Wednesday of this week marked the beginning of the Lenten Season for the Roman Catholic Church, a period of time in which the faithful engage in fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Personally, it is my favorite liturgical season, offering a special invitation to increase my commitment to those religious practices that help put faith into action. In essence, it is spiritual training to enhance my knowledge of the faith I profess and the skills to live it out, many years after the catechesis received in becoming a full member of the Church.
The professional world offers plenty of similar opportunities for ongoing training activities to ensure you maintain your “good standing” in the community. Those who have earned their certificate as a Project Management Professional®(PMP) from the Project Management Institute are required to complete 60 Professional Development Units (PDU) over a three-year period to maintain the certificate. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) has a similar 3-year cycle to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements. Accountants, clinicians, and an assortment of other professionals have similar mandatory requirements placed on them.
The aforementioned organizations hold a great deal of influence in their areas of expertise and have placed a special emphasis on the need for ongoing training. As members of those bodies, we may feel overwhelmed at the task fulfilling these ongoing requirements, but hopefully we can agree that there is wisdom in this process. Likewise, within our own organizations, the notion of ongoing training should be placed at the forefront of the expectations we have for fellow team members and colleagues.