Setting Continuing Professional Development Goals; a Guide to Self Reflection

The Importance of Setting Purposeful Continuing Professional Development Goals

The College’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program is designed to:

  • Promote continuing competence and continuing quality improvement among members;
  • Remedy gaps in knowledge and skills identified in members’ self-assessment;
  • Address changes in practice environments; and
  • Incorporate standards of practice and advances in technology.

CPD is how professionals keep up to date and competent to practise. It is ‘any process or activity that provides added value to the capability of the professional through the increase in knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary for the appropriate execution of professional and technical duties, often termed competence’ (Continuing Professional Development – A Brief Guide).

Self-Reflection is an Important Component of Determining Appropriate Goals

Questions to Reflect Upon When Reviewing Past Progress Towards CPD Goals:
  1. Last time I set goals, did I choose the right ones?
  2. Am I finishing this 2-year cycle with any unfinished projects or work and, if so, what got in the way?
  3. Did I take adequate time to plan how I would achieve my goals?
  4. What was the most significant professional change I made within the last year?
  5. How am I measuring progress?
Questions to Reflect Upon When Setting CPD Goals:
  1. What were my top professional accomplishments within the last two years?
  2. What were my biggest professional challenges?
  3. What are some things that may be keeping me from accomplishing my professional objectives?
  4. What long-term goals do I want to work towards? What are some concrete steps I can take towards accomplishing each goal?
  5. What short-term goals do I want to work towards? What are some concrete steps I can take towards accomplishing each goal?
  6. What are my top three goals for professional development?
  7. Where do I want to be by the end of the upcoming two year CPD cycle?
  8. Do I have goal deadlines?
  9. How can I measure progress towards my goals?
  10. What can I do to motivate myself to accomplish my goals?
  11. How can I include my professional peers in achieving my goals?

Keep your Goals “SMART” – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound