Could an open CPD standard in public relations accelerate professionalism?

In the latest in the series of #FuturePRoof blogs, here its founder and editor Sarah Hall asks whether continuous professional development (CPD) should be an open standard in public relations.

Open standards are a proven way of quickly creating scale.

The PRCA has launched a new continuous professional development (CPD) platform that allows points to be accrued from training and learning outside its own provision.

It has signed up 17 partner organisations from across the communications industry, all of which organise activities that can be logged against career progression. 

The CIPR isn't a partner. 

Although I've been transparent about my desire for the two organisations to work together, whether it should be become one isn't the question here. 

The CIPR has its own, well established system which, while the main focus is on CIPR content and training, allows bespoke activities to be logged.

Progress is slow.

In the UK around 60,000 to 80,000 work in public relations. 1,600 people met the requirement for the CIPR’s accredited practitioners and participated in its CPD scheme in 2015. 

The PRCA provides an opportunity to rapidly increase commitment to CPD. Many agency employers also have their own CPD system.

The question is whether it's time for an open standard for CPD across the industry. 

Unlike the CIPR's offer, the PRCA's new system is open to non members. 

It's a welcome move at a time when the industry is striving to become more diverse and professional.

It sends a clear message to the marketplace that it wants to scale CPD and widen participation from all area of the communications industry.  

Should our industry bodies look to introduce a single standard for CPD in public relations, while marketing their own content and training workshops?

Is this an area in which the CIPR, PRCA and partners should collaborate, if that was a possibility?