As the CPD year begins, you should think ahead to gain the most benefit

Make sure you plan your CPD

This is a good time of year to think seriously about CPD. Membership of a professional body brings with it responsibilities and commitments, and continuing professional development (CPD) is one of those commitments.

CPD is a structured process of learning and reflection, ensuring that individuals look ahead to their own professional development requirements, often in line with their appraisals, career ambitions or business goals. The CPD year runs from January to December so now is a great time to start planning your learning goals for the year ahead.

By understanding your learning and development needs, you can then identify specific ways to meet them. CPD comes in many forms, from the more traditional activity of attending events and training courses, to often overlooked ways such as home or work-based research, volunteering, webinars, Talking Landscape and networking with other professionals. Even a visit to a new holiday destination can provide you with inspiration to learn and improve.

Clients and employers expect the best advice, and for you to apply best practice in what you do. CPD will help you remain current, and identify learning priorities that will help you be as good a practitioner as you can be.

There are two key elements to CPD. First, you should plan activities that meet your professional development requirements (sometimes known as a professional development plan). For example, an appraisal may identify a need for you to understanding the inclusive environment agenda, and a need to for you to develop effective presentation skills. Once you have undertaken the required training and research, this then leads to the second key element. You should reflect on the activity, and think about how you can apply what you learned in your practice.

Planning your CPD in this way will benefit your employer, your clients, your colleagues but most importantly, you. For those looking for a promotion or new career challenge, identify the key skills employers are looking for. If you are thinking of setting up your own practice, then understanding how to do this is viable CPD. Or, if you’re simply looking for inspiration, one place to start might be the chartership exam syllabus. If you had to sit the professional interview today, would you pass?!

The LI requires members to undertake 25 hours of CPD every year and a random sample of members’ CPD records is monitored in February each year. Your learning and development must be recorded in the LI’s CPD record form available from the member webpages. It is important that you update your form throughout the year to log all the learning you undertake, and to make sure you aren’t scrambling for the information in December. For more information about the CPD monitoring process, please visit the CPD page in LI member’s area (login required) or email

To book yourself a place on one of the LI’s training events or annual conference, please visit our events page.


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