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Continuing Professional Education

Continuing Professional Education

The Importance of Continuing Professional Education

Continuing professional education programs are common in certain industries such as accounting, architecture, auditing, insurance, education, engineering, human resource management and public health administration.

But the business world can be intensely competitive. Companies acquire and liquidate one another regularly; workers strive for the ever elusive 401K, and thoughts of downsizing cause nightmares. In such a cutthroat world, pursuing a continuing professional education program can be a wise career move made with good business sense.


Professionals who participate in continuing professional education programs receive credits known as Continuing Education Units (or CEUs). Some fields require professionals to maintain a certain number of credits throughout the duration of their career, ensuring a personal investment of the professionals' time and knowledge.

According to the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS), one CEU equals ten hours of continuing education class time. The number and type of CEU credits professionals need differs by field, state and national organization requirements. To return to the above example, CEUs for personnel staffing services must be approved and accredited by NAPS.

Most companies recognize that when they strengthen the knowledge of their employees, the company benefits as a whole. Companies will then sponsor seminars, weekend training or other forms of workforce development as part of a corporate-wide continuing professional education program.

Many professionals will enroll in a certificate program to continue their professional education. These programs offer concentrated study in one professional field. Certificate programs can give your resume a boost or help you start a new career in a different profession. Many continuing professional education providers maintain business relationships with area companies and corporations. This helps keep education in the context of the corporate environment.

Some good resources for professionals who are considering enrolling a continuing professional education program:

World Wide Learn claims that it provides the 'world's largest directory of online education'. This may be true, with 26 categories of accredited continuing education courses; find them at www.worldwidelearn.com.

The Harvard School of Public Health has a Center for Continuing Professional Education that provides information on all aspects of the field. Their site can be found through www.hsph.harvard.edu.