The great thing about continuing personal/professional development is that you’re not forced to pay anything for it. There are so many free resources out there that the question ‘should we pay for it’ is almost irrelevant.
There are indeed countless resources such as blogs, YouTube videos, courses, podcasts, Facebook lives and more. And there’s a large amount of quality to be found within those free resources. But that question about paying for it keeps coming up.
My first thought is always ‘why shouldn’t driving instructors pay for CPD?’
Maybe it’s dumb pride on my part, but if I was to ask someone for help, at some point I would expect to be charged. And if they didn’t charge me, then I would likely offer them something in return for their services/time.
For my mind, that only seems fair.
My nephew recently fitted a new door for me. I offered him payment and he declined. That was his right, but I was fully expecting to pay for the service he had provided me. I know that’s not a apples-to-apples comparison, but the premise is the same. Someone is providing their time and energy and it’s only fair that they should be compensated.
And I stress again, there are plenty of free resources out there. The Instructor podcast releases about 2 hours of free audio most weeks. The people that come on the show, offer their services for free. I don’t pay people to appear as a guest. But it does cost me. I pay for Zoom, hosting platforms, recording equipment and also time. I’m not complaining, I love doing it, but it does cost.
Because I love doing it, I want to do more. That’s only feasible if I put some sort of charge on the product and for me, that’s the crux of why people, specifically driving instructors should be willing to pay for CPD. Someone offering standards check workshops, should not be restricted to only being able to do a tiny amount because they don’t want to offend anyone with a charge. They should be able to do as many as they see fit and charge what they deem appropriate. Because here’s the great thing, no one is obligated to buy it.
Take Tri Coaching for example. Their courses are not cheap. In my opinion they’re excellent value, but that doesn’t mean cheap. Tri-Coaching put out a lot of free resources via social media and emails. Plus the likes of Graham Hooper are happy to give up their time to converse with you, offer advice and answer questions. So as well as offering paid courses they also offer free help.
The great thing about that, is that you get to try before you buy. You could head over to their Facebook group, sign up for their emails and watch all their videos and see if they’re the type of people you want to invest your money in. And if they’re not, you can move on. It cost you nothing. For me, that’s the great thing about free CPD, you get to see if that person or company is right for you.
In my humble opinion, free CPD should be used as an entry point. A way to see what and who is out there. A way to determine who or what is right for us s individuals. If you listen to one of my podcasts and decide I’m not for you, I genuinely appreciate you trying me out. If you listen to my shows but think 2 hours of me a week is enough, or you don’t have time to fit in any more audio into your diary, thanks you so much for choosing to listen. If you’re a keen listener and want to develop or want more of the quality I bring, then there is more available at a cost.
That’s how I believe CPD should work.
I’m also a big believer of having skin in the game. I’ve signed up for so many courses, emails and challenges over the years, it’s untrue. But as soon as I actually invest, it makes me commit and I’ll find myself actually putting in more effort.
And that’s the other thing. When we pay someone for CPD, we’re not just investing in them, we’re investing in ourselves. When I used to baulk at the idea of paying someone to help me sleep better, lose weight or develop my coaching skills it was because I wasn’t willing to invest in myself. Not because I wasn’t willing to invest in them.
So maybe think on that. Are YOU worth investing in?