Encouraging members to progress in their careers

Operations engineers have inquisitive minds, and are natural practical learners. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a key driver for all our members, and keeping it up to date is part of their career journey. It forms part of the SOE Code of Conduct, and is also separately mandated by Engineering Council and Society for the Environment for those who professionally register.

SOE supports all members to maintain their CPD, through our content library, calendar of events and online recording systems. We also encourage apprentice and student members to start recording theirs early and get in the habit of doing so. 

What is CPD?

CPD is the systematic acquisition of knowledge, skills and personal qualities, in order to maintain and/or enhance professional competence.

Why should I undertake CPD?

There are numerous reasons to undertake CPD and these depend primarily on your own circumstances; the need for career progression, continuing competence in your current job or indeed to support any additional roles which you undertake away from your primary job such as voluntary work, mentoring, etc. Additionally, you may be considering long term goals towards a future specific role or level of professional registration, which will require different knowledge and skills to your current position.

It is important to recognise that as a professional Operations Engineer you have an obligation to yourself, society and the environment to stay informed of the technological and environmental challenges we encounter daily.

What constitutes CPD?

CPD comes in a variety of different forms from informal learning through the challenges of normal working life and the interaction with colleagues, customers, suppliers, etc, to structured learning in the form of courses, distance learning programmes, private study, mentoring, involvement in professional body activities, or voluntary work.

The list is not exhaustive and you will be best placed to identify your needs, the method that suits your learning style and importantly, your available time. Take a moment to reflect on all the above. You are already involved with CPD whilst reading this. It is expanding your knowledge of an obligation placed on you by society as a professional. In your work both colleagues and employers will expect you to stay current, be it as an engineer, a manager or as a team player.

Plan to succeed

Most engineering professionals already undertake CPD, but this is often on a casual basis with no deliberate planning. By developing a plan (where am I now, where do I want to be and when?) you can set milestones and learning goals to be achieved. Recording the activities you undertake against the plan will allow you to consciously reflect on your progress as a cyclical process so that when necessary, you can adjust your plan to suit life’s changing needs both professionally and personally.