Skip to main content

Importance of CPD: A Member perspective - Melissa Brown

HRNZ Member Melissa Brown is the People Projects Lead & HR Business Partner for Foodstuffs North Island. She is the project manager for the people side of the build and move of their new ambient distribution centre.

Also, as the HR business partner she supports 1100+ people across their Supply Chain and Commercial Operations. Being in a duel role and working for an essential services business work life is always busy, so Melissa looks for ways to naturally integrate professional development into her life.

The recent lockdown and changed ways of working have highlighted the importance of continued professional development and focus on lifelong learning. Melissa sat down with HRNZ to discuss why she believes CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is so important.

Why is CPD important to you?
HR is an industry that is continuously evolving, and our organisations or clients are continuously looking to us to provide value and insights – CPD enables this. I have aligned myself with a company that values and support development. It is my responsibility to get the best value from CPD for my career and for the role I am in. After all… You are only cheating yourself if you do not focus on opportunities to improve. Why limit yourself to what you know right now? Learning something new keeps life interesting.

What types of CPD do you prefer and why?
I lean towards professional development opportunities that integrate into my work life naturally. So, I opt for opportunities that I can apply directly at work i.e. change management, union negotiations, leadership and strategy development etc. I also prioritise CPD that I am going to enjoy and are interested in e.g. Employment Relations, employees experience, diversity etc.

How do you make sure you keep on top of meeting your CPD requirements?
To ensure I reach the required 100 CPD hours over three years I mapped out a rough plan. Initially I looked at what I thought was realistic based on the different categories, what was coming up in my work schedule, and then also which ones I could chip away at. I then created a habit of the day after attending an event putting it into the system before I forgot, if you save the link and keep your details handy it only takes a few minutes to register the professional development event. 

What recommendations would you make to other members who are getting started on their CPD journey?
Check out the information HRNZ provides, and take some the time to come up with a plan that suits you. Thinking about your role now, the training available from your current employer and what CPD you can initiate e.g. reading industry material, webinars, mentoring etc. Attending a webinar only takes one hour out of your day but it quickly adds up, especially if you also choose one or two bigger CPD activities/events to help boost your CPD.   

Thanks to Melissa for sharing her thoughts. We hope your story will inspire others to pursue CPD in the upcoming months.