Millions of people worldwide are mandated or encouraged to complete hours of CPD each year as part of their membership to professional organisations. Most people do this over and above their normal work – so in their spare time – and therefore the importance of making it easy and engaging is paramount.

However many Membership Bodies struggle to provide this service is an enticing digital form which can add tremendous value to the member.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the challenges and opportunities.

Access to high quality, reliable and relevant content

It’s so important for members to be able to read or watch quality content that will help them in their career and CPD goals.

Yet currently it’s a minefield, not only to find reliable content online, but also to assess whether it will add any value towards specific CPD goals. Even if the content exists on individual Membership Organisation (MO) websites, few websites have a common taxonomy that links all useful assets together so that members can learn more about the standards, qualifications and topics that are most relevant to them and most important for how they will be measured.

The solution is easier access to quality content in bite-sized form. This will enable MOs to attract and retain more members through providing a crucial service that members can actually rely on to support them.

Timely consumption of CPD

The more time you spend looking for content the less time you have to devote to CPD. Frustrating, and especially so when you consider that employees have 24 minutes every week to learn (Bersin by Deloitte Research).

So, on the basis of 24 minutes a week, members need to be able to carry out CPD on demand and on the move. The solution is easy access to content via their mobile devices and a level of automation so that this content can directly match to the gaps in their CPD goals.

This will increase the frequency of engagement and maximise the precious time they have to learn. Especially important if MOs are to attract a younger millennial generation – 50% of the working population by 2020 – who are critical to their longevity.

Ability to demonstrate completion of CPD

So, a member has gone to great lengths to find relevant quality CPD material, they have found time to consume it, but now they have to demonstrate what they’ve carried out. This is where it can get even more time consuming and where many members start struggling to see the value.

The solution lies in technology and it already exists. You can tell the second a user stopped watching a video, the page someone dropped out of a PDF, what theme of content they like or follow and QR codes can be scanned to verify attendance at key events and courses. All of this data can be used to verify CPD activity and automatically update CPD records in the MOs platform.

This will encourage more commitment to CPD by making it easier to register and monitor consumption

Recognition for completing CPD

Everyone likes to be recognised for their achievements, especially if they have gone to the effort and devoted precious time. This is not new but widely supported:

  • 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated (Globoforce)
  • Companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31% lower voluntary turnover (Bersin)

Currently, it’s still common for MOs is to issue a certificate, which even in PDF form is hard to post online and not really transferable to LinkedIn or other social platforms that most members will be using.

The solution is a digital badge customised to the MO and which can be posted online to demonstrate CPD achievements. This means less enforcement and more encouragement by the MO to carry out and complete CPD.

Monitoring and encouraging CPD activity

Many MOs are informed of their members CPD activity and achievements via forms, PDFs or spreadsheets, which is a manual process and therefore time consuming and cumbersome. There are also cases where CPD records get lost or mixed up, which is frustrating for everyone.

The solution is to automate so that the administrator can see precisely what any member has completed and what they have left to do against the deadlines set. This would free up more time to spend on proactive things such as curating quality content for the membership.

Furthermore, automation of CPD activity makes it easy to see the progress of every member and to automate encouragement emails against certain bands of activity. This can be very useful to members as often they are not aware that they are behind and are grateful for an encouraging prompt. This can be handled on an individual basis or in batches similar CPD achievement.

Analysing data on CPD activity to inform improvements

  • Automation of CPD activity and achievements will enable MO’s to analyse the overall data on all of their members and provide insight such as:
  • How many members have started their CPD and how many hours have been completed
  • The most popular CPD topics/goals
  • The percentage of the membership complete their CPD goals each year
  • The most popular content, which can in turn inform the content strategy for the MO.

And this is just for starters…

This article originally appeared on the Metacapability blog

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