CPD is a huge part of the careers of those in certain professions, such as in healthcare, law, teaching, and finance. But, do students need to do CPD? In this article, we discuss whether or not students need to participate in CPD before they complete their studies, benefits of CPD for students, and appropriate CPD activities for students.
So, do students need to do CPD? It is not mandatory for students to participate in CPD, however some professional bodies do encourage it in order to further students’ knowledge and skills before entering the workplace, as well as increasing their knowledge of the wider industry.
Read on to learn more about CPD for students, including who should participate in CPD, benefits of CPD, and appropriate CPD activities for students.
Are Students Required to Do CPD?
It is not mandatory for students to do CPD, however many institutions state that it is worth considering beginning CPD as early as possible in order to develop your skillsets in preparation for your career. This is especially true of medical students and students of other healthcare disciplines, or for those that are looking to enter a career outside of their area of study.
Similarly, professional bodies within certain industries encourage students to do CPD before entering the field. For example, the HCPC explains that taking part in CPD as a student can help individuals to become well versed in the skills and knowledge required to succeed within the profession, as well as gaining access to key knowledge that they may not ordinarily be exposed to.
Despite not being mandatory, completing CPD as a student demonstrates your commitment to your chosen career, and that you can meet the professional requirements of the industry. What’s more, keeping a log of CPD activities can help to strengthen your CV, and could provide competitive advantage over other candidates.
Who Needs to Do CPD?
Whilst students do not need to do CPD, we believe that students of certain professions would greatly benefit from doing CPD. In fact, some professional bodies encourage students to begin CPD whilst still at university in order to gain a wider understanding of the industry.
Such professions include:
- Other healthcare professions
- Law professions
- Finance Professions
- Other professions that require a licence to practice or mandatory membership of a professional body
Benefits of CPD for Students
We’ve already touched on some of the great benefits of CPD for students, but here are a few more benefits to help you decide whether or not CPD whilst studying is for you.
Expand Your Knowledge of the Industry
In many cases, formal studies, such as university courses, teach you about specific topics in relation to your area of study. However, they typically don’t spend much time discussing the industry as a whole. Some CPD activities allow students to dip their toes into the industry so that they know what to expect before completing their studies.
This also allows students to gain more knowledge and insight into the various careers and roles available to them post-study, what a typical day looks like in those roles, salary insights, promotional and development opportunities, and information about specialisms.
Learn More Than Your Course Teaches
Similar to above, your studies can only teach so much and, typically, strictly adhere to a set curriculum. As such, there is likely to be large gaps of knowledge. But, CPD could begin to fill those gaps. CPD activities as simple as self-directed learning or formal courses, and conferences, through to work-based learning and professional activities such as networking can help to fill these gaps.
Gain a Better Understanding of What Your Course Teaches
Not only will CPD fill in some of the gaps in your knowledge, it can also help you to better understand what you’ve been taught as it provides another way of learning. Everyone has their own best learning style, and CPD provides an opportunity to explore that.
Whether you learn best by watching, listening, or by doing, there are a wide range of CPD activities that will help you to gain a better understanding of what you’re taught inside the classroom.
Strengthen Your CV & Career Opportunities
CPD is a great way to strengthen your CV, and boost your career prospects. Not only does it show a deeper understanding of your chosen area, but it also demonstrates a commitment to your career and ongoing development.
What’s more, CPD holds other key benefits, such as team working, communication, and problem solving, all of which are essential in the workplace, and your participation in CPD may provide you with competitive advantage above your peers.
Encourages Safe & Effective Practice
A key benefit for healthcare students, as explained by the HCPC, is that CPD can teach and encourage safe and effective practice before students complete their studies. This means that students turn up to their first role knowing and understanding the importance of safety and best practice.
CPD Examples for Students
The world of CPD is incredibly vast, and there is no limit on what might be considered a CPD activity. Simply, ask yourself, “Does this further my career?”, or, “Does this help me to develop my knowledge and skills?”. Another important thing to consider is whether or not the activity is actually relevant to your studies and/or chosen career.
Examples of CPD for students can include, but are not limited to:
- Work-based learning
Student-Friendly CPD Courses
Breeze Academy, one of the UK’s leading healthcare CPD providers, welcomes final year healthcare students onto our courses. Choose from foundation-level Acupuncture and Dry Needling, Sports Massage, Strength and Conditioning, and Clinical Yoga Teacher Training courses to boost your skills and knowledge, and strengthen your CV before you complete our studies.
Take a look at our CPD courses online today, or get in touch for more information.