The importance of professional development - is CPD a form of self-improvement?

CPD Campus

The world is changing at a rapid pace, and we’re being asked to change with it or get left behind. Nowhere has this been more apparent than within the auditing and accounting world, as professionals currently find themselves attempting to surf the wave of swift transformation. 


Anyone who has surfed for the first time knows it can be a little scary, but that there’s a level of excitement that comes with it. After all, we’re in the midst of shaping the future of our profession. 


Professionals have begun to recognise the importance of continuing professional development (CPD), and just in the nick of time. In 2020, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) upgraded the CPD model, providing a new way of measuring learning and development. A “ lack of critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills” have been a few of the statements hurled at accounting and auditing professionals, with SAICA’s new outcome-based (competency) approach aimed at remedying the problem to ensure well-rounded professionals that evolve with the needs of the profession. 


The benefits of investing time and money in CPD are immeasurable, but just what are they? 


Keep up with technology


Dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, technology has had a massive impact on various industries, including financial and accounting professions. There is no escaping this digital revolution, and professionals will need to either embrace it or get left on the sidelines. The key is to grow and evolve with the times in order to remain relevant, and staying ahead of the technological curve through acquiring knowledge will make all the difference when remaining at the forefront of our industry.


There’s no such thing as too much learning 


Chartered Accountants in South Africa are often labelled as “too technical,” and while these skills are certainly crucial within the accounting industry, so are soft skills such as teamwork, creative thinking and adaptability. Investing in your professional growth not only contributes to improving your skillset and knowledge base but makes you more attractive to future employers. 


A moment to self reflect 


As humans, it can be difficult to hold a mirror to yourself and identify your weak spots. However, positive reflection is a wonderful way to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than carrying on in the same old, ineffective way you have always done. Reflection has also become an integral part of the SAICA CPD model, and professionals are required to record and reflect on the developmental areas that they would consider vital for their professional growth and development. There are also countless rewards that come with the process of self-reflection, including improved decision-making due to critical thinking skills, creative problem-solving and innovation. 


Additional benefits to investing in CPD: 


  • Connect with other professionals 
  • Meet SAICA outcome-based competency requirements 
  • Stay informed of current topics within the industry


It’s not always easy to take the step and invest in your potential. However, in order to gain a professional edge within an already competitive job market, future-proofing your career will require a level of investment through learning and development. 


The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone, as lifelong learning tailored to a changing profession is best with a partner by your side. If you’re ready to invest in your future and potential, get in touch with CPD Campus to see how we can help you achieve your professional goals.