Continuing professional development (CPD) should help you develop as a practitioner, and benefit your service users
Our standards say you need to ‘seek to ensure’ the CPD you’ve done has enabled you to do these two things (standards 3 and 4 of our CPD standards).
What do these standards mean in practice?
These standards mean you should choose CPD activities you believe will:
- improve your work; and
- have a positive impact for your service users.
These two points go hand in hand. In many cases, the benefits to your service users will be results of improvements you have made to your practice.
For example, a CPD activity might improve your work because you have gained new skills, and as a result you are able to provide a better service to your service users.
What does ‘seek to ensure’ mean?
You won’t always know whether an activity will improve your work or benefit your service users before you do it. Sometimes, you may take part in a CPD activity, only to find it is not as helpful as you thought it would be.
This is why standards 3 and 4 include the phrase ‘seek to ensure’. You should always try to choose CPD activities you believe will be beneficial.
If they are not, you should think about why the activity was not as helpful as you expected, and what you might do differently in future. As long as you can explain this if asked, you will meet this standard.
What do I submit for audit?
If you were selected for audit, you would need to submit a CPD profile including a statement of how you have met the standards. To meet our standards, in your statement you should tell us how you meet standards 3 and 4, by explaining:
- how your CPD activities have improved the quality of your work and benefited your service users; or
- how you believed your CPD would improve the quality of your work or benefit your service users, but if this has not been the case for a specific activity, why this was and what you will do in future.
Don’t send us evidence of all your CPD activities. We only need evidence to support the activities you have written about to demonstrate CPD standards 3 and 4.
One way to complete your statement is to choose four to six CPD activities you have undertaken and for each one tell us:
- what the activity was;
- what you learned; and
- how you think the activity improved the quality of your work and had a positive impact for your service users.
Writing your statement in this way can be a clear and simple way of showing us how you have met the standards.
Make sure to include supporting evidence for the CPD activities you have written about in your statement.
Who are my service users?
We use the term service user a lot, and it has a wide application. We define ‘service user’ as anyone who uses your services or is affected by your work.
Who your service users are depends on how and where you work. For example:
- if you are in ‘front line’ or lab-based practice, your service users might include patients, clients, carers, other professionals and others you provide services to;
- if you work in education, your service users might include your students; and
- if you are a manager, your service users might include the team you manage.