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
A 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.