Continuing professional development (CPD)
Whatever you want to achieve, or wherever you are in your career, we're here to help you maintain consistently high standards and create new career opportunities, while keeping your knowledge up to date.
What is professional development?
Continuing professional development (CPD) is both a professional expectation and a personal responsibility for psychologists.
It's all about you and the benefits that continually improving and expanding your knowledge can provide in the real world.
We work with subject-matter experts to create learning opportunities that include a wide range of topics, available on BPS Learn, to provide you with learning and development opportunities.
How do I manage my professional development?
Our members are expected to:
“[adopt a] structured and self-managed approach to further learning through actively engaging in CPD, maintaining a record of CPD and applying learning to professional practice.” - BPS CPD Policy, 2012
- Registers and CPD
- Support and deliver CPD
Why is CPD important?
CPD is the professional, work related aspect of your lifelong learning. It is an integral part of the process of adapting to change, and is essential for maintaining and enhancing professionalism and competence for all members.
Undertaking CPD will help you add value to your capability as a professional by increasing your knowledge, skills and personal qualities.
With the complexity of working life, the accelerating pace of change and the half-life of knowledge gained in initial training, continual learning is crucial if you want to stay on top.
Why not share what you’ve learnt amongst your peers and within your professional networks to further develop your understanding, and create an impact on the profession as a whole.
Engaging in CPD can bring a range of benefits
By engaging with the CPD process, you will develop your knowledge and skills beyond the minimum requirements for entry into the profession.
You will expand and fulfil your potential by incorporating purposeful learning into your professional life and your CPD record will enhance your employability and support you in driving your career forward.
You’re probably already doing it
As psychologists, reflective practice is almost second nature and is an approach that we begin during training.
Regular supervision sessions allow time and space to share what’s been learnt at work, recognise areas for improvement, and identify goals.
Whether you choose to use MyCPD or have another way of making a record, you’re on the right track.
The Professional Development team has commissioned a number of case studies from current members as a way of providing insight and advice about how to get the best from the CPD system.
Dr Lindsay Peer CPsychol AFBPsS
Dr Lindsay Peer CBE is a Chartered Psychologist, Registered Educational Psychologist, and an Associate Fellow of the Society. She is also a Co-Director of Peer Gordon Associates and, in 2017, she was the recipient of a Science Council CPD award commendation.
1. What advice would you offer to peers to encourage them to engage with CPD?
The following works for me:
- Seeking out engaging and stimulating topics which make me think and which can influence good practice
- Choosing a range of CPD modes of delivery e.g. attendance at conferences, discussions with colleagues / service users, reading of current research and practice and consideration of effectiveness, suitability and usefulness in my practice
- Developing personal interests, skills and areas of expertise. Delivering webinars, conference talks and / or INSETs which give the format and structure to update my knowledge and skills, as well as the ability to share with a range of other professionals / users. INSETs and conferences are also useful places to learn from the findings, experiences and concerns of others which help hone my thinking and ability to effectively problem solve
- Looking out for gaps in knowledge and practice in various spheres of work; using my skills and either working alone or with other professionals in order to find answers. If they work, share them - reviewing, writing or speaking about them
- Volunteering when asked; sharing knowledge, skills and experience is which is always appreciated
- Documenting CPD immediately on return from whatever activity has been undertaken. Although good notes are helpful, reflections are best when the activity is fresh in my mind
2. How do you approach your CPD?
With interest! Consider previously established developmental needs, then search for appropriate places to learn more.
Seek both academic and practical areas of input in order to vary learning.
Consider how to best use that newly learned, in order to enhance my practice, making it better for my clients – whether they are people in need themselves or other professionals who will benefit from updated knowledge and skills as they support others.
Seek areas where there are unknown solutions and work with others to increase and share knowledge.
Participating in a SIG and/or conference team in an area of skill thereby working with professionals from the same and other fields. We all contribute and learn more.
Working with overseas researchers and/or practitioners in order to share knowledge and skills internationally – through speaking and/or writing.
3. Why is CPD important to you?
Research and practice evolve over time and it is important to keep up to date.
We all have our areas of interest and expertise. Sometimes we come across new aspects which are of considerable interest; I want to understand them and work towards that aim.
To help effect positive change – starting with my own skills and knowledge, add updated information and then apply it in various circumstances.
I find engaging with others, especially multi-disciplinary work, broadens my knowledge, perspective and thinking and improves my practice. It is stimulating and enlightening.
Like all psychologists, overall I just try to work the way that feels right - learning, using my experience and judgment, then striving to increase and share knowledge and good practice for the bettering of individuals and society.
Shelly Rubinstein CPsychol AFBPsS
Shelly Rubinstein is a Chartered Psychologist, Registered Occupational Psychologist, and Chief Executive of Impact - Psychology for Business. Her CPD submission for 2017 was specifically highlighted by the Membership Advisory Group as a particularly impressive example of how to cover and incorporate a wide range of activities and learning points.
1. How do you approach your CPD?
I approach it with enthusiasm, it is a daily ongoing process. I am curious and learn every day, I see myself as a work in progress and value reflecting on what was successful that I should repeat and what could be improved in the way that I have done something This comes from taking an appreciative approach to life.
Everything I do is an opportunity for CPD even if it is not related to formal Occupational Psychology. When I am reading I make notes of thoughts that might be useful in CPD, or when I am engaging with the team or clients, it may spark of thoughts that help with CPD. I find monthly supervision extremely value for expressing these ideas and it helps with my coaching. When I am carrying out client work there are so many opportunities from the outset when researching the approach to the implementation and evaluation. Often the client will not want to pay for evaluation but we do it anyway so that we can all learn. That is the ethos of our organisation and we invest in CPD for everyone, if we are scientists we must have an evidence base for what we do and evaluation is crucial for that.
2. Why is CPD important to you?
It contributes to the service that we give to our clients. I am an experiential learner and my ongoing improvement of how I do things is CPD. I always say that I like my CPD but being honest, I don’t like writing it up, it feels a bit tiresome when I start the process, although after a while it starts to flow and sparks off other thoughts and is part of the improvement process in itself, an added extra that I wasn’t expecting.
The benefits of CPD to the way I work and ultimately to my clients has made me make time for it. My colleagues in the team also take time to reflect and we review all of our work with “What went well” and “What would be even better if…” this means that we offer a better service and the team have increased job satisfaction. As a company Impact Psychology for Business values continuous learning and encouraging active CPD is part of our ethos, I think we need to do what we say we do to be authentic.
3. What advice would you offer to peers to encourage them to engage with CPD?
I thought CPD was a chore, not the learning but the writing up, it is time consuming and it seems quite daunting when we have so much to do in our “day jobs” and juggling home life.
I am sure that we all know CPD is not an added extra it is what we need to do every day it is called continuous for a reason, so reflection is what I find helpful. Being mindful about how we are behaving and learning every day is nourishing for us as Psychologists.
Look for opportunities all the time to improve and don’t worry about making mistakes, that is how we learn, I learn all of the time through this method!
It is a mind set and when you view CPD as an enabler for what you do, it changes how you may feel about it. It is the writing up and the submitting to the portal that seems a challenge to so many, my advice would be to do “little and often” bite sized chunks means it is less onerous, planning in weekly CPD write up sessions has certainly helped me. I make notes and then copy them into the portal. I am sure that everyone will have their own favourite method but putting thoughts into Notes in my phone helps me. I am happy to chat to anyone about CPD.
When you register with the HCPC, and then each time you renew your registration, you will be asked to confirm that you meet the HCPC’s CPD standards.
This involves maintaining a record of a mixture of CPD activities that contribute to the quality of your practice and benefit your service users.
A sample of registrants will be selected for a CPD audit at the point of registration renewal.
We have developed some sample CPD profiles for Practitioner Psychologists to help you if you are selected.
For more details on the standards for CPD and CPD audits, visit the HCPC website.
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