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CPD – Continuing Professional Development

CPD has been around for a long time.  It builds and lays the foundation for proof for good professional practice in any environment.  The emergence of competency as standard has meant that the importance of CPD in the workforce has grown.  CPD, in short, simply stands for those activities in which you carry out, that keep your skills, knowledge and experience up to date in your relevant industry.

There are many reasons for the growth of CPD in importance as a competency, including:

Speed of Change

It’s not enough to go to college or university, and expect that to be the end of learning.  The theory we learn has an ever decreasing lifespan due to increases in technology, knowledge, and understanding.  Many years ago, it was acceptable for therapists to use the same spatulas and wax for clients, simply straining the wax to use with a new client.  Students today would hold their hands up in horror at the potential for cross contamination, yet for years, that was the norm.  I can guarantee that even now, there are therapists out there who still double dip with spatulas and continue to strain wax between clients.  They have not kept up with the trends in the industry, and have fallen behind with their skills and knowledge.

Quality Control

Industries now have a minimum level of quality assurance, whereby all staff are trained to the same base level in order to perform any particular role within an industry.  They are also required to keep up to the same levels with ongoing training and development.  Where the biggest change here has happened, is in the expectation for staff to manage their own levels of quality control, via meeting minimum standards.  It is each persons own responsibility to ensure they are up to date.

Guild of Beauty Therapists CPD

Guild Members, Professional Development subscribers and subscribers to Guild Gazette magazine can earn free CPD points every issue by reading the Professional Development section and completing the Professional Development Module. Each issue of the magazine allows you to earn 2 CPD points which will be recorded in your own CPD Diary account on the GTi website.  Look at the section in your Guild account to find the CPD area.

Legal Requirements

The law demands that standards of competence are met.  The cost of insurance policies, and their recent rises, have been a determining factor in making organisations require personnel to take charge of their professional development to meet their standards.  CPD as a core policy within an organisation can be a strong factor in determining minimum competence levels, and reducing the size of risk for legal indemnity.

Professional Standards

It’s been mentioned several times already.  Each industry must maintain the minimum standards of competency required among their members.  For the beauty and holistic industry, the Guild of Beauty Therapists decides which levels of qualification meet their standard for membership, and from then on, members are expected to continue their own development, to remain current and skilled.


If you don’t keep up to date with modern practices, you can be sure some of your competitors will.  If the wax straining double dipper clients find out the new salon down the road has a more sanitary way of carrying out waxing treatments, and lets all their clients and their friends know, you can be sure the wax strainer is going to lose some of her clientele, until the point of no return, and not enough clients to remain in business.

Types of CPD

CPD comes in many forms.  In years gone past, it would only be for courses, seminars or organised meetings.  Savvy organisations now know that any activity that increases a skillset, broadens knowledge and promotes better safety and practice, is also a candidate for CPD.

Some forms are:

  • part-time teaching
  • in-house skills development
  • reading technical articles
  • carrying out activities allocated with CPD points by professional institutions
  • courses and seminars
  • distance and open-learning
  • membership of professional institutions

For CPD at work, it can be training carried out in-house, through the devolution or sharing of others knowledge, skills and expertise to others in the business.  Each activity can be awarded a set number of points to add to your personal CPD total for the year.

For a minimum level, 10 points is accepted, however 30 points per year is expected as a satisfactory amount.

What is a CPD Point?

It’s a unit of measurement that shows you have improved your skills and knowledge by carrying out relevant Continuing Professional Development in your industry.  You should keep a record of your CPD in a form of an evidence portfolio.

CPD Portfolio

Quite simply, a CPD portfolio could just be a piece of paper that you record what you did, when you did it, what the learning was that took place, what skills you learned and how you can put those into practice.

Record the following:

  • Date
  • Type of activity, ie course, assignment, reading, researching
  • Length of activity time
  • Number of CPD points
  • Name of activity
  • What has been learned
  • How learning can be implemented in the workplace
  • How the implementation will be evaluated, ie how successful
  • Potential follow up activities
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