All professionals, in any sector or area of operation, must undertake an ongoing development programme to expand their knowledge within their particular disciplines, and consolidate that knowledge regularly. Otherwise, they lose currency through ‘skills fade’, lose credibility amongst their peers, and become less valuable to their employers or their own business.
Most will engage in a formal CPD (Continuing Professional Development) programme throughout their professional lives, driven by the requirements of any industry body or association of which they are a member. Others will carry it out as a matter of professional pride and to ensure they ‘do their due diligence’ to their professions.
In some environments it will be a matter of safety that they remain current. For example, professional pilots undertake regular mandated simulator flights with instructors to ensure they’re familiar with the latest systems upgrades on the aircraft they fly, and practice routines they don’t often experience on a day-to-day basis, such as engine failures and forced landings. Without such CPD activities they could potentially cause serious injury to colleagues, peers and the general public.
In short, Professional Development Courses are a necessary adjunct to professional competence that must be taken seriously, sought diligently, and studied either voluntarily or through a formalised, mandated code of practice.