Whether you take online tutorials or join in with on-site training sessions, continuing professional development or CPD is an incredibly important part of any role. The acronym is used heavily by HR professionals when discussing personal growth and career progression, but unfortunately it is often not given the time or commitment it deserves. We are all familiar with mandatory CPD points required to retain professional qualifications, but what else does CPD cover?

The core of the HR and Learning & Development (L&D) profession is built on a commitment to employees to support their continuing self-improvement, whether it is progressing up the career ladder or improving a skill that has previously been underutilised.

Typically professional development includes reading relevant articles, taking online tutorials, meeting with peers to discuss issues and attending events and conferences. Well-crafted and delivered CPD ensures you keep pace with the current standards of your field and provides greater insight into changes and developments in your industry. CPD can help challenge your focus on reviewing your existing processes and bring about positive change, to encourage personal growth and ownership of projects.

However, development does not have to just be down to traditional classroom learning or textbook reading. Although some professional membership organisations, such as CIPD or CIM require a submission of CPD activity each year for participants to receive a certificate of completion, development is self-directed and can come in all forms.

At thebigword we encourage our team to engage in career development and personal growth through our newly launched Irresistible You (IYOU) campaign. We have introduced:

  • designated learning spaces in our offices
  • operational trainers to support and develop our teams
  • a Leadership and Line Management Training Programme with 5 different modules for all managers to attend
  • an individual learning allowance
  • engaged all line managers in launching professional development plans (PDPs) for their teams.

Career development and personal growth are an important focus for our HR and wider teams at thebigword, ensuring we attract, recruit and retain the best talent. From salsa dancing to wellbeing apps, our team have the opportunity to explore all aspects of personal and professional development.

One of the ways we encourage our team to monitor their personal and professional development is through regular review meetings and performance development plans. Download our HR development plan template here, for your own use. Alternatively, if you’re interested in working with a team that puts professional development and people at the forefront of the business, check out our latest vacancies on our recruitment page.

Sarah Paveley

Senior HR Business Partner


Download our HR development plan template here: