Having an online record of your learning and professional development can be beneficial for a number on reasons. Firstly, it allows immediate access to all your CPD whether that’s a simple log of courses and seminars or something more tailored to you such as a personal development plan. Having immediate and instant access to your CPD record also means that you are able to add records ‘on the go’. If your data is stored in the cloud, it’s easy to get to it and if you can get to it, you can add to it. Many online CPD systems such as the one offered by www.cpd-online.com allow access from a smartphone or tablet and this makes adding entries very easy indeed – perhaps even on the bus home from that all important course you have just attended.
The HCPC in the UK state that dietitian cpd should be a mixture of learning activities and therefore it is important to be able to demonstrate that your activities are just that. The system mentioned above provides a useful graphing feature that tallies up your continuing professional development items as you go along by HCPC category. It employs a simple bar graph design and the idea is that you should be aiming to keep all the bars for the 5 categories relatively even in length. If, for example, the bar for ‘work based learning’ becomes much longer than the others, it is a useful early indicator that perhaps you are doing too much of that sort of learning activity.
My final reason for Dietitians to keep an online development log, is that in the not too distant future all submissions for HCPC CPD audits will be done online. At present if you are selected you have to print out and submit your profile via the postal system. In the future this will be entirely electronic and in my opinion this day can’t come soon enough.