It is a truism that you can only give if you have.
For us, as business advisors, mentors, coaches, consultants and trainers, the implication of this truism is that we have to keep expanding our knowledge and keep sharpening our skills. As professional providers of support to entrepreneurs and small business owners, we can indeed only give value to our clients if we make sure we have real value to offer. This is why our own ongoing learning and professional growth is so important!
In the professional environment, we call our ongoing growth “CPD”, which is short for Continuous Professional Development. CPD is one of the responsibilities assigned to professional bodies such as the Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa (IBASA).
Join the next IBASA & EPI Webinar
“Develop Yourself To Develop Others:
CPD as a non-negotiable for quality business advising”
Tuesday 28 January 11h30 to 12h45
Prof Shepherd Dhliwayo & Dr Lawrence Gadzikwa
<< BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW >>
“CPD is aimed at facilitating the upgrading of the knowledge and the skills base of our business advisor members with a view to maintaining high levels of professional competence,” says Dr Lawrence Gadzikwa, an IBASA director and panellist on the upcoming IBASA & EPI webinar. “This,” he says, “provides industry with the assurance that when they make use of the services of IBASA members, they get a service provider with the competency needed to deliver impactful services.”
Dr Gadsikwa says that “while entry-level skills and qualifications are important, in an environment of rapid change, it is essential that practitioners embrace lifelong learning and regularly update their knowledge and skills. They need to do this across their professional lives in order that they maintain current standards in the field and also provide the best service possible to their clients.”
CPD learning may include the completion of certified training programmes or qualification, attending less-structured learning events such as seminars or webinars, doing own research or reading, and work done as a business advisor. Combined, these learning activities should help a professional business advisor to remain up-to-date with new developments or business innovations, and improve their skills in serving as a business support practitioner.
According to Prof Shepherd Dhliwayo, chairperson of the IBASA Education Committee and also a panellist on the upcoming webinar, it is mandatory for IBASA members to meet the CPD expectations to maintain their professional designations.
When a new member joins IBASA their business experience, education and practical involvement in small business support are evaluated to assign one of three professional designations to the member, namely Certified Business Advisor (highest level), Principle Business Advisor (mid-level) and Business Advisor (entry-level).
“IBASA understands that members may find it difficult to fork out the fees needed to do many training programmes, that is why we make it easy to score some of the needed CPD points through the free webinar series we present every month,” says Prof Dhliwayo. “Members have the responsibility to add to the webinars their own completion of relevant training courses and conducting a number of business advising projects with clients.”
IBASA members should note the following specifications in the CPD policy:
- CPD is mandatory for all IBASA members, who must complete the required level of CPD to maintain their professional designations.
- While IBASA provides a framework for facilitating CPD, it is the responsibility of individual members to meet CPD requirements.
- CPD is not applied for progression from one designation to a next level, but rather to maintain the current professional status within the accredited grade
CPD compliance requires a member to accumulate CPD hours, based on minimum levels for structured learning, unstructured learning and practising as a business advisor:
- Structured learning includes qualiﬁcations or training programmes and lecturing in or presenting of such qualiﬁcations or training programmes, as long as these are certified professional qualiﬁcation or NQF-aligned training programmes approved by the IBASA and the Service Provider is SAQA accredited or other programmes approved by IBASA.\
- Unstructured learning include attendance or participation in seminars, webinars, discussions, meetings, or events relevant to business advice; as well as self-study, reading of books or articles, writing and publishing of professional, technical or academic articles, papers or books, hands-on IT or project work, or participation in media shows or publication of media articles.
- Practising as a business advisor include invoiced time spent in oﬀering business advice, training, mentoring, coaching or consulting to SMMEs, startup businesses, or prospective entrepreneurs.
Currently, the IBASA CPD policy requires the following levels of CPD performance:
- Completed 40 hours of structured and 40 hours of unstructured learning per year.
- Deliver business advising services for an average of 50 days per year, over any three-year period and a minimum of 40 hours per year.
- A maximum of 50% of the required three-year average number of hours can be accumulated in any single year.
Join the next episode of the IBASA & EPI Webinar to learn how you may use CPD to up your value as a provider of professional business support services.
<< CLICK HERE >> to register.
Christoff Oosthuysen is the host of the IBASA & EPI Webinar Series and an IBASA member with the designation of Certified Business Advisor.