Selecting Activities and Engaging in Meaningful CPD

Last Updated: 19 July 2023

After reflecting on your learning needs, setting achievable goals, and reviewing your context of practice, the final stage and fun part of planning in CPD is selecting activities.

This article will guide nurses and midwives on how to select activities and prepare for meaningful CPD engagement.

Considerations for Selecting CPD Activities

When it comes to learning, there is usually an abundance of CPD activities available, making it relatively easy to accumulate the required minimum hours. However, it is crucial to ensure that the selected activities are relevant to your identified learning needs and current context of practice. If you anticipate a change in your practice area or intend to upskill, you should identify gaps and plan to engage in learning relevant to the new/upcoming context of practice.

Content Integrity

When selecting CPD activities, it is important to consider the content integrity of the activity. Key aspects to consider include:

  • Topic of activity

  • Evidence-based nature of the activity

  • Stated learning outcomes

  • Educator's bio and credentials

  • Plagiarism and acknowledgement of contributors

  • Duration of the activity

  • Format/style of the activity

  • Accessibility to language, learning, and technology preferences

  • The engagement level of the activity

  • The evaluation process of the activity

  • Cost of the activity

  • Sponsorship by a drug company

  • Conflicts of interest or disclosures made

  • Accreditation status of the activity

  • Peer review status of the activity

  • Publication date and reviews

  • The expiry date of the activity

  • Sources used for medicines information in the activity

  • Availability of references and additional learning materials

Choosing Types of CPD Activities

There are various types of CPD activities to choose from, such as postgraduate studies, in-service education, online education, reading, attending conferences and seminars, mentoring, podcasts, study days, journal clubs, and clinical supervision. The key is to ensure that the selected activity aligns with your learning needs, CPD goals, and context of practice. Most types of learning activities can be appropriate if they meet these criteria and contribute to a positive impact on your practice.

Mandatory Training and Teaching Activities

Mandatory training activities can count towards CPD if they are relevant to your context of practice and include new learning. However, simply documenting annual mandatory training competencies is not considered effective CPD.

What If I am an Educator?

Regarding teaching, developing education, and presenting, these activities can be considered CPD if they meet the key requirements of being relevant to identified learning needs, and specific learning goals, and if you can go on to demonstrate the activity led to a positive impact on practice. However, if teaching or facilitating is repeatedly documented as developing the same learning material or session, it cannot be counted as CPD.

Choose Wisely and Enjoy Learning

When selecting activities, it is important to choose wisely. Select activities that are credible, evidence-based, meet your learning needs, style, and preferences, and will engage, inspire, and motivate you to apply the learning in practice. Most importantly, enjoy the process of learning. CPD opens the mind, empowers individuals, and allows for personal and professional growth.

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