It’s no secret that you must continuously hone your skills and expand your knowledge to keep up with the competition. That’s where continuing professional development (CPD) comes in. But what is CPD, and how does it differ from continuing professional education (CPE)? 

The terms are often used in place of each other, but there are some differences between them. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between CPD and CPE and explain why both are important for career growth.

How are they different?

While CPD and CPE are both important for career growth, it is essential to understand the differences between them to make the most of each. You can develop your existing and new talents by doing both, ensuring success in your chosen profession.

In the simplest terms, CPD focuses on developing existing skills and is more about honing your current abilities. While CPE is about learning new ones or maintaining your knowledge.

CPD is more general, whereas CPE is targeted explicitly at maintaining professional knowledge and competence. Both help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends in their industry, enhance their knowledge and expertise, and allow them to keep up with the changing demands of their workplace.

CPD can be undertaken in various ways, including traditional training courses, self-directed learning, on-the-job learning, and networking with other professionals. The important thing is that it’s regular, structured, and relevant to the individual’s work.

CPE is a specific type of CPD focused on maintaining and improving an individual’s professional knowledge and competence. It is usually structured and delivered by educational institutions or professional bodies. It might involve taking a short course or attending a workshop related to your profession. 

CPD is typically self-directed, which means you have more control over your CPD journey as you can choose which activities to undertake and when to do them. On the other hand, CPE is often more prescriptive and may have less flexibility in terms of timing and content.

Which one is right for you?

If you’re simply looking to maintain your current skills and knowledge, then CPD may be sufficient. But if you’re aiming to improve your professional competence in a specific area, then CPE may be a better option.

CPD and CPE are essential for career growth by regularly engaging with one or both. You can ensure that you have the skills and knowledge you need to meet the demands of your profession and reach your full potential.

How can they impact your career?

CPD and CPE can both impact your career in many ways. They can help you develop new skills, broaden your knowledge base, network with other professionals, and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

You can demonstrate to employers that you’re committed to professional growth and development by undertaking relevant development activities. This can make you more competitive for promotions and new job opportunities.

If you’re trying to advance in your field, consider investing in CPD and CPE. Both can help you maintain your professional credibility and reputation. They’ll help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in today’s ever-changing workplace.