Professional Development workforce development
What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and why should we do it?
Definition of CPD:
‘a range of learning activities through which health professionals maintain and develop throughout their career to ensure that they retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice’'. (Health Care Professions Council (HCPC))
CPD is vital to ensure continued high quality support for service users and carers, to promote professional identity and confidence, to ensure that you remain up to date with professional developments and can adjust your practice in line with new evidence. It is about how you continue to consolidate your skills and evolve in a positive way during the course of your professional career.
The HCPC requires that all registered professionals:
- Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities
- Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice
- Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery
- Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user
- Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the standards for CPD
When you renew your registration (every 2 years) HCPC will randomly audit the CPD activities of 2.5 per cent of each sector of registered professionals. If you are are chosen for audit you must submit a CPD profile to show how your CPD meets their standards. HCPC provide a specific pro forma for this and ask you to provide a summary of evidence rather than your whole portfolio. It is important that you maintain an ongoing portfolio of evidence as it must reflect work undertaken throughout the 2 year period and you must account for gaps of more than 3 months.
Guidance on completing the profile and the pro forma can be found on the HCPC website
The HCPC have published sample copies of completed profiles for Social Work, which you may find helpful to use as a reference.
CPD is a shared responsibility of individual professionals and their employers. For those staff who are registered with the HCPC, it is a condition of re-registration that they keep up to date with CPD and can demonstrate how it has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery and benefitted service users. The Standards for Employers of Social Workers in England developed by the Social Work Reform Board give employers the duty to provide opportunities for CPD so that staff can maintain their professional registration.
As part of the launch of the CPD framework in Hampshire Adult Services it has been agreed that all qualified staff should have one hour per week protected CPD time, which must be agreed with line managers and can be used flexibly. It is the individual's responsibility to take the time and ensure they make good use of it and it cannot be accumulated over a period of more than 1-2 weeks. CPD time should include reflection, critical analysis, linking theory with practice, recording, and some short development activities as agreed in supervision/IPP, e.g. team reflective sessions. Attendance on training courses is not included but reflecting on/recording your learning from courses is, as it is no longer adequate just to record hours/days attendance.
CPD is obviously important for all staff in Adult Services and we are beginning to work on a development pathway for unqualified staff, of which there will be more news soon. The requirement for protected CPD time is not currently extended to unqualified staff but it could be allowed at managers' discretion and it is strongly recommended that team reflective practice sessions include all staff.
If you need support to identify how to complete your CPD please visit our Examples of CPD activities page.
If you have any further questions about your CPD please email email@example.com or visit the pages below:
Social work and the PCF
For social workers a new set of guidelines have been produced called the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) which serves as a backdrop to CPD. The PCF has been developed by social workers and is owned by The College of Social Work (TCSW) on behalf of the profession. The PCF has 9 domains and is divided into levels from pre-qualifying right through to senior management. The levels aim to reflect to the complexity of work that a social worker undertakes at various points in their career and can help you identify your learning and development needs.
The Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) identify that PEs need to reflect on and evlaute their professional development and apply learning to their subsequent practice education experience. Further details can be found on TCSW webpage.
CPD for Practice Educators
TCSW recommends that all practice educators (PEs) should take full responsibility for a social work student at least once in every two year period. This is in line with HCPC registration requirements and PEs should regard this role as within their 'scope of practice' when it comes to their CPD. Therefore PEs should undertake and reflect on CPD activities linked to their work with social work students. Interventions with other learners, e.g. newly qualified social workers, should also be included but this on its own will not enable a PE to maintain their currency; they must work with a social work student in each two year period in order to do this. Individuals who do not do will find that they are no longer able support and assess social work students on placement and they will need to undertake a refresher course.
CPD for Occupational Therapists
OTs continue to be registered with HCPC and follow the same standards of CPD. The College of Occupational Therapists has a selection of CPD tools which practitioners may find helpful for guiding their CPD.