The industrial revolution in the 18th century pivoted the world into a new era. Yet the explosive information revolution of the 20th century continues unabated. An individual who took a qualifying exam after many years of extensive studying and testing to professionally undertake their craft is soon out-of-date following researched trends and up-to-date modern practices.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is defined as learning experiences that help individuals develop and improve their professional abilities. CPD is a programme designed to encourage members of professional bodies to develop their academic and professional skills.
The main purpose is to encourage members to engage in lifelong learning. CPD is non-negotiable. Not a nice-to-have but an essential part of keeping up to date, CPD is compulsory for the working professional to continue practising.
The medical, accounting, legal, architectural, engineering professions et al take CPD testing on a regular basis – followed swiftly by the trades such as bricklayers, plumbers, welders, and the like.
Services such as financial, security, safety, education, electrical etc – with their respective member associations – have followed. In justifying and determining value and assurance, CPD certification updated regularly is regarded as a standard requirement for an individual to practise and prosper, providing peace of mind for the paying customer/company and underwriters.
There remains a perennial CPD gap for the MICE and tourism industry. Over the years there continued to be many educational courses, some a few days in length others over a protracted period of many months to a year plus.
The outcomes have been varied in the cut-and-thrust of practical take-up of ‘certificated’ individuals by both the tourism and MICE sectors. As far as CPD implementation is concerned, the outcomes of all these educational endeavours of one sort or another have been questionable.
The compiling of CPD testing is a rigid undertaking in which there are no compromises.
Ten points for a successful CPD programme
- Undertaken by individuals for each educational subject to confirm their knowledge;
- Contributors of subject matter should provide background information on their knowledge base;
- The subject matter should not be ambiguous nor include product or service promotions;
- The subject matter can be in various formats from videos, webinars, and in-person presentations with back-up explanatory slides;
- Irrespective of the format, a written version with any back-up graphs or slides should be available to the test compiler.
- The most user-friendly test format is Q&A with at least three multichoice answers and no more than six multichoice answers per question. True and false answers are to be limited;
- The test may include a written explanation for one question – of no more than 50 words – where applicable and appropriate.
- The questions and answers should not be word-for-word as per the written explanatory document;
- The test should have no fewer than eight and no more than 15 questions;
- Correct answers as a pass rate are no less than 80% on the total number of questions.
Contributors of subject matter would, amongst others, be recognised as the supplier of the subject matter material. Any sourcing from other publications, videos and the like will include acknowledgement/s.
They should also recognised for drafting approved topic material/s where applicable and appropriate.
Compilers of Q&A tests
The role and abilities of the CPD test compiler is an important one. The consequences of not ensuring a high standard can be detrimental to the certificated individual going forward.
Equally, negative consequences could occur if the bar were lowered due to a range of ulterior motives and the overall perception of the profession would be compromised.