CPD Course Types Explained
Short courses can include part-time and evening courses. They tend to either deliver Continuing Professional Development for just a few days full-time or maybe once or twice a week for a period of several weeks.
Conferences typically last for a day or two and deliver Continuing Professional Development through a series of talks and presentations. They tend to be relatively high-profile events and are often used to present/communicate new ideas or developments within a field.
Seminars tend to be focused on one specific area, and involve a relatively small group of people coming together with a seminar leader, to discuss issues relating to the specific topic. There may be a presentation at the beginning, followed by a group discussion or debate, and allowing people to ask questions and actively put forward their own views and ideas. Attendees of this type of Continuing Professional Development will generally be expected to actively participate in discussions.
Online Course / Webinar
Online Continuing Professional Development courses are generally downloadable courses which can be completed in the student’s own time. Sometimes however, online courses will instead require the trainee to log in to the course provider’s website and complete a training session and test online. Web seminars, or “webinars”, are seminars which are transmitted live to the trainee’s computer, where they can interact with the seminar leader and ask questions by typing on their keyboard.
Weekend Residential Course
Continuing Professional Development course taking place over a whole weekend. These will usually comprise of various different sessions, and food and accommodation is usually provided.
Postgrad Certificate / Qualification
This type of Continuing Professional Development allows students or professionals who have already gained an undergraduate degree to develop their education in their chosen field further and gain an additional postgraduate qualification. Generally these types of courses will require the student to undertake additional learning in the form of lectures or self-directed learning and to produce coursework for submission to the examining institution.
These forms of Continuing Professional Development are usually designed in partnership with employers and universities and provide a mixture of academic and work-based learning. They are designed to fit around the student’s job, but can also be taken by people returning to work or wanting to change their career path. A foundation degree typically takes two years to complete, but may take more if it is being undertaken part-time. Most foundation degree courses are flexible in terms of teaching arrangements, and can include online, distance, and part-time options.
To complete a diploma, the student is generally required to undertake modules and attend lectures/classes and produce coursework to be submitted to the examining institution. A diploma undertaken for Continuing Professional Development generally takes 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time.
These types of Continuing Professional Development courses are created and run specifically for the customer, and will be tailored towards their specific requirements. Customised courses are designed to help develop and deliver companies’ own in-house programmes.
Workshops are generally the most interactive forms of delivering Continuing Professional Development. They may include more practical sessions, and help by putting theory into practice by developing practical skills relevant to the workplace.
This type of Continuing Professional Development involves the course provider bringing the course to the workplace. The course will be delivered on-site by the course provider and may be delivered over a few hours or a few days.