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Five general CPD courses you should consider

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19th May 2014
Trainer Acuity Training
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As portfolio careers become more and more popular, Nick Williams looks at some general courses that will bolster the transferable skills section of your CV.
 

CPD does not always have to centre on core business activities or direct functional responsibilities. There are many other areas that can be developed to ensure that you operate more effectively in the workplace, and/or gain skills that could enable you to add more value.

When looking for a more general CPD course, look for ones that genuinely interest you from the get-go – if you enjoy the course, you are likely to get more out of it. But to ensure that you also gain professional benefits from it; you should look at ones which give you skills you can apply in your workplace, ones which include transferrable skills and ones that will elevate your CV/resume.

There are a wide variety of CPD courses that are not totally focused around core business operations. To an extent, value with CPD courses is directly related to the attendants’ interest in the subject matter. Attendants have a tendency to switch off in or courses which don’t interest them. For this reason, allowing staff to attend more general courses can be more valuable from a business perspective. Here are five CPD courses which we deem general in focus to whet your appetite:

First Aid

Being a qualified first aider in the workplace not only enables you to add value in the environment that you work in, but is also a form of training that is recognised in all workplaces. It is therefore a transferrable skill and one that can be seen as a favourable skill set in the eyes of future employers.

It goes without saying that first aid skills, no matter how basic can also serve as a valuable tool outside of work too.

Communication

Exploring different ways to communicate is one of the best general CPD opportunities – so make the most of it. Regardless of your position in a company or your profession, enhancing your communication skills can have numerous benefits, some of which include:

  • Forging more effective relationships with colleagues

  • Problem solving more effectively

  • Becoming a stronger negotiator

  • Being able to resolve conflict effectively

  • Understanding what others’ communication means

Communication skills training is an area of CPD that is immediately applicable and can easily be further developed either through practice, further training and/or research.

This general CPD course is one which can also boost your CV significantly as not only will your attendance on the course add to your professional qualifications, but including things like ‘rapport building skills’ and ‘negotiation skills’ will enhance your existing portfolio.

Languages

Having a second language as part of your skill set can significantly widen your professional prospects and even be used as a tool for negotiating a higher salary. It is certainly something that can boost your CV but also contributes to improving communication skills.

Research has shown that learning more than one language helps in many areas including improving memory and improving problem solving abilities. Furthermore it gives you the option of widening your scope of where in the world you can work and even enables you to apply for a wider variety of work.

Time management

Time management CPD courses are extremely useful and much like undertaking CPD training in communication skills; is transferable and immediately applicable. Improving your time management strategy can make you work more effectively and reduce stress, as well as enable you to project manage and multitask more efficiently.

No matter what position you hold in your workplace, working smarter and more efficiently are all skills that you will benefit from by undertaking CPD in time management. More specifically, being able to distinguish the difference between doing things right and doing the right things, can help you prioritise your tasks and therefore reduce your workload and pressure.

Managerial skills

Analysing what makes an excellent leader can significantly improve your career prospects and boost your CV. Even if you do not aspire to be in a supervisory position, many management techniques encompass project management and communication techniques which are beneficial.

As you can see, embarking on general CPD that focuses more on soft skills or ones outside of your daily business-related activities can be just as valuable as opportunities that are more work related. Achieving a careful balance between the two types of courses can be a great way of ensuring that you get the most value out of CPD. A good way to analyse which ones are good for you is to make a list beforehand of the things that you find challenging in the workplace. You could even perform a ‘lessons learned’ exercise to see whether there are certain tasks or situations that could have been handled better. Through analysing your strengths and weaknesses, you are more likely to choose the CPD course that is right and most valuable for you.

Nick Williams works for Acuity Training, who provide hands-on professional training from their two UK offices. Nick works as an assistant on the SQL training courses as well as the majority of technical/development courses.

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