There is no “Plan” in CPD! CPD is a record of your learning, not a plan of your learning. However you may use your CPD record to assist in your PDP or vice versa of course.
It might be worth stating from the start that CPD is not a Personal Development Plan, PDP. I mention this because some might confuse the two, indeed some Professional Institutes, that require members to undertake CPD, ask for both a PDP and CPD record as if they are both same., they merge the two disciplines, indeed you will have a CPD Plan ! There is an article on this site written by Cheryl that defines PDP, so have a read to gain a better understanding of that subject.
So CPD is a record of what learning you have undertaken that was intended to maintain your skills, understanding and competence within your job role or to enhance your skills and provide learning for an enhanced job role. In other words, we undertake learning to do our jobs better and or increase our knowledge and skills to allow us to develop into other jobs that might include a step or two up the ladder.
There are other reasons why we use CPD. Many professional institutes require their members to continue to learn, grow in competence, skills, and knowledge and to keep a record of their learning. This is to ensure that the membership maintains a level of professional competence that meets of the institute’s articles and main aims, meets the institutes awarding body requirements and maintain its accreditations.
So, CPD is a simple process, continue and build on your knowledge within your profession, and keep a record of your learning for your use and your employer and professional institute records. Your employer may have to engage its workforce in CPD to gain or maintain contracts and show clients that its employees are competent and engaged in learning and development.
CPD requirements are present in most professions. Most companies and organisations now prioritise them because they ensure a consistent, developing workforce. In my job role I must continue to learn, gain a better understanding of the subject areas and ensure that my understanding is up to date. This is required by the awarding bodies, ILM, CMI and Proqual and my Professional Institute, IOSH. My Continuing Professional Development maintains my professional status.
Learning inclusions within your CPD record may include a range from formal educational activities such as instructor-led courses, workshops or seminars, to more informal approaches such as work-based learning or mentoring. CPD can also include self-directed study such as e-learning courses and structured reading.
PDPs lead to CPDs of course and yes the two can be merged and perhaps should be in most cases.