you are trying to learn.
Designate a regular time for CPD that fits into your routine. Put yourself in the best place to learn and turn your phone and email off if you can.
And what about your preferred learning style? Fortunately, we live in a multimedia, digital, age, so it is possible to listen to podcasts, watch audio-visual content or attend webinars to build up your CPD hours. You can watch a video with your morning coffee, for example.