Latest news from British Pest Control Association

28 October 2022

Developing your pest control skills with BPCA

TRAINING AND CPD | PPC109 October 2022

In this article, BPCA’s Training and Professional Development Manager, Karen Dawes, explores why continuing professional development (CPD) can be a great tool for a pest professional’s development when approached with the right attitude.

maintaining cpd hero

In the final quarter of 2022, at BPCA Registered we are busy helping everyone get on track to meet their CPD requirements for the year.

Pest professionals are busy people and it is all too easy to forget to record CPD, or to not fully appreciate the types of activities that can count towards your CPD requirement. As a result we still have a couple of members who are yet to record any CPD. 

It points to CPD still being seen by many as a ‘chore’; a box to be ticked before the time runs out or a stick with which to be beaten into submission. And the result, as we see far too often, is a mad rush at the end of the year to gather the required 20 points in the quickest and most convenient way possible.

Either way, even the most optimistic of us in the BPCA Registered team don’t see it as being an ideal situation.

For those that find themselves rushing to collect points, the choice will most likely be made on what activity is available rather than an identification of any skills or knowledge gaps. For those trying to remember what they’ve done, any benefit from their reflections on what they’ve learned are likely to be limited. 

Recognising CPD as a route to professional development, rather than a point collecting exercise, is the key to changing attitudes towards it.

Karen Dawes, BPCA Training and Professional Development Management

Leaving CPD to the end of the year tends to suggest a lack of any planning around where an individual’s development should be focused.

The value that can be gained from CPD isn’t always recognised – this will only change when we stop talking about CPD in terms of points, and start talking about it in terms of actual development.

When people talk to me about CPD, they tend to talk about it as keeping knowledge and skills up-to-date and yes, that’s an important consideration. But that would suggest an element of ‘staying still’ and simply maintaining the skills you’ve got.

My view is that as people learn more through development, they will instinctively stay informed, so surely the focus should be on developing skills rather than maintaining them? Both produce the same outcome but one is significantly more beneficial than the other.

For me, CPD isn’t ‘one-size fits all’. While BPCA Registered provides the portal for finding CPD and recording what’s been completed, the choice of learning activities lies with the pest controller and should support their own personal development. 

Recognising CPD as a route to professional development, rather than a point collecting exercise, is the key to changing attitudes towards it. 

Businesses that understand the value and benefits to professional development can drive their employees towards CPD that’s relevant to the goals of both the employee and the business.

Technicians can feel empowered and motivated because their CPD supports progression of their career. This in turn can provide job satisfaction and help with staff retention.

1. Identify the development need

This can be in one area or across many. Where are the gaps in the knowledge and skills that can be developed?

A simple ‘training needs analysis’ can help here; a review of learning and development needs within an organisation. 

This review considers the knowledge, skills and behaviours that people need and how to develop them effectively. Once identified these can be appropriately filtered down to employees based on their development goals.

2. Plan CPD activities

Once you have identified the skills shortages or development areas, the next step is to decide what activities and support will meet the overall development objectives.

In addition to traditional training courses and examinations, BPCA Registered recognises a wide range of activities that support development.

These include:

  • Coaching and mentoring
  • On-the-job training
  • Seminars and webinars 
  • Informal study and self-managed learning
  • Reading 
  • Technical authorship
  • Formal and informal discussions
  • And yes – appraisals can also count! 

3. Undertake CPD activities

Execute the CPD and learning activities that have been planned, to improve any areas of weakness and close identified knowledge gaps. 

These can be planned across the year, either as stand-alone or progressive activities, building up the level of knowledge and skills over time.

4. Reflect on your learning

This is something that we fully believe in at BPCA Registered. Reflection is the process by which you analyse your CPD activity to see the link between what you’ve learned and the impact on your work. 

As part of this process you reflect on:

  • What you have learned
  • How your knowledge has increased
  • What additional skills you have developed
  • How you will put your learning into practice
  • How your learning will help with your work.

Because your CPD activities are held in your BPCA Registered diary, you can revisit them at any time. This is particularly helpful if it’s something you’ve learned in the field, and you have recorded evidence of what you’ve done on video or through photographs.

5. Implement new learning

The final stage is to take your learning and put it into practice, bringing new knowledge and skills to the workplace. 

It’s also important as the knowledge and skills that you need can change together with your career ambitions. Reflection can assist you to look at whether you are meeting the objectives set in order to meet your professional goals. And if it isn’t then you can adapt your plans accordingly. 

BPCA Registered can support you in planning CPD. Within the portal you can set objectives and see at a glance your progress in achieving them. 

You can add reflection notes through your diary entries and upload evidence to support those reflections. 

We are continuously adding new activities and working hard to ensure that these cover a wide range of subjects and we will always be on hand to support anyone who is struggling to find something they need. 

And it’s never too late to start planning. If you’re one of those who has yet to record any points for this year, then give us a call and let us help you avoid that mad rush at the end of the year.

Find out more

Get in touch with the BPCA Registered team today.
01332 225 114

Back to news