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SMEs: CPD Planning For Surveyors

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One of the most popular questions by surveyors in The Surveyor Hub is looking for CPD recommendations - especially formal and mostly for free. So, I thought I would share some thoughts to help you plan your CPD for the next year.


Plan your CPD Proactively

Here’s a truth you might not want to hear - as a professional surveyor, you need to make time for CPD; it should never be an afterthought as the deadline set by your professional body looms, and if there is any point at all in doing CPD, it needs to be relevant to the work you do. 

The key to successful CPD is:

  • Deciding the purpose of the CPD - is it to refresh your skills and keep up to date or to learn a new skill? In both cases, you need to ask yourself what the investment in time and money enables you to do - or is it just a nice day out to network? The latter is, of course, ok, but you need to be honest with yourself.
  • Write a plan - by the end of a year, you will need to submit your CPD to your professional body, so you need to keep track anyway, but working out what you need, planning where you will get it - and budgeting if need be is useful to make the most of your time.
  • Accountability - just saying something out loud makes something a bit more real; sharing what CPD you need and what you intend to do with a peer, an employer or a trusted friend can will not only make it more likely to happen but you might find a buddy to join or they might forward you their recommendations.


Creating your CPD Plan

You don’t have to wait for the start of the year to do this; you can start at any time. I’ve created a simple template you can use and download here.

It’s important to note a couple of things:

  • Be specific about what you need to learn; it will save you from attending CPD that is not quite relevant.
  • Be honest about the best way to learn or refresh something - will a podcast suffice, or is it worth your time paying for some 121 in-person mentoring over signing up to a webinar you will only half watch as you finish your reports?
  • Include personal development, not just the technical, and if you run a business, business skills do meet the CPD criteria. It’s also a good idea to include ethics, rules of conduct, complaints and compliance in the mix, not just the more interesting defects of case law.
  • Set a budget - quality content from experienced professionals should be paid for, and it they are generous enough to share for free (or you have a limited budget), then leave a google review or buy them coffee just as I do here.


Take Action

The right CPD, in the right format and at the right learning, is out there, and if you can’t find it, you need to ask. Use your online or in-person networks or post on The Surveyor Hub and ask for what you need - but don’t forget to say thank you as it encouraged others to share, knowing it is gratefully received.

They say you can’t manage what you can’t measure, so a better understanding of what you feel technically confident in or not is important. Having an independent audit followed by some directed learning to get you started is not bad.

And a final note on the difference between informal and formal CPD - the RICS has created a decision tree to help you decide, but in short, it’s more likely to be formal when you have to do something rather than listen or watch.

I hope you found this article helpful; feel free to share it with your network, and if it feels right to do so, you can 'Buy me a Coffee' as thanks using the link below.

PS - You might also be interested in The Truth About Surveyor Complaints and Claims.

Marion Ellis
Founder of Love Surveying, The Surveyor Hub and Women in Surveying
Coach, Mentor and Business Consultant for Surveyors


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