CPD - Maintaining and enhancing your knowledge

A number of our members are entering the third year of their CPD foundation period. Here are their thoughts about CPD and how they are tracking.

Lucy Elwood (MInstD)

Principal Elwood Law

Lucy ElwoodI record a mix of activities, but I am most reliable at recording points for courses or presentations I have attended. There are other activities which I do (such as reading articles) where I never record all of the points for which I’m technically eligible. I don’t think this is surprising. The purpose of the activity is to learn, not to get a compliance tick.

Each year I create a legal CPD plan for the year and then consider any additional IoD CPD activities that I wish to undertake during that year. At the same time as setting my CPD plan, I also set a rough budget for CPD activities for the next financial year.

While I have a rough plan for the year, the activities themselves are more fluid. Topics will come up during the year that I want to learn more about, or I may be invited to an event that is of interest.

I view my desire to keep learning, my willingness to keep informed and my approach of always looking for improvements as part of what makes me a good director. I think companies need to be open to adapting and changing over time, and it follows that directors need to be adaptive too. CPD is just part of that process.


Nicky Duggan (MInstD)

Director Evolution of Services

Nicky DugganI undertake a few different types of CPD activities and most of them on a regular basis. These activities include attending several IoD events each year, undertaking specific training courses (the most recent being Chairing the Board in 2014 after completing the Company Directors Course in 2012), absorbing the IoD boardroom publications as well as digital communications from both the IoD and other sources. In 2013 I was very fortunate to be given a very experienced mentor by the IoD – Peter Drummond – whom I still check in with every few months.

I generally log in to the IoD website every two to three months to update my CPD activities.

I would probably call it semi-structured. I plan to continue to take advantage of the regular information and events the IoD deliver, while augmenting this with development focused activities in specific areas where I wish to upskill further, or that I am particularly interested in. Some activities are locked-in, while others are a little more opportunistic.

I believe that it is the personal responsibility of directors to ensure we keep ourselves up to date on relevant issues. The IoD provides a steady stream of information and resources – it’s all there and very easy to take advantage of. Some areas are absolutely critical to be fully across (such as changes to the Health & Safety at Work Act), while others are going to be more driven by individual development requirements, personal interest or relevance to types of directorships.


Mike Milsom (CMInstD)

CFO Southern Cross Health Trust and Hospitals

Mike MilsomI have completed the residential Company Directors Course and Chairing the Board as well as participated in the Boards in Action short courses and self-paced online learning modules through IoD. Being a CA I have the ability to cross-credit CPD activities that are also relevant to my governance roles, whether these be structured courses or short duration seminars. I aim to undertake CPD throughout the year ideally when I have time available in my schedule.

I don’t have a formal plan for CPD to achieve in each year. I will look for CPD activities to keep up to date with topical issues and with gaps in my knowledge and experience.

The commercial environment is constantly changing and there is every reason for directors to keep up to date with a broad spectrum of issues that affect us as directors and the organisations that we are involved with. By way of example the introduction of the new health and safety legislation this year has wide ranging implications for directors and business. In addition increasing cyber security risks present new challenges for boards to be aware of and address.


Philip Poppe (CMInstD)

Managing Director Forex Ltd

I record conferences and presentations I attend, plus the points awarded by IoD for completing the Directors' Fees survey.

I don’t follow a set structured process, it is more anchored around what events I can attend. It is always a challenge trying to fit professional development events into your calendar when most people’s work and out-of-work life requirements need to be managed as well. I don’t have a plan for next year around CPD but I would quite like to try and get to the IoD annual conference.

I undertake CPD for a number of reasons:

  1. Because I have to, to maintain professional qualifications.
  2. Because I want to. I find it necessary and stimulating to periodically get out and listen to someone else speak. It increases your all round knowledge rather than being totally immersed in only one field of expertise. I find that when I hear from someone on a topic that is not necessarily my field of expertise it not only gives me insight but it gives me a different perspective. It also provides me a perspective on how the future is likely to change as I sometimes find it difficult to stay with the pace of change that we live with in today’s world.
  3. Social Interaction. CPD provides me with a forum and a shared interest to meet and interact with other IoD members. I find that whilst I may learn a lot in the structured part of the presentations, I often find I learn equally as much in the unstructured part of having discussions with fellow attendees during the breaks and socialising functions. People are often more willing to discuss their situations or provide insights in the small group environments.
  4. Contacts. As a result of attending events I’ve made a number of contacts that have been beneficial to me in business. The relationships endure as well – I still interact with people I met on the Company Directors’ Course I attended in 2006.

I am more likely to attend short duration single topic focussed events as they are easier to attend, rather than a full day event or having to stay overnight. I am always looking for two or three key take out messages or learnings from attending that will enable me to improve my own performance in governance roles.


Audit: The IoD will conduct random audit of CPD records from October 2017 onwards. The audit process is in place to confirm that members are on track with their CPD, and where necessary the IoD will offer assistance.