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.
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.