CPD and KT: Models Used and Opportunities for Synergy

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The two fields of continuing professional development (CPD) and knowledge translation (KT) within the health care sector, and their related research have developed as somewhat parallel paths with limited points of overlap or intersection. This is slowly beginning to change. The purpose of this paper is to describe and compare the dominant conceptual models informing each field with the view of increasing understanding and appreciation of the two fields, how they are similar and where they differ, and the current and potential points of intersection. The models include the “knowledge-to-action” (KTA) cycle informing KT, models informing CPD curriculum design and individual self-directed learning, and the Kirkpatrick model for evaluating educational outcomes. When compared through the perspectives of conceptual designs, processes, and outcomes, the models overlap. We also identify shared gaps in both fields (eg, the need to explore the influence of the context in which CPD and KT interventions take place) and suggest opportunities for synergies and for moving forward.

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