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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the ongoing ability of a licensed or certified individual to learn, integrate and apply the knowledge, skill, and judgment to practice according to generally accepted industry standards and professional ethical standards in a designated role and setting. The ongoing acquisition and application of knowledge, decision-making, and interpersonal skills contributes to the health and welfare of clients served. This approach to Continuing Professional Development uses Reflective Practice, Learning Plans, and Professional Development Activities to fulfill its objective. The CPD program occurs concurrently with the existing 2-year licensure cycle.
The various Colorado mental health boards are responsible for protection of the public through the regulation of safe, effective care. In order to become licensed or certified, mental health professionals must have demonstrated initial competence by successfully meeting the minimum requirements set forth by the Boards. Because the mental health field changes rapidly, initial knowledge and competence can quickly become obsolete. As a result, safe practice is dependent upon the Continuing Professional Development of various mental health professions. That is why during the 2009 Legislative Session, House Bill 09-1086 was passed which requires Certified Addiction Counselors Levels II and III (ACB and ACC), Licensed Addiction Counselors (LAC), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT), Licensed Social Workers (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) to participate in CPD in order to renew, reinstate or reactivate a license.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is different from Continuing Education (CE) in that it incorporates reflective practice. This method entails licensees to evaluate their professional skill and aspirations to identify new learning opportunities. Reflective Practice assists the professional in progressing and strengthening their skill to accomplish the learning goals they have set out for themselves. It is not a new concept; it is simply an approach for learning from experience and incorporating that knowledge into one’s practice. CPD is founded upon Reflective Practice and is a Self-Directed Learning Cycle that involves:
Continuing Professional Development encompasses many types of learning that will allow a licensee to develop professionally. CPD recognizes that learning not only occurs by traditional methods, such as attending a course or a workshop, but that it also occurs in the workplace and our daily lives. It takes into consideration that we all like to learn in different ways. Completing learning activities is only part of the process; the ability to reflect on these experiences and incorporate the new knowledge into one’s practice is what makes the learning meaningful.
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