Professional Practice

  1. Professional Practice: Personal Development Plan and Continuous Professional Development

2.1 Introduction

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Professionals should prepare carefully for their future career path by creating a personal development plan for self-analysis, reflection, and the appraisal of strengths and weaknesses. The process provides essential information to understand the current skills and knowledge relating to the profession and to identify areas for future development.  Furthermore, planning establishes a path that controls the direction for future growth and development (Cottrell, 2015). Professional development is critical for chartered members to ensure that they are capable of meeting the demands of their jobs and high standards of the practice. Although individuals might feel prepared for practice, they should perform a self-analysis and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to establish the current knowledge status as they plan for their future career advancement.

2.2 Continuous Professional Development

  Activity Brief Date Learning Period Reference to PDP
1 Undergraduate course on Nuclear Engineering (Radiation Protection)  

April 2011


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5 years



Postgraduate course in Environmental Management October, 2018



1 year



Table 1: CPD Development Activities

I have developed skills to practice in risk management in an environmental company. I have completed a five-year undergraduate course in Nuclear Engineering (Radiation Protection). Thus, I have acquired the knowledge to practice in an environment dealing with risk management associated with radiation protection. I have commenced a course in Environmental Management at a post-graduate level. I have the required training and skills to begin working. However, I plan to continue learning to acquire additional knowledge in the two areas as I prepare to work in the challenging risk management setting.

2.3 Personal Development Plan

The personal development plan is a lifelong process to enable continuous improvement of skills and experience and add value to the future workplace. To achieve the goal, I have to identify my current status in knowledge and expertise, identifying my strengths and weaknesses (Janssen et al., 2013). I could use my strengths to become a better professional as I address the weaknesses to close the gaps in knowledge. I understand the areas I need to improve to become better in the profession. The table below includes the two areas, project management.


  Areas Needing Improvement Association with Employers Goals What I need to Study



Project Management

Manage and control all future projects Project Management Masters class



Risk Management

Useful in understanding how to monitor dangerous areas Project Risk Management


Table 2: Analysis of PDP Learning Needs

Although I have studied Nuclear Engineering (Radiation Protection), I am yet to complete the course in environmental management. Furthermore, I have not yet studied any course in project and risk management. I need to learn how to manage projects in a highly risky environment, including working with hazardous materials. I will take the two courses during my master’s program to prepare for practice. I will develop the skills to close the knowledge gap by attending conferences, seminars, and workshops. Attending these avenues will provide a chance to develop the skills needed to practice in project and risk management. I will also use reading materials such as lecture notes, books, and journal articles, among other scholarly works to develop the knowledge. I will continue evaluating myself to establish the progress in achieving the set objectives. The table provides a summary of my plan to address the needs.

Table 3: PDP Development Plan


Ref. to Table 2


What Will I do to Achieve This?

What Resources and Support Will I Need? How Will I Evaluate The Success of Outcomes? Deadlines for Achieving Targets



Attending Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops Reading materials such as lecture notes, books, and journal articles, among other scholarly works. Ability to manage projects in regards hazard materials  




2.4 Appraisal of the Need to Join Professional Bodies

As I continue with professional development, I realize the importance of joining a professional body to learn and network. People gain numerous benefits through joining the associations, including professional recognition (Friedman, 2013). The membership will prove that I have the required professional qualification. Furthermore, I will get information and advice from more qualified professionals in the field and network to have better opportunities in the future. More importantly, I will have to recognize the codes of conduct, including being realistic and honest when stating estimates and claims stipulated on available data. The membership is a chance for continuous professional development (CPD), which is critical after leaving the institution of higher learning and transition to practice.

Professional bodies award titles that add to the expert portfolio. The title enhances the attributes of the holders showing that they have qualified in their area of practice. Professional bodies award higher titles as the individual continues to practice and get additional qualifications (Gazley, 2013). The designations show that one is actively engaged in the activities relating to the career. Furthermore, they reveal a greater zeal to learn and network. Hence, adding a title to my curriculum vitae will increase my chances of getting a better job in the future.

I have to identify some of the leading professional associations to support in the continued career development. Nuclear Institute is one of the leading professional institutions that unite professional activities in nuclear science and technology in the United Kingdom. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS) is another professional organization that operates in nuclear and plasma technology. I could also join the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), which promotes safety in handling nuclear materials by providing secure and peaceful stewardship. Another professional organization is the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) that ensures security and reliability for those operating commercial nuclear power plants. A professional can also join the European Nuclear Society (ENS) that advances nuclear science, research, and engineering (Pennstate University, 2018). The professional associations provide the chance to improve the career as the person becomes a better practitioner.

2.5 Ethical Responsibility and Codes of Conduct

Professionals should abide by ethical codes of practice to help them work honestly and with integrity. The ethics help experts to relate professionally when working with people within and outside the organization. The code of ethics also supports a practical approach to problems based on the core values of the organization and the professional standards (Pearson et al., 2013). The ethical code includes various areas such as business ethics, employee code of conduct, and professional practice. Thus, it is essential for professionals to understand the ethical code of practice within their professions to operate morally and professionally.

Nuclear Institute-Code of Conduct is an example of an ethical code that guides professionals in the field. The institution requires members to operate at high standards by following the ethical code. The values affect individuals working within and outside the United Kingdom if affiliated with the institute (The nuclear institute, 2018). They are required to uphold the profession’s dignity and reputation and to protect public and social interests in issues relating to art, science, and practice in nuclear engineering. I will work in a highly demanding environment where employees should observe personal and organizational values.

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