What is CPD?

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It is a name for keeping up to date with knowledge, understanding and the skills that you use in your work. 


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It’s likely that you already do this, even if you don’t call it CPD.  

CPD is used to describe any learning that you do to stay up to date in your work and to develop and enhance your career.   

You may have heard the terms learning, training or lifelong learning used. These are all types of CPD where they help you in your job role or your career path. 

CPD keeps your knowledge up to date and helps you to develop and enhance your current skills. It also helps you develop new knowledge and skills that may be needed in your current job or in preparing for a future job. 

There are many ways in which you can learn and develop knowledge and skills. These include: 

  • Courses – formal, informal, in person, online and e-learning  
  • Engaging with a network that allows you to learn from others – Special Interest Groups (SIGS), advisory groups, local networks, through social media 
  • On the job learning – from others at your place of work, visits to other farms, visits to allied parts of the supply and food chain 
  • Self-study – reading books, journals/magazines and case studies, watching online webinars and videos, listening to podcasts, in person or online talks and presentations 


All of these can provide opportunities for your own CPD. The key part is that the knowledge and skills that you gain from CPD are put into practice in your work. 

As agricultural and horticultural practices develop and change, CPD can help businesses be productive and profitable while protecting and enhancing our environment.  


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How does CPD help me?

CPD maintains and enhances knowledge and skills to deliver best practice 

Engaging with CPD helps you meet best practice for your role. It helps you meet new challenges which can arise from national policy, retailer and consumer needs or from new scientific and technological breakthroughs. 


CPD helps you become more effective in your role 

Keeping up to date and increasing your knowledge and skills and putting these into your everyday practice will help make you more effective in your workplace. This helps the business. 


CPD builds confidence and credibility 

If you keep pace with the knowledge and skills required for your role, you can be confident in your performance and how you add value to the business that you are in. A knowledgeable and skilled workforce brings credibility to businesses and to our industry. 


CPD can give you access to experts in the field 

There are many learning and networking opportunities for CPD that are delivered online or virtually. It’s easier than ever to hear from or connect to experts working in the industry. This helps us to innovate and better understand the context in which we are working.


CPD helps you stay up to date with changing trends 

CPD can increase your awareness and understanding of changing trends. These might relate to things like food safety, food quality, animal welfare, environmental protection and sustainability. It can also help you prepare for the knowledge and skills required for updating best practice. 


CPD helps advance the body of knowledge and technology within our industry 

An important part of CPD is putting knowledge into practice. It also helps shape and develop new ideas and technology. Feeding back how you have put something into practice can help our industry develop and innovate. 


CPD supports your understanding of the wider context to your work 

CPD can help you increase your knowledge of the benefits of what you do. This knowledge and understanding can lead to increased effectiveness in the wider context of your work.   


External impact of CPD 

The outcome of CPD, improving your practice in your role, impacts on more than you and your business. Achieving best practice means you have improved the impact on factors such as the environment, sustainability and the economy. 


CPD within the industry increases public confidence  

The public will have more confidence in our products, in the way that we produce them, and in our sector if it knows our workforce undertakes CPD. 


How will TIAH help me with my CPD?

We’re developing a framework of the skills and knowledge required by those working ‘on farm’ in England. The framework will cover livestock, arable and horticulture knowledge and skills required for farming in England. It also includes business, people and leadership areas that support a successful business. 

TIAH members will be able to use this framework to identify areas that they wish to develop through CPD. An accompanying online system will suggest and signpost relevant CPD opportunities available.