Health Advance Institute

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CPD is a commitment to structured skills enhancement and personal or professional competence ensuring that everyone - no matter their occupation, role or responsibility within an organisation - has up to date skills and knowledge. It is the additional  education of professionals after they have completed their formal training to ensure better healthcare service delivery. It entails any educational activity which helps to maintain, develop or increase knowledge, problem-solving, technical skills or professional performance standards. Undertaking CPD is particularly important in today’s fast-moving technological world as the criteria used for achieving qualifications are constantly evolving.

To keep staff professionally alive, growing and productive, CPD is the answer to those who believe they have reached their professional limits. Most organisations rely on staff to deliver their service and maintain the quality of their standards. For such organisations to maintain their competitive edge, to attract and retain staff, and to grow and support their service base, there is a need to invest in CPD for staff. Organisational growth is no longer measured by growth in staff levels, but by the level of skills the staff possess, especially in the face of technological advancement. In the healthcare sector there is a growing expectation by all that healthcare professionals are accountable for demonstrating competence. Such competence is now, unlike in the past, demanded tangibly through certification, especially as part of a review by authorities.

All these factors have fuelled the need for CPD to the extent that it is becoming obligatory worldwide. The need for learning is growing, but financial resources are often limited and this has led to an increasing focus on demonstrable results as well as Return on Investment (ROI). The implementation of CPD has become a collective, multidisciplinary team effort involving the individual, immediate supervisor, Human Resources Development, and Finance and Executive management. 

The HAI provides CPD through a skills development model derived from two fundamental beliefs based on the adult learning principle. The first aspect is the knowledge that college or university education creates the platform for developing skills, but sometimes these skills need constant sharpening. Secondly, skills development is a lifetime endeavour and can only be mastered through a learning process. In terms of the process of skills development, the HAI believes in the following:

Theory - Good theory is relevant, practical, detailed and transferable into behaviour.

Practice - Skill development can take a few minutes or hundreds of hours. Even those with great aptitude and much talent must practice endlessly to become experts.

Feedback - Skill development requires feedback. There are many different types of feedback, but only two valid means of receiving it: self-monitoring and/or getting feedback from others

Motivation - All endeavours require motivation – internal and external - in order to succeed.

Mastery - This occurs when skill development is essentially over and the skill runs largely in the subconscious mind.

The CPD process map involves various aspects. Firstly, a needs analysis is undertaken which helps to define the mission of the project and formulate objectives. This determines the particular training to be followed and the appropriate methodology to be used in delivering the training. The methodology to be used will then assist with the effective allocation of resources, taking into account the location and type of delivery. Different methods such as conferences, in-house training and workshops are used, depending on the needs of the client and the type of project. Timelines for implementation are then determined and the curriculum developed. A pre-assessment of the participants is then done before the actual contact session begins using various methods and, finally, a high quality course is delivered to the participants.

The CPD aims to achieve a high level of skills mastery among participants – empowering them with appropriate skills, knowledge and attitude to execute particular tasks. The training takes into consideration all governmental, educational, political, economic, sociological, ethical, technological, legal and cultural factors. The aim is to achieve applied competence: a combination of foundational, practical and reflexive competence: 

  • Foundational competence is the demonstrated understanding of what the learner is absorbing during the training session. 
  • Practical competence is the demonstrated ability to perform a set of tasks in an authentic context. 
  • Reflexive competence is the demonstrated ability to integrate understanding and performance so that it can be applied in the working environment. 


Participants are evaluated on completion of the contact session and certificates are issued to successful candidates. Evaluation is undertaken either through a portfolio of evidence or an evaluation test. Certification becomes proof for meeting the required standards as well as career pathing and reporting on this will be done to the relevant organisation.

Categories of CPD programmes are:

Clinical - Training which is related to the actual examination, diagnosis, treatment and care of patients. It concerns patient data collection and the interpretation and the application of this data to assist with the design, implementation, monitoring and modification of the patient’s drug treatment.

Management - This involves training healthcare providers in the appropriate aspects of the industry; it thus enhances their capacity to be leaders in the industry. It is aimed at all management levels of the healthcare service, and all courses are designed to meet the expectations of the participants. 

Generic - This component provides a series of workshops that raises participants’ awareness of issues to be tackled and duties to be undertaken when carrying out their routine tasks. This training is integrated into and complements the demands of healthcare workers to meet current trends in the healthcare industry.

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