Why is continuing professional development so important?
Well first off, it is a requirement of most professional registration bodies and is included within the VRA’s own Standards of Practice. Without maintaining our professional development, we can be removed from registers preventing us from practicing in our chosen professions. This is huge and should be reason enough, but as professionals, there needs to be more reason than just this threat.
A second reason, and more importantly (from my perspective…), our clients / customers need us to be current in our professional knowledge and skills. They want / need to receive support from those with the most up-to-date understanding of services. Moving forward with the latest developments in service and assessment / treatment is vital.
A third reason is to ensure that we, as professionals, demonstrate to employers / referral sources that we are not complacent, and that our skills / knowledge meet current standards of proficiency.
But how do we do that? We’re all very busy with the day-to-day… in many situations – just keeping up! We have to make these things happen!
What should continuing professional development activity look like?
There are so many ways to stay current. This can include reading surrounding updated regulations and legislation, techniques and methods. This can also be participating in activities to gain new skills or to help refresh previously developed skills which have now been updated. Given advances in research even the old standards can be enhanced, thus improving the way things can be done. Face-to-face conferences are also very important as this provides the added value of networking with peers to share ideas and experiences.
Another way of gaining current information is to register and participate in the Vocational Rehabilitation Association webinars. These are presented on the last Tuesday of most months. These are presentations from professionals currently active in a variety of areas pertaining to vocational rehabilitation. These hour-long sessions are conveniently available from your own desks or mobile technology (iPads / iPhones). And… they are free.
Information about upcoming webinars are posted in the events section as soon as available, along with registration details. Certificates of participation are available to attendees. Evidence to put into your CPD folders.
Stay current! Join us! We look forward to working with you.
Shirley Morrison-Glancy, VRA Vice-Chair & Trustee