HR trends

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May 27, 2022

The complete guide to continuous professional development

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Team Edflex

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January 15, 2024

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Continuous professional learning is becoming an increasingly popular benefit provided by companies. Many training organizations, such as the CPF personal training account, are developingonline training platforms. In this article, we give you an overview of the different professional training courses, their stakes, advantages, and the people involved.

Continuous professional development definition

Continuous professional development consists of a set of training courses. These increase gradually in difficulty, in order to reach different learning objectives, which can be managerial or technical. Continuous professional development must meet the immediate and future needs of employees who wish to acquire new skills or make a professional transition. It can be carried out as part of initial training, work-study training, a return to school, or as part of a training program provided by the company.

What is continuing education?

The main objective of continuing professional education is to acquire know-how or soft skills. We can also speak of hard skills, or soft skills. Continuous professional development gives learners the opportunityto develop specific areas they want to improve  related to their career or it can give them the opportunity to learn the skills needed for a different career path..

In contrast to a classic professional training course, continuous  education is carried out in a much broader time frame. There are typically  two or more annual training courses that are carried out during the employee's working time or alternating between work and school (as required by the Labor Code).

The training can be financed via the CPF, or within the framework of an individual training leave. It is up to management to target the qualifications, knowledge, and skills that should  be developed within the company and build a course with relevant content fromall of the learning  resources  offered on the web.

For whom is it intended? What are the different sectors of activity?

Continuous professional developmentis intended for employees and job seekers, as well as for all those who are in the process of entering the workforce (students, work-study students on professionalization contracts or apprenticeship contracts, trainees, etc.).

There are currentlymany training organizations that offer professional training in all fields of activity. It is becoming easier to train and strengthen your professional skills in:

  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Human resources
  • Computer science,
  • Architecture
  • Accounting
  • Management tools, etc.

What are the different online professional training courses available?

It is possible to engage in a variety of c professional education courses adapted to one's sector of activity. In order to appeal to a wide range of learners, trainers have developed different Learning formats, while ensuring the continuation of professional activity:

  • Podcasts. This small audio format contains an interview with a personality in the working world (company director, expert in the industry , etc.). The objective is to share a professional journey, highlightingsuccesses as well as obstacles.
  • MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). With the rise of telecommuting, universities had to take the opposite approach during the health crisis. Several American universities have set up online courses, accessible and available to all students. If you are already usin My Mooc, know that you can integrate it to your company's training offer.
  • Online conferences, such as TED TALK. There are many conferences available to the general public that cover major themes such as individual or collaborative management, personal development at work, etc. Experts give their time to share their experiences.
  • Webinars. This format invites one or more professionals to discuss a company theme or a managerial issue and solution. Aimed at the general public and companies,webinars give audiences the opportunity to reflect on internal company methods and how to improve them.
  • Blended learning. This format is based on a mix of distance and face-to-face learning. For example, a corporate coach can offer employees the opportunity to follow training via videoconference, or attend it in person.

Continuous professional training can take many forms. It is quite possible to carry out virtual training, or face-to-face training with a coach, tutor, industry expert, an experienced trainer...

The most important thing is to find the right balance between professional training requested by the company's manager, and a training that is of interest to the employee andhis or her desire further their professional development.

What are the stakes of continuous professional training?

Continuous professional training must above all train the employee over a long period of time. It is not limited to training a specific skill, instead it should touch upon multiple skills that are of interest. Continuous  professional development must provide managerial or technical skills that the employee can use over several years. Professional “retraining” is more gentle and is to be  carried out with the intent of  career development. Every training organization ensures that their educational resources are created to be used at the convenience of the employee. Quality programs do not jeopardize the professional activity or the professional life of employees.

There are many reasons why business leaders choose to use professional training:

Develop the skills of employees

The main problem companies are facing is providing valuable incentives to stand out against their competitors in the job marketHowever, the development of skills often comes to a standstill when the manager and/or the hierarchy’s own education is limited.

A simple assessment of companies' education  show that the most recent competencies are very often absent from companies. In the long run, the main risk that companies face is to be overlooked fby a competitor who is able to keep up with the current demands of top talent in the job market or by a more modern competitor who has just arrived on the market and offers a more attractive benefits package.

Training initiatives, therefore, meet a need that is present in almost all American companies: to develop the skills of employees. It can help your company to face VUCA context.

Encouraging employee commitment

Professional development logically leads to employee commitment within the company. Rather than staying on a similar course of action over the years, employees are invited and encouraged to leave their comfort zone.  By learning new skills, they are more engaged and motivated in their jobs.

The risk for any company is to offer a dead end job. The employee has the impression that he or she is no longer evolving and their professional growth is halted.. The training plan responds to this problem. Building new skills and solidifying new ones makes your employee a valuable member of your company and enhances the value of his or her work.

Develop career development plans

Every employee is likely to ask to evolve within a company. To do so, it is easier to go through the validation of acquired skills - some say acquired experience as well. Continuous professional training can be given by a training organization or a certification platform. Obtaining new skills, validated by an expert or a tutor, commits the employee to develop his or her skills within the company.

The human resources manager can provide opportunities to gain new qualifications through training courses:

  • Propose career development plans to his or her employees, according to the certifications received.
  • Implement career development plans according to the needs of managers and/or hierarchy. It is the responsibility of the HRD to offer rewarding training to learners. Training must allow for better professional integration and develop advanced professional experience. Growth opportunities are immensely valuable for all of the company's internal employees.

Train your employees and recruit talent

A company that is faced with turnover never stops training and seeing its team members leave. The new arrival of a team member requires several days, if not months depending on the sector, of training and assistance with the integration of projects involving other team members. The loss of a team member means that the company loses time to written and oral training, which translates into lost profits.

Continuous professional training prevents this turnover.   Employees with access to continuous trainingare more committed and active in the company. As a manager, one of your main goals should be to offer new tasks and challenges to your employees so that they stay committed to the company.

Any manager who wants to open a new division, or a new department, should recruit an expert in this field to be in charge of recruiting the staff. Internal employees should not be used to fill a staff, instead hire a qualified recruiting professional to take on the task.

Develop well-being at work

The current health crisis revealed that many companies were nottaking into account the personal well-being of employees in the workplace. The rise  of telecommuting and the development of video conferencing tools have forced managers to rethink their methods of operation.

Well-being at work cannot be overlooked orimprovised. It's no secret: although it's not written into the employment contract, well-being is critical  to employee engagement and satisfaction. Separate the time spent on workwith professional training to enhance the satisfaction  of your employees and their desire to continue working with you.


What is continuous training? First and foremost, it is a new way to enhance the employee's position within the company. Continuous professional training allows employees to reach common objectives within the company, while enhancing their professional careers.

You want to discover more about this topic ? Download our ebook to find 5 ways to rethink learning and development in your company.

Team Edflex

Team Edflex


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Online learning? It knows us! The entire team brings together the expertise, creativity and freshness needed to analyze learning trends and related HR issues.


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