A fresher approach to CPD accreditation.

CPD Explained


CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development, the continual progression, by a professional, of their capabilities, skills and competencies throughout their career.

CPD covers learning across several media including:

  • Live training courses
  • Online training courses
  • Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Articles and publications

CPD-certified training can accompany academic qualifications with practical, current and ongoing learning keeping the professional up to date with developments within their field. This is invaluable to employers who require their staff to have the skills which enable them to compete in an ever-changing marketplace and registering bodies who require their members to keep up with developments within their sector.

Accreditation standards


CPD accreditation is awarded to training courses, events and publications that meet predetermined standards in:

  • Quality of presentation
  • Technique and clarity in delivery of information
  • Learning value

The awarding of CPD points


Upon certification a number of CPD points are awarded. This usually follows the principle of one point per hour of engagement.

Where the item does not have a determinable time period points are awarded per hour on the basis of an estimation of the time taken to read the item plus 200% for note-taking and reflection.



On every occasion the accredited CPD provider should award the individual with a certificate of completion detailing the nature and date of the learning and the CPD points it carries.



Continuing Professional Development provides the individual with a structured, ongoing and definable method of focussing on their skills and competencies and improving them in line with current demands.

A record of CPD within an individual’s CV allows them to demonstrate their developing competencies as well as their commitment to self-development and professionalism.

A record of CPD activity is also useful in the process of internal appraisals.



CPD is exceptionally useful to the organisation that seeks to keep its staff or members up to date in a developing field and appraise them for their commitment to personal improvement.

The provision or requirement of CPD-accredited learning by an organisation promotes a healthy culture of self-improvement and professionalism that benefits a company in staff morale and measurable performance.

Organisations or regulating bodies may wish to set an annual number of CPD points that they expect an employee or member to accrue.

CPD providers


Larger organisations can provide their own CPD-accredited learning while smaller ones may wish to outsource to CPD training providers.

The outsourced CPD provider is usually an authorised training company, online learning provider or event organiser capable of providing CPD-accredited learning.

CPD providers will typically be experts in their field with recognised teaching qualifications.

Learning opportunities can be anything from one hour to several weeks long, the latter usually being divided into manageable modules.

Recording CPD


The recording of CPD activity is the responsibility of the individual.

Once CPD learning has been delivered and certification of completion has been awarded the individual may enter the activity on a CPD record form.

They can list the activities on a simple form with columns for:

  • Date
  • Method of learning
  • Topic of learning
  • Theory hours
  • Practical hours

In most cases the sum of the theory and practical hours columns provides the total number of CPD points. Where there is doubt CPD providers are able to provide guidance on how to accurately record points.

Organisations may add criteria to the record form according to their own requirements. An example of this would be the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirement to record any combination of the following learning outcomes.

  1. Prioritise people
  2. Practice effectively
  3. Preserve safety
  4. Promote professionalism and trust

Another would be the practical application of the learning in the workplace.

The CPD record is particular to the individual. It may be included in their CV and may go with them to future employers. Where the individual wishes to record more than that required by their current employer they should feel free to do so.



The individual’s adherence to honest practice is encouraged by the knowledge that, at any time, an employer, registering body or insurance provider may ask for evidence that the recorded activities have been undertaken. At the first level this would be simply asking to see certificates. At the second level this could be asking the CPD provider to confirm that the activity was undertaken by the individual.