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CPD Cycle

The CPD Cycle

The 12 month CPD cycle uses a PDCA model:

The planning phase sets the scene and states key goals . The Do part of the cycle is the core ongoing element, comprising of three types of activities: learning, practicing and communicating. Checking allows you to assess your progress , while acting is about adjusting your plan for the next cycle.

The Annual CPD Plan

An annual CPD A3 plan provides the framework for your ongoing practicing, learning and communicating activities and is a statement of intent regarding your professional development.

For each of the three core areas in your plan, you state:

  • Your current state of professional development & goals
  • The gaps in your competency
  • The targets for competency improvement
  • Your action plan

The ‘Doing’ Activities

Practicing and learning are the leading doing activities. Practicing includes projects, programmes and activities undertaken as part of a CI role. Learning is achieved through education, training and conferences etc. Communication is achieved through teaching, sharing, writing, coaching and mentoring.

Note that reflecting on all your activities should be continuous.

Activities Explanation


Practicing is about using your skills in the workplace, applying knowledge learned and engaging in an activity for the purpose of improvement, solving problems, etc.

  • Undertaking specific CI projects
  • Participating in improvement events
  • Fulfilling the requirements a lean/CI focused job or role


Learning is about acquiring lean oriented knowledge or skills through formal education, training, research, study and on the job experience.

  • Participating in formal training courses
  • Undertaking formal further or high education
  • Attending conferences, seminars, workshops
  • Reading
  • Researching
  • Observation


Communicating is about sharing opinions, exchanging or imparting knowledge among colleagues, networks, communities or organisations.

Communicating is sub divided into SHARING KNOWLEDGE and TEACHING & GUIDING


  • Writing articles, blogs etc
  • Making presentations, delivering briefings


  • Facilitating
  • Coaching
  • Instructing
  • Mentoring
  • Lecturing

Reflecting on Doing

Reflecting is about contemplating your learning and experiences and essentially asking the question, “what did I get out of this?” It involves critical thinking and critical reflection.

You should reflect on each CPD activity, answer these questions:

  • What did I learn from it?
  • How will I use this learning?
  • What further action will I take?

Remember, reflection is an ongoing process.

Checking & Acting

Periodically check that the plan is on course or not – for example, new unforeseen opportunities have arisen, or priorities may have changed (by you or your organisation).

Act: adjust the plan accordingly, if warranted by the result of the checking activity.

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