Chartered Institute
of Linguists

The importance of CPD

By Rob Beswick

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It looks at the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work, beyond any initial training (according to Google). For many CIOL members, training and self-improvement can be tough. Many are freelancers, which, while it offers a degree of freedom, it doesn’t have the benefit of being part of a company training scheme, so along with being an interpreter or translator, you would need to be accountant, sales person, marketing, as well as your own training coordinator! 

CPD isn’t just about attending a training course; it can take the form of reading, networking, mentoring/being mentored, attending events, or even watching a webinar. As CPD is your responsibility, it means that you can take the learning into your own hands and develop in the best, most convenient way for you. Personally, I have always struggled with classroom learning, but recently discovered that reading books and watching webinars or podcasts are the best way for me to improve my skills.

The big question is, why is CPD important. You‘ve got your degree or qualification and you’re working successfully, so do you really need to spend time continually learning and training? I’m sure most people would agree the answer is yes, but why? Today’s world is changing so fast. New industries are appearing, with technology changing the way we work and interact. CPD, if done correctly, will also give you a different perspective on what you do, and you may even question how you work and what you have learnt in the past. This can only help to improve how you support your customers and ultimately the quality of your work. 

One of the latest ways CIOL will be supporting the industry is by allowing our members to log their CPD progress in the members’ area, along with any documents associated with this. It isn’t just a convenient way to monitor your development, but can also be a way to benchmark yourself against what you have learned in previous years. If you are a member, you can log into My CIOL on the CIOL webiste to check it out. If you are not, think about becoming a member and take a look at the range of benefits on offer.

Rob Beswick
Head of Membership, CIOL