What’s the point of CPD?
Continuing Professional development is something that you will be required to complete if you are a member of a professional body, like the AOR or FHT. These organisations provide guidelines as to what number of ‘CPD points’ are required and how you can obtain them.
Attending courses can be seen as an easy way to collect the CPD points you need, in fact, just one short course can give you enough points to meet your target for a whole year!
There are many ways you can develop your knowledge though and if you find attending course difficult you can consider some of the following:
- Attending a meeting of a professional body support group
- Reading a journal and making notes
- Reading a professional magazine and answering questions provided
- Conducting your own research
- Meeting with other therapists for discussion
- Business development in the form of discussions and written plans, etc
- Writing an informative blog or material that explains your therapy
- Providing a talk or organising an event that promotes therapies
- Attending a trade show
This is not an exhaustive list but does go to show how versatile Continuing Professional Development can be.
‘The FHT defines CPD as a range of activities through which professional therapists maintain and develop their skills to ensure that they retain their capacity to practise safely, effectively and legally, within their scope of practice.
In the simplest terms, CPD is any activity that refreshes or develops your therapy skills and knowledge.’
(FHT Website 2016)
FHT require their members to collect 10 CPD points annually. See their website if you are a member as they have ideas of how you can collect these and what evidence you need to collect to show that you have adhered to their policy.
The Association of Reflexologists explains CPD in this way:
‘In the simplest terms, CPD is any activity outside of a paid treatment with a client that benefits you in any of these areas:
- Your practice as a reflexologist
- Your knowledge and skills as a reflexologist
- Your clients’ experience with you
- Your knowledge and skills in business’
(AOR website, 2016)
The AOR require members to earn 20 CPD points. These are calculated in a different way to FHT so don’t be put off by this. Their website also has ideas of how to fulfil their criteria.
So, why is CPD important?
I think that as therapists we should be open to continual learning. Our clients present with different issues that we want to treat and there are always new ways to approach things or new techniques.
Not only does CPD aid my own clients but it also helps me in many ways:
- I learn more about my therapies
- My brain keeps active
- I meet other therapists and learn from their experiences
- I have a day to myself to refuel. Very useful when I’ve been giving out to my clients so much
- I gain confidence in what I’m already doing
- My passion for therapies just keeps growing
Perhaps as the new year approaches you could think about what CPD practise best suits you? A written plan for the next few years ahead will get you organised and can help you think about the aims for your business in the future.