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Allison is a registered nurse and senior health policy adviser with some 25 years experience. Prior to launching CPD Nurse Escapes, Allison worked as a private consultant for a diverse range of clients in the government and non-government, health, community and education sectors. Allison has an extensive background in regulation, governance and professional practice and applies this in education, policy development and project management. Allison was the Principal Advisor, Professional Practice at the Nursing & Midwifery Board of South Australia, for 10 years where she was responsible for developing nursing and midwifery policy and standards and advising and educating nurses and midwives on professional practice issues.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

What is Continuing Professional Development? (CPD Part 3)

Definition of Continuing Professional Development

Any process or activity, planned or otherwise, that contributes to an increase in or the maintenance of knowledge, skills and personal qualities to learning, teaching [clinical care] and broader academic practice. This includes leadership, management and administration. (Norris 2003)

Continuing professional development is the means by which members of the profession maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives. The CPD cycle involves reviewing practice, identifying learning needs, planning and participating in relevant learning activities, and reflecting on the value of these activities (ANMC 2009)

Aim of Continuing Professional Development
The aim of continuing professional development is to ensure knowledge and competence acquired during undergraduate and post-graduate education remains current and new information is acquired and translated into practice. It is a professional responsibility for all practicing nurses and midwives to maintain their competence to practice.

Continuing Professional Development
·      Enhances clinical, academic, leadership and managerial skills in the short term and
·      Facilitates longer-term professional effectiveness and career development.

Principles for Continuing Professional Development
Continuing Professional Development;

·     is a process of lifelong learning for all nurses and midwives and enhances professional effectiveness
·     assists nurses and midwives to maintain and enhance theoretical knowledge, clinical skills, leadership and managerial skills
·     should be largely self-directed; incorporate reflective practice; and be relevant to the individual nurse’s/midwives’ professional practice
·     can occur in any setting and can be formal structured learning, or experiential learning that includes reflection in and on practice, which is a way of validating day-to-day practice


  • Norris, R. (2003). Implementing the ILTHE Continuing Professional Development Framework. Report of the CPD Consultation held Spring 2003
  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (2009) Continuing Professional Development
  • Nurses Board of Victoria - Guidelines for Nurses and Midwives for Continuing Professional Development  October 2009 (rescinded)

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