Industry news

02 October 2017 Christine

Why offering CPD can be a huge draw for members

“How can I add value to my organisation?” This is a question we get asked a lot, and we know it’s an important concept to membership organisations. You’re looking for something that will set you apart from all those other associations out there who are all working towards very similar goals as you are within your industry. You’re probably already investing lots of time and money into ensuring your website is up to date, your publications if you have them are well designed and your events are beneficial. So what more can you do?

There are really 3 main reasons an individual chooses to join a membership organisation; to progress in their industry, to be part of a community and to grow and develop their skills. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) helps with each of these, and therefore offers an attractive initiative for potential members.

To progress

progress through learningOffering CPD can help your members progress within their careers by offering them opportunity. To progress it’s important to know there’s somewhere to progress to, and this is what draws people to become members of organisations like yours. Offering CPD allows you to not only highlight what your members will need to do to improve and exactly how they can do it, but also enables reflection. It’s important to set smart goals to ensure your members can progress quickly and easily, and good CPD software will allow you to do this, as well as track where your progress in a flash.

Offering your own membership tiers through which your members can progress on reaching certain levels of qualifications gives them something to aim towards, especially if your membership rewards increase the higher they go. The result is that members get to progress and you get to increase the standard practice of your sector with highly qualified professionals.

To be part of a community

working as a teamNetworking is incredibly important for members who want to develop, and most organisations have annual conferences and events in which members can meet each other and share ideas. Such events are a great way to offer variety for your members, and will help them attain different levels of qualifications in a more interesting way.

If you hold events that could count as part of your members’ learning, it’s important that they get logged into their CPD system. A sophisticated CPD diary should automatically do this; you can even get software today that will communicate with your website or database to log the event down in a user’s CPD diary as soon as they've been marked as 'attended'. Offering CPD courses means you can control the content and ensure that speakers and resources are accredited pre-event to ensure they are of the highest quality while also adding a revenue stream.

To develop skills

Most of your members will join your organisation because they believe they will learn something unique from you, and gain skills they couldn’t anywhere else. There’s no better way to show this than with a CPD tool. Showcasing the fact that you offer CPD tells your audience that you care about development, and that you’re looking for the best. It also means that you are taking on busy professionals who want to learn and develop in their own time.

develop your skillsOffering CPD tells your members that you’re an organisation who wants its members to grow personally and professionally, and in their own time. Again, CPD software that can interact with your other membership software such as your CRM or website means that should your members buy a publication or watch a video, even the smallest skill they could gain from this can be logged, so you know how they’re doing and can help.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Over the past few years we’ve done extensive research into CPD, and two years ago we began to develop our own CPD software, RiverCPD. After years of gathering feedback from our clients and finding out what would help them and their members the most, our product is almost ready, and is on its way this Autumn. Take a look at www.senior.co.uk/rivercpd for more details.

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