We hear you. We’ve been there too. Just what is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development (or simply CPD) refers to an activity an individual takes part in, with the primary goal of developing their professional knowledge and learning.
Most commonly, CPD’s took the form of formal courses or conferences which are deliberately tailored to a chosen area of growth.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a massive selection of other activities which can also fall under the banner of CPD – Any learning activity can contribute towards your CPD hours, whether it is being delivered in a structured or more informal way.
But how does this apply to the construction industry?
To answer that, we want to dig a little deeper. In this blog, we will identify how CPD works for the construction arena and how both organisations and businesses can benefit from it
What is CPD and how is it assessed?
Professional learning has become a requirement for many specifiers in the industry, as institutes such as RIBA continue to emphasise the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest in construction advancements.
Taking part in events such as online courses and seminars has become the most easily accessible way to participate in this professional development journey. There is now a required minimum number of hours expected every year for industry professionals depending on the institute.
RIBA reports that their minimum requirement of CPD learning is 35 hours per year. There are, however, several ways this learning can be achieved, offering professionals numerous options to meet their learning needs.
Structured CPDs and completing RIBA core topics courses are just a few of the main ways you can fulfil your annual CPD needs.
CPD, at its core, is a personal objective and can be self-assessed in most cases. It asks professionals to assign a number of marked points to each activity they complete, to earn 100 learning points in one year. More information on the CPD scoring system can be found here.
How CPDs can help construction professionals
The world of construction is constantly changing.
As the industry evolves, it is crucial that professionals working within it ensure their knowledge doesn’t fall behind to work effectively and champion healthy growth and change.
Ongoing training and development give individuals an insight into the latest regulation and product developments and champion professional growth. This is key, as the more knowledge we have on an area, the better we can perform and more easily meet professional standards.
We know that the concept of CPD can feel benign and monotonous, but it is essential to remember that there are huge benefits to taking part.
If one type of learning isn’t working for you, try something else – find what you’re interested in and run with it. There’s content out there for everybody!
How CPDs can help your construction company
Creating a CPD for your construction brand can feel like a very overwhelming task. The content you curate needs to add to the conversation and offer a new and fresh take on a subject area.
Whilst the amount of time and effort required to create an effective CPD can be significant; the rewards could be even more remarkable – offering a real boost to your construction company.
1) Become a recognised authority in your area
Remember the last time you needed help with a subject you knew nothing about? Your first thought was probably to ask someone who was more informed on the matter right?
By creating your own brand’s CPD, you can become the go-to authority in any given area.
The process of delivering a CPD can establish yourself and your brand as a recognised authority in your product/service area. This can be achieved even more successful if you take the time to have your CPD recognised by a professional body – promoting your business as a trusted source of information.
Whilst this kind of certification is not always required to deliver a CPD, 76% of architects report choosing training that was approved by a professional body beforehand.
2) Further, understand your audience
During the research you’ll perform during your CPD prep, you will be looking deeply into the common pain points that your audience faces. At this stage, you will identify what is important to them and carry this knowledge forward into your business venture.
Whilst doing this, we would recommend that you remember that every specifier that interacts with your business and your CPD will look for construction solutions in different ways.
Another way you can develop your relationship with your audience is by establishing and monitoring your conversations with them. From the moment they sign up for your CPD, they will start a relationship with your business.
Please take advantage of this by creating quality conversations with them before, during and after your CPD. Please make the most out of the opportunity; you have their attention. Find ways to turn that into data that you can use going forward.
2) (Indirectly) Promote your business and brand
Take note of ‘indirectly’ here. Your CPD is not an opportunity to sell your products or services to a broad audience, so don’t fall into that trap.
Remember, the primary outcome of your CPD will be building and promoting trust between you and your audience. Remaining impartial and professional is key to achieving this.
So how can you promote your business and brand?
CPDs are a superb method of sharing knowledge on an industry topic of choice; naturally, this will discuss the issues people face in these areas and the solutions on offer to remedy them. This is where you can include your brand and business, but only in an unbiased and meditated way.
To objectively speak about your products, ensure that you’re not only highlighting what it’s excellent at but also its cons and what it cannot do.
It’s critical that you show evidence of why you believe it’s relevant to spotlight your brand, especially if you wish your CPD to be certified by a professional body.
What is CPD’s future in construction?
The construction industry is not only changing rapidly; CPDs also see drastic changes in how individuals interact.
We all know that the world’s approach to work and all manner of interactions has become more digitally inclined – especially post-pandemic.
What you may not know is just how drastic these changes in attitude have become. 72% of the working public have spoken on their want for more of a hybrid working environment. These individuals prefer that their working life is divided more evenly into in-person and online/at-home work.
This kind of approach has meant that more than ever, CPD has become more digitally focused – with online courses, webinars and zoom presentations becoming the new normal.
Online CPD has several benefits to your construction business, lowering the barrier-to-entry by increasing your businesses potential reach and requiring less logistical effort to get it up and running.
What is CPD in construction? In a nutshell, it’s essential.
Not only is it vital to the progress of your professional development, but businesses must be challenged and coached for us to see positive growth in the industry.
By embracing CPD in your construction business, you are enacting positive change not only for yourself but for those in the industry around you.
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