Continuous professional development

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Advanced Professional Development


Advanced professional development is a subject which can enable a leaner to develop personal and professional skills.

It includes methods to improve skills like counselling and mentoring, professional development skills like team work, leadership, problem solving, time management etc and tell us method to use them with the help of Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

It enables learners to develop their learning style with SWOT analysis; personal skills audit and how we can judge our learning style mean that we are auditory, visual, kinaesthetic or tactile learner.

PDP is the need of today in professional and personal development of a person to achieve its goals and aim.

Advanced professional development is a key for success in professional life with CPD, SWOT and PDP.

Task 1

Significance of the personal and professional skills for a successful manager

A lot is said these days about developing personal and professional skills, and for individuals working in big organisations the annual appraisal has now become the rule rather than the exception.

Not enough attention, however, is given to the broader subject of developing one's career. At best a friendly mentor might give a few words of advice, or a close friend might suggest a few tips on enhancing your role.

There are many strong, convincing reasons for professional development skills:-

  • A greater informed and more sophisticated public is demanding a superior duty of care and level of service from professionals.
  • Related to this is the increasing risk of claims for negligence from professionals deemed to have 'failed' in their duty or given poor advice.
  • Inside organisations, up to date quality management systems demand that qualified people are in place to make decisions. Achieve maximum productivity and effectiveness in your organisation.
  • Build and leverage your professional reputation.
  • Obtain results working with different and difficult personality types.
  • Retain focus in pressure situations.
  • Work effectively within the political environment of your organisation.
  • Make an impartial choice between professional and personal commitments.
Time management

Individual time management skills are fundamental skills for successful people. People who exercise these techniques regularly are the highest achievers in all walks of life, from business to sport to public service. If you apply these skills well, then you will be able to perform extremely well, even under severe pressure.

What's further, as you master these skills, you will discover that you take control of your workload, and say goodbye to the often extreme pressure of work overload.

Lots of people spend their days in an emotion of activity, but achieve very little, because they are not concentrating their attempts on the things that matter the most.

Learning to control your time means you will get more done and feel less tense. With effective time-management skills you can cut the time tasks take by 40%.

Apply the following basic principles to manage time effectively:-

  • Priotise your tasks
  • Work out how much time you really have to work - subtracting time spent with guests. This is all you have left to get things done.

  • Eliminate time thieves
  • Avoid people who sidetrack you into dealing with their issues, and practice saying the magic word "No".

  • Plan meetings with military precisions
  • Write an agenda and stick to it.

    Have crystal-clear objectives and assign tasks.

  • Don't be a Slave to E-mails
  • Indicate if a message is high, normal or low priority.

  • Delegate

Assess the risks of not doing a task - a high-risk task with real deadlines is a priority. Lower-risk tasks are ideal for delegation.

Running meetings

Meetings are very important for managing and communication. Appropriately run meetings save time, boost motivation, efficiency, and solve problems. Meetings create new thoughts and initiatives. Meetings accomplish buy-in. Meetings diffuse conflict in a way that emails and memos cannot. Meetings are successful because the written word only carries 7% of the true meaning and feeling. Meetings are better than telephone conferences because only 38% of the meaning and feeling is carried in the way that things are said. The other 55% of the meaning and feeling is carried in facial expression and non-verbal signals. Hence meetings are so useful.

Meetings - Basic Rules

The key to success is keeping control. You do this by sticking to the agenda, managing the affairs and personalities, and focussed on outcomes. Meetings must have a reason. Every item must have a rationale.

Here is a concrete basic structure for most types of meetings.

  1. Plan - make use of the agenda as a planning tool
  2. Circulate the meeting agenda beforehand.
  3. Run the meeting - keep control, agree outcomes, actions and responsibilities, take notes
  4. Write and circulate notes - particularly actions and accountabilities
  5. Follow up agreed actions and responsibilities
Making presentations

Presenting to a group of people is probably one of the most worrying experiences in a person's life. Allegedly, it is one of the most spoken about phobias in the world today. The majority presentations are not just about information; they are also about building reputations. Communicating a message in a clear, relevant and meaningful way to a range of different audiences requires skill, a skill that can be learned.

Stress management

There are many proven skills that we can apply to manage stress. These help us to stay cool and effective in high pressure situations, and help us avoid the problems of long term stress. In the next paragraph, some important techniques are given for managing stress.

Keeping a Stress Diary or carrying out the Burnout Self-Test will assist you to recognize your current levels of stress, so you can choose what action, if any, you have to take. Job Analysis and Performance Planning will help you to get on top of your workload. While the emotionally-oriented skills of Imagery, Physical Techniques and Rational Positive Thinking will facilitate you modify the way you see apparently stressful situations.

Task 2

A range of practical methods suitable for developing or improving the skills discussed in Task 1

The 4Ds method for Time Management

This is one of the effective time management methods when you make plan for the day, week or month. Now, as you make your time plan for each day you need to decide how to handle the various tasks that need doing, and how to deal with any new tasks that may arise.

This is where the 4 Ds of time management come in. They are:

  1. Do it - This cannot wait and needs to be taken care of now.
  2. Delegate it - This task doesn't suit you; get someone else to do it.
  3. Dump it - Anything that is unimportant now and in the future. Bin it.
  4. Defer it - Something for the 'to do' pile. Come back to it later.
Peer Review Method to improve Perfect Presentation skills

Once the delivery of the presentation has been performed you begin to perfect that skill by reviewing your mistakes and actions that can be improved upon. Most individuals practice their presentations in front of a mirror, on audiotape, or videotape then review their performance to calculate their need for improvement. It is during this review that one needs to reflect on the performance honestly to analyze the corrections needed. Many times in our review we miss key issues due to our personal interpretation. It is at times like these that our peers can provide a more accurate unbiased review of our performance.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes

CPDis a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth. The focus of CPD is firmly on results - the benefits that professional development can bring you in the real world.Perhaps the most important message is that one size doesn't fit all. Wherever you are in your career now, and whatever you want to achieve, your CPD should be exactly that: yours

Evaluation and Reflection

Good professional development depends strongly on self-analysis and evaluation to develop our personal profile and to examine our preferred learning styles.

One approach of encouraging reflective practise in our professional life is to keep a reflective diary or log. A reflective log is like a personal diary or record in which we note not just what we have done or accomplished, and what we have learned but also reflect on our feelings. What did we find difficult? What should we do to resolve the situation?

Reviewing our reflective diary can also provide useful information. By looking back on our experiences, we can reassess our goals. What have we accomplished? What should the next steps be?


A mentor is someone who can give advice and direct you in your career. He or she has a number of roles - as an appraiser, a supporter, a communicator and a motivator. The relationship therefore is different from that between a superior and his/her subordinate, and it is unlikely that a manager can carry out these functions. A good mentor has coaching skills, is trustworthy, respected and is free from major distractions either within or outside the workplace. You need to choose one with care.

From this skills audit it can easily be noted that I have a combination of the four learning skills i.e. pragmatist, theorist, activist, and reflector. I am also open to almost any kind of learning. I have been at my work for some time and I can easily adapt to the changes easily.


With reference to learning criteria provided by Honey and Mumford I can say that I am


  • I am a practical person
  • I like to solve problems
  • I seek logical explanation for everything
  • I like to think through everything
  • I enjoy challenges
  • I enjoy working with others
  • I prefer to observe things before doing things
  • I prefer to work than just chit chart

Having an element of all fractions learning, I recommend that I should continue with the current education and additionally also to learn out there in field not class room so I recommend that I should get a mentor at my work place i.e. this can be someone who have been at there work place for a long period than them and knows the work better than myself. This can be a supervisor or manager or even work mate. And they can show me the ways of doing things easier and better. If they show me a skill, then I will practically see the benefits of the skill and it won't cost you a dime. I also recommend that I should do some research work where I can generate new ideas on my own.

Use of Personal Skills Audit in effective management and leadership
  • I can overcome my weaknesses.
  • Minimise the threats to achieve my goal.
  • Increase my strengths.
  • Try for best and more opportunities.
  • I got to know your reading, writing, learning skills
  • I can examine my mentoring and counselling power.

Task 4

Personal Development Plan

PDPs are not a new idea but it is only in recent years that they have become more accepted and used in a wide variety of contexts.

It is necessary that you have objectives set up for yourself, and plans and actions to be taken in order to achieve those objectives. Following PDP is a good way to improve you, and to acquire skills and knowledge.

I have learnt in my own life and in working as a business owner that if you don't identify your vision and plan, others will plan and direct your life for you.

SWOT Analysis

I will use the Personal SWOT analysis to identify my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in my life and it will help me in determining Where am I at the moment and where I like to be?

It will keep me on track and motivated, help with decisions and add to fulfilment of your sense like improvement in your personality to get success in your personal and professional life.

My performance on this course so far has been fairly ok, although I could have done better. Most of the time, I have achieved second lower or second upper grades. It has been due to the fact that the course's structure has allowed me a lot of time to prepare and plan my work. So with a little bit of effort, given that I do not take school's grades as the most important factor, I could do with at least a pass, or better. On the other hand, I have been developing on various skills throughout the course. Wider reading, presentation and group-work are often required in all my classes.

Although having given a lot of time to finish my work, I still do it at last minute. It has often resulted in very "so-so" quality of the work, which, in turn, constituted my average grades. It is a bad habit that I need to stop doing; otherwise I might find myself struggling or being told off frequently in the workplace.

SMART Objective

SMART is a way of checking that your objectives are clear. It applies to both work and learning objectives.

Specific: You know exactly what it is you have to do

Measurable: There is a clear way of knowing when you have done it.

Achievable: It is achievable within your reasonable control

Realistic: It is a realistic goal bearing in mind the time and the resources available (doesn't mean it shouldn't stretch or challenge you!)

Time-bound: There is a date or deadline for achieving the objective

I have chosen a SMART objective for developing my time and stress management skills in six months time.

In a professional life, I got to be punctual, able to work effectively in stressful situations. I am developing these skills while working part time in McDonald's where both time management and stress management skills are very demanding, especially during lunch times and on Friday and Saturday. I used work on Monday and Tuesday, but now with the permission of my store manager, I have decided to work on Fridays and Saturdays for ten hours shifts which is also a store manager's shift. I have got a very good store manager, who is also my mentor for developing these skills.

Task 5

Monitoring and Feedback

When making a plan you have to make sure the plan is realistic and can be followed by you. If you cannot bring yourself to follow a plan do not make the plan because you would end up wasting your time. You need to also be observant at the things that are limiting your plan because this is the only way you can work with it. If you do not get rid of unnecessary indulgences you would be carried away and still think you are moving with your plan.

If you do not monitor your plan from time to time, you tend to lose focus and interest. Monitoring makes it easy for you to measure your progress, and also gives you a sense of responsibility.

In order to monitor and get a more successful outcome, I have set the following guidelines for my personal development plan.

  • Write activities to be done on paper at the beginning of each day
  • Stick to this plan
  • Do what you have to do at the set time and date you have put in mind, do not postpone tasks.
  • Get to your set destinations at least twenty minutes before time. Have it in mind that it is better to wait for, than to be waited for.
  • Have a scale of preference. Things that are most important to your personal development plan should be followed first.
  • Reduce social outings and replace them with professional outings e.g. go for seminars that can improve your professional development.
  • Get a log book to measure your personal development.
Importance of Self Review

From time to time it is important to check you progress concerning your personal development plan by using a self review mode. This would help you to know where and what you have to set right concerning your progress.

A self review may include the following.

  • What aspects have you improved on?
  • Which of your bad habits have been cut?
  • Who are your mentors?
  • What destabilizes your thinking?
  • How has the present form of learning improved your person?
  • Are your plans working out as scheduled?
  • What have you achieved so far?

These questions and the answers would show you an insight to where you have reached and what you are still lacking. It puts you on track to know what you have been doing so far concerning yourself development. For example I personally have cut excessively my outings at weekends because I realized that if I go out on Fridays I come back Saturday morning totally wasted for the whole day and by Sunday I have limited time to finish on brushing up on my assignments which have to be submitted on Monday and Tuesday. So if I know I want to go out during the weekend I make it a point to finish up all my assignments by Thursday, print them out by Friday morning so my weekends are totally free for me to rest and enjoy myself. But I realized after two weeks of going out that it still is not a necessity to party on Fridays and Saturday, instead I could do more positive things like doing research on the next topic at hand or develop my mind doing more positive things.

This self review from time to time helps an individual to measure him/ her in terms of positive and negative changes. It is a form of management style that puts you on track concerning you do's and don'ts.

Task 6


Apparently, there are a lot of things that I can develop myself on. However, in the mean time, those are things that I planned for the coming graduation, which is the big turn in my life. In the workplace nowadays, constant learning and adapting is utmost important. Therefore, having a short-term specific plan for your career is a good way to push yourself up to scratch. And my plan here is obvious: doing good for my final project and preparing myself for the market next year.

In conclusion, I have observed that it is very evident that your immediate environment, that is people you come in contact with everyday are also a very important aspect of following you're laid down plans. In my own case my family (which is the closest form of contact) has played a very important role in helping me manage my personal development planning scheme. Since they are the direct benefactor of my success, there is more than enough keenness from them concerning my success in all I do concerning my personal development.

Supports which family usually give are basically moral, and finance. This has in a large extent eased the tensions concerning comfort. Friends too could be a source of support, which is if you keep the right ones close. In my case, I have had a few unproductive friends which during myself review, I have put at an arm's length because I have realized they were totally not of any productive importance to my personal development. Instead they were the primary source of my lack of seriousness at the initial stage of my academics. But I still have a couple of close ones who are quite needed around and I know we have the same zeal to succeed academically which is the primary reason I started the course in the first place.

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