continuing professional development
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) describes the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their knowledge, skills and competence.
How do I manage my CPD?
All members and registrants have an obligation to undertake and record their own CPD activities. Examples of activities include attending training courses, conferences and workshops, reading or writing an article for a technical journal, volunteering, mentoring or sharing knowledge and expertise.
Recording your CPD progress can be done through a simple spreadsheet or company training record, providing it contains the required information. Alternatively, you can set up an account in mycareerpath™, an online tool that can be accessed through the member’s area of the website.
How can the InstMC help?
InstMC runs a range of training courses and events, through its Local Sections, which can contribute to your CPD. You can find details in the Events calendar. We also have a peer-reviewed journal and technical resource library available online to members. Or you can join any of the 8 InstMC Special Interest Groups to network, share expertise, learn and keep up to date on industry news and developments.
The InstMC is required to conduct an annual CPD audit and report outcomes to the Engineering Council. We randomly select a sample of members and ask them to submit their CPD records for review. Feedback is then provided with suggestions where appropriate. It is a requirement of our Bye Laws that members co-operate with this request and our primary goal in the process is to help our members gain maximum benefit from CPD activity.
You can learn more about CPD in our policy statement and get some tips and see examples of good practice in our Guide.
Continuing Professional Development Guide
What is cpd?
CPD stands for continuing professional development. It is used to describe the acquisition of new skills and knowledge, and the development of personal qualities which help you maintain and grow your professional competence.
Engaging in CPD helps you keep your skills knowledge and experience up to date and supports your career development.
Why do I need to record CPD?
Recording and reflecting on your CPD activities will help you get the most from these activities and demonstrates a commitment to your profession.
Undertaking and keeping a record of CPD is a requirement for active, InstMC members (excluding students and affiliates) and Engineering Council registrants.
Do I need to record CPD if I am not registered with the Engineering Council?
Yes, not only is it good for your professional development, it is also a requirement for all active InstMC members (students and affiliates excluded)
Do I need to record CPD if I am retired?
You only need to record CPD if you are professionally active.
You may be retired from employment but still involved in professional activities related to engineering, such as volunteering with the Institute, Engineering Council, or other organisations. In this case you would still be considered professionally active, and should therefore be undertaking and recording relevant CPD.
If you are unsure if you would count as professionally active, please get in touch and we can advise you.
What should I do for CPD and how many hours should I do?
InstMC and the Engineering Council do not specify a set number of hours or types of CPD activities that members/registrants should be doing.
CPD activities will vary from person to person, and the amount and sort of CPD you do is likely to change many times over the course of your career.
It is possible that your employer has specific CPD requirements that you will need to meet.
What activities could I record in my CPD record?
CPD can take many different forms and there is no set list of activates that you must include as part of your CPD.
Some examples of the sorts or activities you might include are:
- Formal Learning: e.g. Courses, Seminars and Technical Meetings.
- Informal Learning: e.g. On-the-job training, Workshops, Reading Technical Journals/Books.
- Peer and Professional Interaction: e.g. Supporting the learning and development of others by mentoring and sharing professional expertise and knowledge,
- Contributions to the Profession: e.g. Presenting Research Writing Technical Articles & Papers.
- Volunteering: e.g. Contributing to InstMC Activities.
- Developing wider Business Skills: e.g. Planning, Value Management, Financial Planning, Business Regulation, Charity Law.
What should I include in my CPD record?
Your CPD record must include:
- A plan/objectives
- List of CPD activities undertaken,
- Reflection on what you have learned or achieved through your CPD activities
- Evaluation of your CPD activities against any plan or objectives you have set
- Evidence that you review your learning and development plan regularly, following reflection and assessment of future needs
You can see some examples in our Guide
Is there a required format for submitting my CPD record?
You can submit your CPD record to us in any format as long as it covers all the points included above.
To help members with their CPD record we have provided an Excel and Word template but you are not required to use it.
You also have the option of using “mycareerpath” to track and record your CPD. You can find a link to this in the members’ area of the website.
How does InstMC check CPD records?
Every year the Institute conducts a CPD audit.
At the start of the audit a random selection of 5% of the current members and/or registrants are contacted and asked to submit their CPD record covering the last 12 months for assessment.
Those records are then sent to a trained assessors to review. If your CPD record is found to be satisfactory you will be excluded from the random sample selection in a CPD audit for the next 3 years.
What happens if I submit a CPD record that does not meet requirements?
If your record does not meet the requirements, we will send you clear feedback and offer you support as well as and the opportunity to make adjustments and resubmit. If your record is still not satisfactory by the end of the audit period, you may get included in the CPD audit the following year.
What happens if I ignore requests to submit my CPD record when asked?
Failure to engage with the CPD audit will lead to you being declared CPD Non-Compliant. Registrants with the Engineering Council who are found to be Non-Compliant by the end of the Audit period will be subject to the Institute’s CPD Non-Compliant Procedures, which may result in us asking the Engineering Council to remove your name from the professional register.
Members may also be risking their membership with the Institute as a commitment to undertaking and recording CPD is a requirement.
InstMC will make every effort to get in contact with those selected for the CPD Audit, and this will include a mixture of emails, letters, and phone calls. However, we will only use the contact data that you have provided to us, so please check your details are up to date by logging into the Members’ Area of the website.
What should I do if I have been chosen for the audit, but I think I am exempt?
Do not ignore the request as you risk being found CPD Non-Compliant.
Get in touch with us as soon as you can to let us know why you think you are exempt.
There are many reasons why a member and/or registrant might be exempt from a CPD audit.
These include but are not limited to:
- Long term illness
- Career break
- No longer professionally active
- Maternity/Parental leave
What should I do if I have any other questions or need support with my CPD?