By Paddy Ryan, Family Business Specialist & Co-Director, The Family Business Unit, Ireland

An Associate of mine recently told me that it was “tough to beat a studious accountant booking CPD hours and that’s a known fact”. Makes me wonder what does CPD mean.

It is about Continuous growth of knowledge about what we do. It is not just about learning the latest procedures, but learning how they work, how they can be developed, what can come next. It is not something that comes to us to be measures of points or hours. It should not be something we do because we have to to continue to be paid. It should be exciting, it should exciting and it should be fun.

It is developing the hard learned skills which we gathered to fulfill some calling, i.e. vocation, that we chose because its practice excited us once upon a time. It should be lively and push us into new realms of understanding of what we do.

There could be a long discussion about what is “Professional” and as the son of a Doctor and husband of a Nurse I do balk at Ambulance Drivers being called Health Professionals or Ticket collectors being called Revenue Protection Professional, but that may just be me. There can be Professional grave diggers (though googling them turns up pictures of obscene looking Car racing) unique skills and few and far between; there are people who are “professional” electricians or plumbers but this begins to redefine the word.

Those of us who indulge ourselves in CPD have a responsibility to develop and grow in our chosen works. It is not static it is not finished when the points are collected over the fixed hours. It is Dynamic!

Over the past twenty-five years Paddy has worked in HR T&D at Director and Executive level. He has worked in heavy Industry, in Hi-tech, Medical Devices as well as Software reselling and Construction; leading teams across Europe, the Middle East and Asia for Global and international businesses. Most recently he headed up the Human Resources Department Mercury Engineering a major Irish based international business.

Throughout his career the one constant driver has been the development of people. The senior positions filled in, the UK and Ireland with British Steel and Smith & Nephew and mainland Europe with Software Spectrum and Insight, US multinational and global companies have focused on best practice HR and leading edge Training and Development.