Professionals updating support skills
Individuals may pursue professional development independently, or programs may be offered by human resource departments.Professional development on the job may develop or enhance process skills, sometimes referred to as leadership skills, as well as task skills.Some examples for process skills are 'effectiveness skills', 'team functioning skills', and 'systems thinking skills'.Professional development opportunities can range from a single workshop to a semester-long academic course, to services offered by a medley of different professional development providers and varying widely with respect to the philosophy, content, and format of the learning experiences.Professional development is learning to earn or maintain professional credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, conferences and informal learning opportunities situated in practice.
Professional development may also come in the form of pre-service or in-service professional development programs.
These programs may be formal, or informal, group or individualized.
The University of Management and Technology notes the use of the phrase "professional development" from 1857 onwards.
In the training of school staff in the United States, "[t]he need for professional development [...] came to the forefront in the 1960's".
A wide variety of people, such as teachers, military officers and non-commissioned officers, health care professionals, lawyers, accountants and engineers engage in professional development.
Individuals may participate in professional development because of an interest in lifelong learning, a sense of moral obligation, to maintain and improve professional competence, to enhance career progression, to keep abreast of new technology and practices, or to comply with professional regulatory requirements.