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Professional Development (PD) is quite simply a means of supporting people in the workplace to understand more about the environment in which they work, the job they do and how to do it better. It is an ongoing process throughout our working lives.
PD opportunities provide a means whereby we can keep in sync the changes, broaden our skills and be more effective in our work.
What is Professional Development?
Professional Development (PD) is quite simply a means of supporting people in the workplace to
understand more about the environment in which they work, the job they do and how to do it
better. It is an ongoing process throughout our working lives.
PD opportunities provide a means whereby we can keep in sync the changes, broaden our skills
and be more effective in our work.
PD can be part of an individual’s personal ambition to be a better practitioner, enhance his/her
career prospects or to simply feel more confident about their work and make it more personally
fulfilling. It can be a step on the ladder to higher qualifications or enhanced job prospects or be
required by professional bodies to maintain professional status. It can be part of meeting targets
set by workforce performance management schemes or an opportunity for individuals to change
their career paths.
Examples of activities that contribute to
professional growth and development
•Enrollment in formal degree programs
•Pursuing certificates, accreditations or other credentials through educational programs
Participation in professional organizations
•Attending local, regional, national, and international meetings, conferences and workshops
sponsored by professional organizations
•Presenting papers, workshops at conferences and workshops
•Serving as an officer, board member, or committee member
•Coordinating events sponsored by the organization
Enrollment in training programs
•Attending workshops and courses
•Presenting findings of research to others
Improved job performance
•Keeping up with technology, systems, processes
•Learning about new developments in your field
•Improving existing skills
Increased duties and responsibilities
•Taking on new challenges in current position, projects, short-term assignments
Benefits for Individuals
Improve your career prospects by achieving additional qualifications
Respond to changing conditions at work
Achieve advancement at work
Meet the requirements of professional bodies
Understand the latest developments in your field
Develop your knowledge of the environment in which you work
Be better at doing your job
Achieve personal development
Benefits for Employers
For quality and a good working environment finds it easier to attract and retain excellent
employees where professional development is embedded with business strategy.
Importance of Professional Development
Be better able to recognise opportunity;
Be more aware of the trends and directions in technology and society;
Become increasingly effective in the workplace;
Be able to help, influence and lead others by your example;
Be confident of your future employability;
Have a fulfilling and rewarding career.
Approaches to Professional Development
Skill Based Training
Effective skill-based training allows participants to learn conceptual information or necessary
behaviours, practice learning the new information or behaviours, and receive feedback on their
Making the most of a training program: Have a discussion with supervisor regarding reasons for
attending, what you hope to get out of it; Post-conference – debrief the experience. Discuss
what you have learned at the training session and how you might immediately apply it to your
work. Practice skills that you learned.
Learning by doing – by working on real problems and dilemmas
May be an entirely new job, a responsibility added to an existing job such as a short-term
The key element in a developmental assignment is challenge
Learning through interaction with others. Three major roles that a person can play
include: assessment, challenge and support.
Critical Components of an Effective
Professional Development Plan
There is an established standard of success to describe what an individual who is successful
looks like. There is a means of assessing where the individual is against this standard and
continual assessment of progress that has been made.
It must be something that stretches people, pushes them out of their comfort zones, and
requires them to think and act differently.
We tend to think only of monetary support, but what are the environmental support
mechanisms. Who will provide guidance, feedback, and assistance as the individual tries out
new skills, or takes on responsibilities that are beyond the scope of their current skill level?
10 Key Points for Professional
1) Developing Action steps
2) Set Long term goals first
3) Technical knowledge
4) Developing Action-steps
5) Make a record of your “pinnacle moments” (satisfactory)
6) Evaluate yourself
7) Explore context
8) Be ready for changes!
9) Make a list of your skills and how to put them into practice
10) Work in team
Professional Development Cycle
The professional development cycle explains the process of effectively planning, doing,
recording and reviewing your development. Whether for long-term development, or working
towards a particular qualification or professional registration the professional development
process will guide you and help you to plan and record your lifelong learning in a structured
way. The process is designed for use at any stage of your life, whatever your career stage, or
category of membership.