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How you can use CPD to unlock wider opportunities

I am writing today's blog in the midst of COVID-19 lockdown. It seems that there has been an explosion of professional development opportunities targeting Physiotherapists and entrepreneurs. I see many of business savvy equine Physiotherapists marketing DVD's or webinars, and canine Physiotherapists offering teaching through remote platforms asking for voluntary donation on 'buy me a cup of coffee' links.

The benefits from engaging in CPD have been drummed into Physiotherapists since under-graduate times, along with need to do so encouraged by the imposing chance of being selected for audit through the HCPC, a regulating body for those working in human practice. Interestingly, with therapists in private practice now parking clinical caseloads during lock-down, now is perhaps an ideal time to top-up CPD online from the comfort of their own homes and without the price-tag face to face teaching can incur.

There are however, difficulties to this model of learning. From my own perspective, it can be: daunting overcoming initial barriers to using new technology; frustrating when signal quality impairs sound; harder to grasp verbal/visual demonstrations of techniques traditionally taught practically; disappointing when presenters do not feel able to share even locked versions of the slides for future reference; and confusing why certificates of attendance are not routinely issued for attendees to help evidence engagement in CPD.

However, for anyone thinking of hosting their own remote sessions, and if they can successfully negotiate the hurdles of this approach, I believe that there can be rewards. After marketing a free CPD session on my own Facebook business page, along with telephone calls/messages+++ behind the scenes, a small CPD group was formed. Not only did everyone get a free CPD session, along with presentation copy/certificate emailed, we were able to organise a second remote social catch up for those of us who had trained together...and I think this was much needed. We have also agreed upon future clinical and business CPD topics, and names have been put forward as to who else could be approached to join. Invariably I hope the momentum continues and am proud of what we have already been able to achieve.

What else can remote hosting lead to?

Answer: A great debate! Off the back of separate CPD session to a clinics which I am also attached, an extended clinical debate was triggered on email by one of our practitioners, and the matter escalating to an international teaching group to settle with David Butler, a relevant expert in the field lending a final opinion on things.

Finally, for those of you who really like nothing better than to stand up and talk, engage with others and who also have a number of years under your belt, think about contacting your local university and guest lecturing. Unless you can offer something outwith the scope of teaching already being covered, this may be for kudos rather than profit but then, there are things which are more important than money in this world...surely COVID-19 has taught us that?

Libby Hope

Chartered Physiotherapist

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