Having delivered CPD courses for accountants for over 6 years I'd like to discuss/share my experience of the typical delegates on CPD courses at this time of year.
For the last two months we’ve been in peak CPD season. Courses which have experienced low numbers all year round are suddenly full to capacity in December. Some courses are standing room only.
One of the first questions I ask at the start of a CPD course is “Why are you here?” and “What are your learning objectives for this course” and what do you think is the most common response ? Yes, that’s right “I’m here for CPD points”.
As a trainer it’s really disheartening to hear that people are just attending courses for CPD points in December. After all CPD stands for “Continuing Professional Development“. Yet, we need to face the reality that:
Firstly – people need CPD points as part of their accounting institute’s CPD requirements (for example ACCA requires 21 verifiable CPD units); and
Secondly – there’s nothing like a deadline of 31st December to spur people into action!
Those who attend traditional training courses just for CPD points can sometimes be bored as they are not necessarily interested in learning and developing, merely acquiring CPD hours.
So some courses (obviously not my courses!) are full of both bored and therefore frustrated accountants.
Online CPD courses offer a suitable solution to this issue. There are a wide range of e-learning courses to choose from (at Financial Fluency we offer over 30 courses for example) so accountants can learn something which suits their needs rather then their point requirements.
Accountants do not have to travel to take online courses and therefore can avoid spending an unnecessary day away from the office. Online courses can be taken any time day or night. Even better – they do not have to be taken all at once. One of my beliefs is that people learn better in small doses and online courses can be taken in as small a doses as needed, even 30 minutes a day, would be effective for some people.
Best of all is the price. Not even counting the abstraction and travel cost savings, the cost per CPD hour is far lower then that of a traditional CPD course.
For those accountants who are geographically remote – it can be difficult to attend a traditional CPD course and therefore online training can fulfil all of their CPD requirements. At the same time, I still believe in the value of traditional CPD courses and face-to-face discussion. Like a balanced diet online CPD is best used to top-up or complement traditional training.