While there are various ways to access CPD opportunities, including free ones, there are ethical considerations to keep in mind (especially for free CPDs)
Quality of Content: Ensure that free CPD resources or courses you're considering are of high quality. Just because something is free doesn't mean it's valuable or reliable for your professional development.
Balance with Paid CPD: While free CPD opportunities can be valuable, it's also important to balance them with paid options. Some high-quality CPD activities may require a fee, and investing in your professional development is typically considered an ethical responsibility.
Conflict of Interest: Be cautious about potential conflicts of interest when selecting free CPD resources. If the provider has a vested interest in promoting a particular product, therapy or service, it may not provide objective or unbiased information.
Transparency: Ensure that you are transparent about your CPD activities, whether they are free or paid, when reporting them to the SAPC. Accurate reporting is an ethical obligation.
Professional Responsibility: Ethical considerations extend to your responsibility to your clients, patients, or the public. You should always prioritize their best interests and make sure that the CPD you engage in enhances your ability to provide competent and ethical services.
Discrimination and Bias: Evaluate free CPD materials for potential biases, discrimination, or outdated information. It's your ethical duty to stay informed about current best practices and to avoid perpetuating biases.
Confidentiality and Data Security: If the CPD activities involve the use of personal or confidential information, ensure that the free resources adhere to the POPI Act
Feedback and Improvement: If you notice issues with the quality or ethics of a free CPD resource, consider providing constructive feedback to the provider. Ethical behavior includes contributing to the improvement of the professional development ecosystem.
In summary, free CPD can be a valuable resource, but ethical considerations should guide your choices. Always prioritize the quality, relevance, and ethical standards of the CPD opportunities you pursue to ensure they contribute to your professional growth while upholding the highest ethical standards of your profession.