In order to deliver member value, retention and growth, it's vital to ensure your learning and continuing professional development (CPD) membership benefits are the best and most valuable they can possibly be.
Today, membership bodies have the perfect opportunity to revamp and modernise their CPD offerings. Now’s the time to promote new forms of online learning to support members' development, giving them the extra value they crave in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace.
1. Embrace digital learning
What are you doing for the younger generation of members who want to join your organisation? It might be time to kick-start your entry into the exciting world of digital learning.
There’s a wealth of quality digital learning materials out there and expectations are high. Your sector specific content needs to match this with the user experience it provides.
In short, you must embrace digital learning.
Taking this quick test might offer some revealing, though possibly slightly uncomfortable, answers:
- Do you use printed forms or spreadsheets for CPD data capture?
- Do you insist on the use of desktop browsers to access content – so not supporting mobile?
- Do your web interfaces look dated and struggle to work at all on some modern browsers?
- Are your membership and content websites not yet fully integrated with your CRM systems, to provide a seamless member onboarding experience?
If the answer to any or all of these questions is “yes”, the chances are that your offerings need modernising. You have to start playing catch-up – and fast.
2. What are your members' individual needs?
Make it easy on yourself and your members. If you provide the tools to assess individuals against skills frameworks, identifying gaps and promoting the right content, you’ll help them easily achieve certifications and standards to complete their CPD. Even better, you could enable comparisons over time to keep a record of members’ progression.
3. Make it personal with sector specific skills frameworks
Any library is only as good as its indexing system. Many membership bodies already have a large catalogue of valuable materials – but members need to reach quality, accessible and relevant content whenever they want it.
To avoid the perils of information overload, you must personalise the learning offering and align it to sector specific skills, competency frameworks, varying membership levels and other relevant standards and qualifications.
4. Encourage CPD planning and progress tracking
Your members want to know – and clearly see – when their learning is on track. They need to plan, record and monitor their CPD in a straightforward manner.
Get members in the habit by encouraging them to analyse and plan the specific skills and competency areas they should concentrate on at the start of a CPD cycle. This often goes side by side with the membership year.
By supplying visual charts and printable PDF reports, your CPD solution should allow people to easily see that their learning is on the right lines.
5. Offer a mobile learning and CPD App
It’s important to keep your members engaged. Mobile Apps for Android and iOS devices, where users can quickly check information while they’re on the move, provide the perfect vehicle for this.
Any way in which you can make someone’s life easier is good news – for example, by supporting members’ CPD logs so they can record their activity without leaving the App. You could set up a facility where someone takes a photo of a course completion certificate that then generates a CPD record.
Making your Apps available in Google Play and the App Store also means you can promote your offerings there and increase engagement, in so many different ways:
- Make some content free and available before someone logs in
- Use the Apps for regular membership updates and personalised content
- Use manual and automated push notifications and CPD progress reminders, especially when members fall behind targets
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