Setting Continuing Professional Development Goals

Setting continuing professional development goals is one way to ensure that your career keeps moving in a positive direction. Not only does CPD help you keep your skills honed and ready for the workplace, but it can also pave the way for advancement in your career and possibly even a transition to a new and exciting position. We encourage all Members of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs to engage in continuing professional development so that they can get the most out of their careers.

Of course, CPD is most effective when you have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve. Setting continuing professional development goals is one way to accomplish this. By taking the time to develop and set goals, you not only define exactly what you wish to achieve but also map out a plan to accomplish it.

Professional Development

Continuing professional development is important because it ensures that you are able to effectively use skills that might otherwise be allowed to fade due to underuse. This in turn prevents errors when those skills are needed and saves you the time of having to look up information to relearn those skills on the spot. Even more importantly, CPD helps you learn new skills and keep your knowledge up to date, making you more valuable to your employer and keeping you from falling behind in the ever-advancing workplace. The benefits of continuing professional development are obvious enough that some employers require their employees to periodically undergo CPD to ensure that they are properly trained and ready for whatever might come their way.

Defining Your Goals

The first and most important step in setting goals is determining exactly what it is that you want to accomplish through your professional development. This doesn’t just mean completing the course or attending a CPD seminar; your primary goal should be what you hope to achieve by undergoing professional development, whether it’s getting a new position at work, learning new skills to help you specialise, or even getting a raise.  

After determining what your primary goal is, you may want to take the time to set secondary goals as well. These should be lesser objectives such as honing existing skills or getting more practice with certain parts of your job. These secondary goals should be benefits of the continuing professional development course that you take, but not the main benefit.

Setting a Course of Action

Once you have goals in mind, it’s time to set a course of action. You accomplish this by creating milestones on the way to your goal and determining how you’re going to reach them. Set aside study time, plan your days to include enough time to attend any required seminars or classes, and make sure that you have everything that you need to complete your CPD coursework in a reasonable amount of time. By breaking your goals up into milestones that can be easily attained, you can not only track your progress with ease but also keep from being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work necessary to complete your professional development plans.

Continuing Your CPD

One thing to keep in mind is that continuing professional development isn’t necessarily a one-time process. While some individuals undergo CPD only when an employer requires it, setting continuing professional development goals and working to improve yourself professionally over time are actions you can and should take on your own. For Members of the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs, this development can provide you with knowledge that expands your abilities or opens up new career options.

If you would like to take part in ILSPA’s CPD programme, please email us for details at