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The ins and outs of CPD

29 May 2017
  • Registration

Olivia Bird

Policy Manager, HCPC Policy and Standards

CPD is vital, but it doesn’t need to be daunting.

CPD is vital, but it doesn’t need to be daunting. This blog will break down why the HCPC asks registrants to maintain CPD, and aims to address any concerns around practicing and keeping track of your CPD.

Meeting our CPD standards is a requirement of your registration. Most of the professionals on our Register selected for audit demonstrate that their CPD is adequate and up to date. However, we know many people still worry about whether the CPD they are doing is sufficient. We also recognise that health and care professionals often work in challenging and complex environments with limited time and access to formal learning and development.

Below we highlight the HCPC’s flexibility when it comes to CPD, and give some background on what we expect from those selected for audit.

Why do CPD?

We all know that CPD is important because you continue to learn and develop, keeping skills and knowledge up to date so you are able to practise safely and effectively throughout your career. 

A flexible approach based on outcomes

Our approach to CPD is flexible, taking into account different working roles, learning needs and variation in access to certain types of CPD for professionals registered with us. We don’t set a number of hours or points and we do not ‘approve’ or ‘endorse’ any CPD activity.

The choice of appropriate activities is up to the individual. We are much more interested in the outcomes of their learning, how this has benefitted their practice and ultimately the service users. 

CPD is much wider than formal courses 

Many people tend to focus on formal courses, but CPD is any activity from which you learn and develop. It is easy to get ‘stuck’ on course attendance’ but it is important to remember that we are looking for a mixture of learning activities.

There are plenty of ways to meet the CPD standards. Things like e-learning, case discussions and the reading you may have done are all good examples. The smallest activities can often have an impact on your knowledge, ability and service delivery. This could be as simple as describing a conversation you had with a colleague that may have challenged your thinking, led you to explore the evidence base and may then have led to a change in practice. This is as legitimate an activity as attending a conference.

It is important to remember that the assessors are specifically looking for a range of activities that illustrate your continuing CPD.

Working with employers

CPD is linked to registration and you need to meet our CPD standards to stay registered. We can remove you from the Register if you do not. It is, therefore, important that professionals stay fit to practise for the benefit of service users and remain on the Register. We recognise that employers play an important role in this and need to understand our regulatory requirements and processes. We are in regular contact with employers throughout the UK, through our events and workshops, ensuring they are aware of our standards and what they mean for their employees. 

Further guidance and support

  • Professional body resources

If you are a member of your professional body, many have member resources including guidance, online planning systems and events to help you with your CPD. Make sure you check with them about what they have to offer as this could save you time and effort.

  • HCPC CPD resources

We have a comprehensive section on our website about CPD. As well as taking you through the Standards, there are practical examples about the process. For more information, visit

Page updated on: 04/09/2018