In any industry, and particular those as fast moving as events and marketing, assuming the skills you possessed at the start of your career will see you further than the first year or so will soon see you become stale.  Event Managers who began their careers a little over a decade ago would be unfamiliar with Eventbrite, while all marketers are currently having to familiarise themselves with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into force in 2018.
 
In short, if you’re standing still, you’re getting left behind.

But there are additional benefits to continuing to develop your skills.

What is Continuing Professional Development?

The CPD Certification Service defines Continuing Professional Development as:
 
“The holistic commitment of professionals towards the enhancement of personal skills and proficiency throughout their careers.”
 
The Chartered Institute of Marketing summarises it as:
 
“The proactive maintenance and extension of professional knowledge, skills and personal qualities required to drive responsible practice throughout working life."

Continuing Professional Development in Marketing

As we explained in our earlier blog an evidence-backed track record of CPD is essential to achieving and maintaining Chartered Marketer status. As the pinnacle of professional marketing recognition, this status will help you to secure more senior positions and better salaries, so it’s worth striving for.

What is a Chartered Marketer and how do I become one?

The rules and regulations guiding Chartered Marketer status have been fluid in recent years, so it’s always worth checking on the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) website https://www.cim.co.uk/more/cpd-and-chartered-status/ to read the latest guidelines.
 
At the time of writing, you are expected to accumulate 35 CPD credits each year to achieve Chartered Marketer status. The CIM provides a handy online logging system and an app to record your credits.

Continuing Professional Development in Event Management

Although the events profession lacks a universally recognised body like the CIM (the Institute of Events Management announced in 2014 having failed to gain traction), CPD is just as important for career progression because it demonstrates your commitment to your skills development and professionalism.
 
The Chartered Institute of Marketing has shown some interest in providing accreditation standards for this area, a development worth watching. In the meantime, we’d recommend keeping a personal record of your CPD activity, both in and outside of work.

Learning of course doesn’t just rest on formalised accreditations. We’d recommend keeping a regular track of your work achievements and day-to-day ‘learnings’ - simply keeping a track of these, challenges faced, and how you dealt with them, and creating your own ‘learning log’ can be an excellent self development tool, as well as setting you in great stead for any competency based interviews that you may have in the future.

What counts as Continuing Professional Development?

The Chartered Institute of Marketing is an accrediting body, which means it can accredit its own courses and training and those of other providers. Other organisations rely on bodies such as the CPD Certification Service (https://cpduk.co.uk/explained) to accredit their programmes for academic rigour.
 
While most forms of development and study are to be encouraged, it’s always worth checking if a course or programme is CPD accredited.
 
The CIM currently recognises the following activities for CPD purposes:
 
Formal learning
            Qualifications
            CIM courses
            Training courses
            E-learning
            Conferences, seminars and presentations.
 
Professional activity
            Giving or receiving mentoring
            Delivering presentations
            Participating on committees
            Writing relevant articles
            Teaching
            Attending exhibitions
            Reading relevant journals
            Networking
 
Practice-based learning
            On-the-job training
            Work shadowing
            Secondment
            Coaching
            Special projects
 
Self-directed learning
            General reading
            Research
            Informal networking
 
Other
            Eg Voluntary work
 
Why is CPD important for your events or marketing career?

·      Your skills remain relevant, up-to-date and effective
·      You boost your employability and value
·      You gain competence and confidence
·      You can provide evidence of your commitment to your profession
·      You can access higher qualifications and statuses such as Chartered Marketer
·      You will get more recognition from colleagues, peers and bosses
·      You’ll be able to better cope with change
·      You’ll stay on the right side of the law, by keeping up-to-date with the latest legislative changes
·      You’ll expand your network and pick up ideas from other sectors.
Not least it gives you a sense of your own personal development, can keep you motivated and give a sense of direction which can often be lacking in some roles and environments.  And, when you are looking out for new roles, your CV will be more impressive and you’ll have more tangible achievements to discuss in interview.

Who pays for Continuing Professional Development?

There’s no simple answer to this one. Most organisations will willingly pay for training courses and qualifications as part of your overall package.
 
This is not possible for all organisations, however, and some firms hesitate from investing in training in case employees use their new skills to get a better job elsewhere! Which reminds me of this apocryphal exchange:
 
Finance Director: “What happens we pay to train these people and they leave?”
HR Director: “What happens if we don’t train them and they stay?”
 
If you do find yourself in an organisation unwilling or unable to invest in your CPD consider paying for it yourself. See it in the same way as you might see a gym membership; an investment in yourself and your future.
 
And you might want to start looking for a role where your CPD is supported by your employer, or the role itself offers the learning opportunities that may be lacking in your current role. You can start by signing up for our job alerts here.