Although much literature exists regarding the operationalization of the term engagement, this relates specifically to work/employee engagement and user, consumer, and scholarly engagement. There is no clear understanding of the term Continuing Professional Development (CPD) engagement for allied health professionals and Nurses and Midwives in the UK, although it is becoming a frequently used term. This raises the challenge of creating measures of the impact of CPD engagement. This concept analysis therefore sought to operationalize the term CPD engagement.
A theoretical concept analysis was undertaken, as part of a Professional Doctorate, using Walker and Avant's Concept Analysis Framework. Literature was accessed via OVID, PubMed, CINAHL, ERIC, ABI INFO, and PsychINFO using search terms engagement, work/employee, user, consumer, scholarly engagement, CPD, and life-long learning.
Defining attributes for CPD engagement included criteria based around the terms such as self-initiated, voluntary, applied, recorded, evaluated and shared, and continuation of learning beyond the initial activity. Antecedents focused around drive and availability of resources including time, money, and support.
There are potentially many positive consequences of CPD engagement, such as job satisfaction, employee retention, and quality of service provision, that may be more easily investigated and measured against the attributes defined from this study, which indicates that CPD engagement is characterized by the following five criteria: (1) self-initiated; (2) rewarded (either intrinsically or extrinsically); (3) applied in practice; (4) recorded, evaluated, and shared with others; and finally (5) continues beyond the initial learning activity.