The Computer Society of Zimbabwe has been given permission to use the CPD scheme devised by the British Computer Society, for which the BCS is thanked.

Definition of CPD

The systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skill and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional and technical duties throughout the individual's working life.
Engineering Council definition of Continuing Professional Development, October 1994.


How does the BCS CPD scheme work in Zimbabwe?

This scheme is designed for self monitoring by members. At the start of a Society year interested members are requested to register their current details and professional development objectives with the CSZ Secretariat using standard BCS forms. At the end of a Society year members are invited to evaluate their own continuing professional development activities and supply details of the progress in attainment of the professional development objectives, using a standard CPD “claim” form. An adjudication panel sits once a year:
  • to vet the CPD claim forms so as to eliminate dishonest or fraudulent claims, and
  • to ratify attainment of CPD objectives.
Members who have met the requirements will be issued CPD certificates and a letter of commendation.

To maximise your potential for life time employability, it is essential that you maintain high levels of professional competence by continually upgrading your skills and knowledge.

CPD is supported with the aim of creating an environment which enables you to remain professionally competent throughout your working life. This is being done by providing information and guidance to assist you to develop your expertise in recognising and planning your learning needs, recording the activities which you undertake to satisfy those needs and thus maximise your employability.

The following sections deal with the questions most commonly raised by members and seek to provide “standard” answers. However, since continuing professional development is very much a personal matter it is impossible to cover the circumstances of each individual.

Why should I undertake CPD?

The job market is changing all the time. You may no longer be able to rely on your employer to identify and satisfy individual development needs. Additionally, you may well change jobs several times during your working life. Therefore, you need to take ownership of your career and its continuing development.
These changes have increased the demands on people in all walks of life to keep documented evidence of their continued competence, and nowhere is this greater than in information systems where technology is advancing so swiftly. In your own best interests you should be developing a personal portfolio of your professional activities and their relevance to your job competence and your career ambitions.
By undertaking CPD you will be:
a) demonstrating your continuing commitment to your profession;
b) developing the good practice of regularly reviewing needs and selecting relevant learning activities.

How much should I do?

There is no simple answer to this. It varies from one person to another. The demands of your job and the extent of your personal ambition will determine how much you should do.
Always remember that quality is much more important than quantity. The most important aspect of CPD is the knowledge and skill that you acquire, i.e. the learning outcome, rather than the number of hours of study which you undertake, i.e. the input.
If you are to maintain sufficiently high standards of professional competence to keep yourself employable you will need to undertake a significant amount of CPD. However, when you consider all the activities, particularly at work and in the form of private study, that add to your knowledge, skills and experience, you will realise that quite substantial amounts are achievable.