"Continuing professional development", or CPD for short, has become something of a buzzword in business these days, even though it's something translators and interpreters have been doing for donkey's years. In a bid to get their members to commit themselves to ongoing training, some professional translators' associations like the American Translators Association (ATA) have made CPD obligatory and set members a goal of achieving so and so many points or credits for getting relevant training within a specific period. Other translators' associations like the British ITI and German BDÜ recommend CPD, but feel it's a personal choice and should therefore be voluntary.
Various educational organisations offering us videos, workshops and training courses on aspects of our work have been set up over the years, one of which is eCPD Webinars, which I've mentioned here before. This small but dedicated training company based in the UK offers an impressive range of online videos, live and recorded webinars, and courses designed especially for translators and interpreters. Some of these cost a fee, while others are free of charge.
eCPD Webinars is currently running a campaign to encourage linguists to show how committed they are to continuous professional development. You can do this by downloading a kind of virtual badge expressing your pledge to CPD.
You're free to put this on your website, in your e-mail signature, on your business cards and anywhere else where you might draw attention to your professional activity. To get the badge, which is free, you only need to read their CPD Manifesto; if you agree with all the points it lists, you're entitled to use the badge. (You can work on these points, of course, and then download the badge later once you meet all the criteria.)
To help you keep track of your CPD activities, eCPD Webinars is also offering a free log template, which you can download from here (a Dropbox site).
What CPD activities have you taken part in so far this year? Have they been worthwhile?
What do you get out of attending workshops and courses that you don't from participating in online webinars?
Have you thought of doing your CPD activities in a more systematic way? Or recording them in a special file as proof of what steps you've taken? What about developing some new skills that might prove useful in future? Or attending a conference where you can network with lots of other translators as well as attending workshops on topics of interest? CPD can boost your own motivation and open up new avenues of work for you one day, so it's worth investing in.
- WantWordsTV by Marta Stelmaszak (videos)
- Sarah Dillon on CPD (blog)
- Jayne Fox on CPD and forthcoming conferences for translators (blog)
- Foreign Tongues on ways of obtaining more training (blog)
- Training for translators offered by Proz.com