Technology never stops evolving, and neither do the engineers that work with it. The very professional competence of engineering as a whole depends to some degree on keeping up to date with new developments. And of course, engineers learn constantly, both through their work and by exposure to other sources of information. That learning now goes by the acronym CPD, continuous professional development.
CPD matters to the individual because, very quickly in an engineer’s career, it becomes the dominant learning mode. As the memories of coursework and examinations fade, they are gradually replaced in the working engineer’s mind with the content of formal training, as well as the informal lessons that come naturally from experiences in and around the job.
While that learning process may come so naturally to some engineers that they are almost unaware of it, Engineering Council UK rules established since before the pandemic aim to improve the quality of ongoing learning in engineering by making the process more deliberate.
Engineers that have achieved professional registration (including EngTech, IEng, CEng) are obliged by the terms of their registration to take ownership of their own learning and development, maintain and enhance their competence through CPD, record it, reflect on it, and evaluate it against their education plan and career goals, among other tasks.
What those guidelines do not stipulate is how or where to find good information from which to learn. Such decisions will no doubt depend on an engineer’s expertise, work requirements, personal preferences and many other factors.
To explore this issue in the real world, we would like to know, what is the most important single source of information for your own continuous professional development?