What is Continuous Professional Development?
Continuous Professional Development, or CPD for short, is the act of regular training and learning to develop your knowledge further. The Society of Will Writers expects all members to continually develop their abilities and knowledge throughout their membership year by completing a minimum of 24 CPD hours. This is broken down into 16 structured hours, and 8 unstructured hours, with completion of both types being a requirement for all members under article 2.4 of the SWW Code of Practice, evidenced through your annual audit.
Why should I stay updated?
Every day you speak to clients about all the things they own, everyone they like (or dislike), as well as causes they’re passionate about. Through your work you will have some of the most in-depth and personal conversations with people, each revealing a number of scenarios you need to be prepared for to ensure you’re giving the best advice and producing appropriate documentation to match.
The SWW recommends everyone reviews their planning periodically, or at least when material changes happen in their life. Therefore it is equally important that members update their knowledge regularly too, to stay on top of everything within the industry, be it changes in legislation or taxation, and even updates from the Society impacting the way you go about your business. Not doing so could be detrimental to the client and could result in providing documents or services that are not fit for purpose as a result of incorrect or out of date advice, or simply offering something that the client in fact does not need.
Your investment in knowledge is your key to success – Brian W McMillan
SWW members are specialists in the field of estate planning, and keeping on top of your CPD will make you the best you can be. It gives your clients much more confidence in the advice and recommendations that you are proposing, enables you to convert more leads into new business, and ultimately satisfies the SWW’s aims of ensuring that the public at large receives the best advice, resulting in the number of appropriate and valid Wills to increase.
CPD can be acquired through various channels. The College of Will Writing should be a primary source, through both its online and residential courses, as well as the free monthly online CPD that all members are given access to. CPD is also awarded for attendance at SWW Regional Group meetings, the SWW Annual Conference, as well as webinars and other seminars/workshops.
Providing any learning you undertake is industry-relevant, even if provided by external organisations, it is likely to qualify for SWW CPD. However, if in doubt as to whether something qualifies, or if you have any other questions about CPD, simply get in touch with me and I will gladly help.