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Continual Professional Development

Your reputation as a professional is not only important to you, but is essential to your clients, colleagues and employer. Keeping your knowledge, expertise and skills up-to-date is a key aspect of ensuring your continued excellent reputation as a professional practitioner.


Keeping your skills and knowledge up to date is known as Continuous Professional Development (CPD).


Sometimes it is a requirement by professional organisations or required by codes of conduct or codes of ethics. But at its core it is a personal responsibility of professionals to keep their knowledge and skills current so that they can deliver the high quality of service that safeguards the public and meets the expectations of customers and the requirements of their profession.



What is CPD.....


CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development. It refers to the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally, as you work beyond any training. It is a record of what you experience, learn and then apply.


Continuing professional development is important because in industries where fashions, products, techniques and equipment change so rapidly, it is essential that everyone keeps their skills and knowledge up to date to meet client needs. Constant updating of skills is vital to success in any industry. But it's especially true in industries like Barbering. This is even truer for assessors and verifiers because they are the gatekeepers of standards for the next generation of Barbers.



What is it for?


The CPD process helps you manage your own development on an ongoing basis. Its function is to help you record, review and reflect on what you learn. It's not a tick-box document recording the training you have completed. It's broader than that.


There are several ways you can keep your knowledge and skills constant here are a few examples:

  • Read the Hairdressers Journal/Male grooming Magazines  – It features new products and adverts for various companies. There is information on what other hairdressers/Barbers and companies are doing and various events and shows are reported.

  • Read the fashion mags. GQ Magazine, Men’s Health, Esquire all have strong editorial fashion pages. They also report on new products and what the session Barbers are using.

  • Talk to the salon reps. L’Oreal, Wella, Paul Mitchell,Tigi, American Crew and all the other large product companies will have salon reps that are only too happy to tell you about their current and new product ranges, they can also arrange for you to see demonstrations at their training schools.

  • Look in other salons- See what they are promoting and retailing

  • Go to hair and fashion shows like Salon International (15-17/10/16) or British Master BarbersLive (30/10/16).

  • Try out your own ideas on friends or models.

  • Try out products on yourself.

  • Go to a Master class or Seminar.

  • Look at DVD’s or on the web.

  • YouTube.



Training and development - what's the difference?


These terms are often used interchangeably, though there is a distinction. As a rule of thumb, training is formal and linear. It is to do with learning how to do something specific, relating to skill and competence. Training can be as simple as trying out a new product range and getting product knowledge on it. Development is often informal and has a wider application, giving you the tools to do a range of things and relating to capability and competency. It involves progression from basic know-how to more advanced, mature or complex understanding. Alternatively, it can be about widening your range of transferable skills like leadership, managing projects or organising information.



The key features of the CPD process


To justify the name, a CPD needs to:

  • be a documented process.

  • be self-directed: driven by you, not your employer.

  • focus on learning from experience, reflective learning and review.

  • help you set development goals and objectives.

  • include both formal and informal learning.



What will it do for you?


CPD may be a requirement of membership of a professional body. It can help you to reflect, review and document your learning and to develop and update your professional knowledge and skills. It is also very useful to:

  • provides an overview of your professional development to date.

  • reminds you of your achievements and how far you've progressed.

  • directs your career and helps you keep your eye on your goals.

  • uncovers gaps in your skills and capabilities.

  • opens up further development needs.

  • provides examples and scenarios for a CV or interview.

  • demonstrates your professional standing to clients and employers.

  • helps you with your career development or a possible career change. 



How do I start?


Keep a learning log and record your thoughts in whatever way suits you best. You may find it helpful to write things down in detail, for example, or to make notes on insights and learning points. The process of writing makes you think about your experiences at the time, and makes planning and reflection much easier. Keeping a folder to put all these experiences in is also a good way of documenting everything.



Where to go from now......


Think about areas you would like to develop personally, it may be something as simple as extending your product knowledge or something more advanced as developing skills in Barbering let’s say wet shaving..... Then research it looking at possible training courses you could attend, See what YouTube videos are on line etc... Then start your CPD folder.



Presented by Maria Di Martino SRHB Cert Ed and A BMB Founder.

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