This article explores CPD initiatives with the intention to inspire ‘room for improvement’!

Lesson 1: Far reaching benefits

The benefits of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are far reaching. Whilst regulatory bodies largely have a responsibility to provide CPD to ensure that their members are keeping up with professional standards, other professional membership organisations frequently take responsibility for ‘improving the standards of the profession’. Providing a means to do that is critical in achieving your objectives and providing value to membership. CPD can not only help to maintain and improve professional standards it can help with career progression which keeps your membership engaged, stimulated and growing.

Lesson 2: Managing reputation

CPD helps to elevate the professionalism, not only of your individual members but also of your membership organisation and the entire field in which you operate. Making continued professional development a focus of your work with members can increase public confidence in those members, your industry and by association awareness of your organisation. This confidence can be perceived as a trust or quality ‘mark’ so encouraging CPD activity to maintain that quality can only help with the reputational ‘protection’ of your brand.

Lesson 3: Input output

By sharing valuable best practice guidance, resources and practical support with your members you can establish a deeper connection and keep them coming back for more. Regular polls and surveys can help you to establish a greater understanding of your members needs and how you might meet them better. Monitoring how members are engaging with your content, events and training opportunities can provide further insight into areas worthy of investment. Positively responding to those areas for improvement aids retention and acquisition as word spreads to their peers.

Lesson 4: Automation for personalisation

By taking it to the next level and personalising members interaction with you online you can make it easier for them to engage and progress in their careers. Promoting activity specific to the logged-in user such as course and qualification recommendations based on integrated data from your CRM and logic that matches their current qualifications with established training paths can prompt them to take action. This action has the benefit of progressing members careers, adding value to membership, improving retention and increasing revenue through training and qualifications.

Lesson 5: Make it easy

Life is complicated. Anything we can do to make things easier is generally very welcome! Looking at key ways that you can improve your member experience both offline and online will always add value to the relationship.

Our experience in the online space has shown that simple things such as address look-up facilities in friendly (succinct!) joining forms can make a big difference to conversion rates. In the same way, automatically pre-populating online course and event booking forms based on data held on logged-in users makes for a frictionless process with less chance of ‘drop-off’ casualties.

Integrating data can add real value in terms of both user experience and operational efficiencies. Where CPD points are awarded for attendance at events these can be automatically added to a members record and displayed on their dashboard. Providing integrated Learning Management Systems (LMS) for delivery of courses with single sign-on from your site also improves user experience. Integrating the learning outcomes into your CRM for display to members once logged into your website adds further value.

Providing dedicated online CPD recording functionality has historically been something our clients have found to be of significant value, in fact it was recently cited by one organisations membership as being the most significant member value they provide.

If you would like to find out more about some of the approaches we’ve mentioned in this article please give us a call on 01787 319393 or email  talktous@netxtra.net