Continuous professional development is valuable in any profession, and particularly in regulated advice, banking or any other area of financial services. But despite best intentions it can be difficult to keep up with and to find something worth doing. Our expert professionals share their top tips on CPD.
Make CPD a habit you and your team can stick to
Sarah Tucker, The Mortgage Mum
CPD can seem like a chore, but knowing your craft is so important – especially in a changing market!
Like exercise or meditation, you need to make time to do CPD, get into the habit and make it part of the working week.
At The Mortgage Mum, we hold a fixed meeting at the same time every week, which is one hour of CPD. And we make it fun, interactive and interesting. After a few months people don’t even think about it.
CPD can be as simple as ten minutes of industry news a day, or as complex as attending webinars. We encourage our brokers to mix it up alongside our weekly meets.
Share CPD materials and learning in the team
Barry Cunningham, Financial Services Trainer, Nationwide Building Society
I’m training ten or 12 advisers at a time and I encourage people to share what they’ve read or learnt with the group.
I give everyone a half hour slot to come and teach the group about something, for example, on environmental funds or cryptocurrency. Each person will go and research their topic, then come back and do a session with five minutes for questions.
Because people don’t know what questions they’ll get, they’re more thorough in their learning. And this way, if one person’s learning something, everyone else learns it too.
Reflect on your digital learning to make sure it sinks in
Helen Longland, Head of Digital Academy, St James’s Place
With the exponential growth of ‘on the go’ learning, from bite-size digital content to podcasts, we’ve never had such huge access to content. I love Ted Talk as much as the next person, but are these one-off moments really ‘learning’?
The act of reflecting on the content through simple questioning moves it to an active experience and helps it stick. Try this simple exercise – watch a video or listen to a podcast and think about:
- what resonated with you
- your listening skills
- what steps will you specifically take as a result of that CPD.
By building this short, simple practice into your digital content consumption, you can steadily promote an enjoyable experience into a transformative one.
Choose CPD that’s relevant and interesting
Gordon Reid, Business Development Manager
To find something which is both relevant and engaging, start by considering what makes you good at your job and what will help you advance your career. You might also think about:
- the sorts of enquiries you’re getting from customers
- any regulatory changes that might affect your customers
- new products, services or delivery channels that your customers might benefit from.
Don’t commit to CPD that doesn’t interest you because it will be really hard to complete.
More about continuing professional development