Why is CPD important for Tree Surgeons?

Business Advice Toolbox Talk

22nd March 2021 | Info

CPD is essential in any line of work, including tree surgery. The arboricultural industry is a hazardous one and practices are always evolving, and legislations are ever-changing. 

What is CPD?

CPD stands for Continual Professional Development. It involves tracking and documenting your own skills, knowledge, and experience that you have gained both formally and informally in the workplace.

Typically, CPD is a written, physical document; however, as times are changing, and some of us are becoming more tech-savvy, they are moving over to digital formats. These records help to outline what you have experienced, what has been learnt, and how it can be applied.  

They should be self-led and help you reflect on what you have learnt. 


Why is it important?

CPD provides many benefits to each tree surgeon as an individual. It helps us to achieve our career goals alongside our employer’s, as well as aiding the arboricultural industry as a whole. This is because, like most industries, tree surgery is continuously changing. CPD allows us to remain capable and to keep up with current industry standards, as well as our competitors. It also benefits the public as it ensures that competent professionals are carrying out important tree surgery jobs.

Continuingprofessionaldevelopment.org claims that ‘the ultimate outcome of well-planned, continued professional development is that it safeguards the public, the employer, the professional and the professional’s career’.  

It also helps us to maintain and enhance the knowledge that we have gained and apply daily. 

How do I do it?

Beginning a CPD document can be overwhelming, especially if you have never really had to sit down and reflect on what you have achieved. We would recommend starting by noting down your experiences this year as a tree surgeon – they don’t have to all be positive! Consider what went well, what you have learnt but also what you might have done differently. Taking this time to process what you have achieved and learnt, allows you to reflect on what has happened and can often be quite a rewarding process.

What you include can be anything from information that you have learnt from your colleagues or lessons that you may have learnt from incidents or events that may have happened. Writing down these outcomes put things into perspective and will help you to draw positives from most situations.  

It can also be useful to jot down what your overall career goals are. This helps you to focus on what you need to do or achieve to reach them. You should also focus on the smaller picture too, as looking too far ahead can be overwhelming. Short-term objectives can be helpful to identify, especially if you find yourself in a rut. 

Final Thoughts

CPD, while not compulsory, is essential for any tree surgeon who wants to better themselves and their craft. It helps us to gain competitive advantages over others and allows us to nurture and enhance our skills. We find CPD to be effective and believe that most tree surgeons should begin to do it.  

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