Planning your CPD can help you make sure that the learning you do meets your particular professional development needs, benefiting both you and your patients.
There are many reasons why you might choose particular CPD – interest in a subject, availability, affordability, flexibility and whether it fits in with busy work and other demands.
It can help to have a plan and to give some thought to what areas of CPD you wish to focus on during a particular timeframe. This will help you to balance your activities evenly throughout the three-year cycle and identify learning needs and development goals so you can plan your development proactively, rather than just responding to opportunities that crop up.
The key questions to consider are:
- What are your learning needs?
- How will you go about addressing them?
- What resources will you need (if any)?
- How will you evaluate whether the learning needs have been addressed?
- What will you aim to do by when?
Identifying your learning needs can be an ongoing process, and doing one activity might lead to further ones as you reflect on what has been learned. You could have one overarching plan to address these, or several plans, for example, related to different areas of practice.
Some people have told us that they find it useful to start filling in the Peer Discussion Review (PDR) template to help them plan their three-year CPD cycle. If you find it useful to do this, you might want to consider keeping this draft PDR template in your CPD records as this will give you extra evidence of how you have engaged with the CPD scheme. You might also find this very useful preparation for your final PDR.