Why continuing professional development is a game changer

Jonathan O’Brien suggests continuing professional development (CPD) holds the key to individual and organizational success.

The power of lifelong learning is well-publicized. It was Italian sculptor Michelangelo who famously claimed to be ‘still learning’ at the age of 87, while Mahatma Gandhi advised us, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Learning has been proven to drive change, progress and improvement for both individuals and employers.

Whether delivered through interactive classroom training, personal coaching, toolkits or remote digital resources, learning is a huge driver of employee and organizational success.

And yet, despite the undisputed value of workplace learning, it can be difficult to quantify its precise impact.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Thankfully, there is an adopted framework to encompass learning throughout a professional’s career and a body that evaluates activities to the highest standards.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities and the CPD Certification Service is the largest and leading independent CPD accreditation organization.

Its website – home to more than 20,000 registered providers and courses – describes CPD as ‘a commitment to ongoing lifelong learning that encourages looking forward and identifying opportunities to learn something new, refresh existing knowledge, improve skills, or simply keep up to date with the latest developments within a particular profession or industry.’

The holistic commitment of professionals towards the enhancement of personal skills and proficiency throughout their careers, CPD can, in practice, mean everything from taking a training course or attending an educational event, to studying for new qualifications or learning new aspects of a job.

Crucially, it involves a person documenting the increasing skills, knowledge and experience they gain throughout their career and keeping a personal record.

Focused on developing within the work environment, this should not be limited to traditional training courses, seminars and workshops but can also feature conferences and events, webinars, online programs and even sharing best practice techniques, thoughts and ideas.

CPD with Positive Purchasing

As CEO of global procurement and negotiation training provider Positive Purchasing, I was very proud that we were recently recognized as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited provider.

This is not just because it endorses the quality and content of our provision although, naturally, I was delighted our specialised procurement and negotiation training reached the demanding integrity and quality standards and benchmarks.

But, even more importantly, it enhances our offer to clients and delegates and supports their commitment to professional development and self-improvement.

Making such a difference to people’s lives and futures makes us feel really good.

Our full list of CPD accredited courses includes category management, Red Sheet® negotiation,  supplier relationship management, sustainable procurement and finance. Formal CPD certification means that time spent on these courses is formally recognized and directly contributes to the continued professional development of individuals.


Accredited courses

A number of our courses are now CPD certified, meaning the learning activity has reached the required Continuing Professional Development standards and benchmarks for integrity and quality.


Online courses that are accredited:


Category Management Advanced

SRM Advanced

SRM Intensive

Red Sheet Advanced

Red Sheet Intensive

Red Sheet Lite

Red Sheet Introduction

Buyer’s Toolkit – ‘Proficient Buyer’

Finance for Procurement Professionals – Introduction

Sustainable Procurement Advanced

CPD allows for individuals to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves regardless of their occupation, age or educational level.

Whether you are simply looking to refresh your knowledge or improve your career prospects, choosing a CPD accredited course ensures that both academic and practical qualifications do not become outdated or obsolete.

As Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers wisely said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”


Jonathan O’Brien, CEO of Positive Purchasing Ltd, is a leading expert on procurement and negotiation and works with global blue-chip organizations to help transform their purchasing capability.


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