Continuing professional development (CPD)

This page covers:

  • What is continuing professional development (CPD)?

  • CPD events

  • Support for CPD

  • Removal of CPD regulations

  • CPD guides

  • CPD: teaching, learning and assessment

  • CPD: generic activities

  • CPD: changes in education and training

  • CPD: subject skills and knowledge

  • Useful websites, information and online courses

  • CPD resources for immediate download

What is continuing professional development (CPD)?

CPD is the means by which you can maintain and improve your skills; knowledge and understanding, which should have a positive impact upon your practice. It’s not always about attending courses or gaining qualifications, but about taking responsibility for aspects you need to know more about or improve on. Hopefully this article will give you a few ideas of what you could do to keep up to date with the subject you teach and assess. Some useful websites and resources are listed at the end of this page.

If you work in education, CPD should relate not only to teaching, learning, assessment and quality assurance practices, but also to changes in education policies, the use of technology, and developments regarding your specialist subject. This is known as being a ‘dual professional’. You are a professional teacher and assessor as well as a professional in the subject you teach and assess.

At any time of year, it’s always good to take time to reflect on what has gone well, what hasn't and what can be improved. You can then plan what you need to do next. You can use the ETF Professional Standards as a basis for this.

CPD can be informal or formal, planned well in advance or just be opportunistic. It can also be personal, i.e. to improve something for yourself which will also have an effect upon your professional practice, such as improving time management or they way you communicate.

All CPD should have a real impact upon your role, leading to an improvement in practice and an impact upon learning. Reflecting on your experiences, evaluating your effectiveness, and documenting how this has improved your practice will help you to see the impact your CPD has had.

Online CPD modules for various topics (written by me) in association with KMF Training can be accessed here.

CPD events (mainly online at present)

The Education and Training Foundation have a list of events which are offered by different organisations. You can click on the word 'calendar' on the page to view the events by months.

Lou Mycroft has created a Padlet of events here 

I am no longer delivering events. However, you can follow me on Twitter where I post the latest information regarding the further education, skills and training sector. 

Online CPD modules written by me in association with KMF Training can be accessed here. These cover a variety of topics and can be taken anytime and anywhere (with a suitable device and an internet connection).


Support for CPD

Removal of CPD regulations

The Further Education (FE) Workforce Regulations for England were revoked in 2012. It is no longer a requirement for teachers and assessors in England to make a declaration of their CPD each year. However, if you are a member of a professional association such as the Society for Education and Training (SET), you must make a commitment to carry out CPD each year. The SET offers many free or subsidised online courses and CPD events for their members. You can find out more about CPD from the SET by clicking here. Free courses from SET can be found here.

CPD guides

These guides are from the previous professional association for teachers and trainers: the Institute for Learning (IfL), however, there is still some useful information in them even though they are a bit dated.

IfL Review of CPD

IfL Guidelines for your CPD

The current professional association the Society for Education and Training (SET) has lots of useful advice and support available to members and non-members.

The Education and Training Foundation's Excellence Gateway has lots of free resources and materials for various CPD topics.

CPD: teaching, learning, assessment and quality upgrades

  • It's good practice to update your teaching, learning, assessment and quality assurance knowledge and practice. 

  • In association with KMF Training, I offer short online CPD modules which are only £18 and cover various topics. You can build up your CPD and gain a record of achievement as proof of what you've done. 

  • If you need to upgrade a previous version of a qualification to the current version, you can find details here e.g. if you achieved the assessment and quality assurance units D32/33/34/35 or A1/A2, V1/V2.  

  • If you teach and/or assess the teacher training qualifications, supporting materials are available here and resources are available here.

Before you plan to take a CPD activity, ask yourself the following:

  • What activity can I undertake which will have a positive impact upon my role?

  • How will the activity benefit me professionally and personally?

  • How will the activity benefit the organisation?

  • What will be the impact upon my learners and/or others?

You will need to plan ahead as to how much time you have available for CPD, how much it will cost, and if you can gain any funding towards it. If the organisation does fund it, they may stipulate that you must repay some or all of the amount, should you leave their employment.

CPD: generic activities 

The following are activities which you can carry out as part of your job role, which should only involve time rather than money:

  • attending meetings and standardisation activities
  • carrying out relevant research
  • collaborative working and sharing ideas with your colleagues and others
  • evaluating feedback from peers, learners and others
  • mentoring and coaching new staff
  • networking (online and in person)
  • partaking in relevant organisational events, webinars and training programmes
  • peer observations and mutual support
  • reflecting about what you have done, what impact it has had, and learning from any mistakes
  • shadowing colleagues
  • team teaching
  • updating your English, maths and digital skills
  • using new and emerging technologies for your job role and for teaching, learning and assessment activities.

CPD: changes in the education and training sector

There are constant changes in education; therefore it is crucial to keep up to date and embrace them. Examples include changes to the programmes or qualifications you will deliver and assess, changes to policies and practices within your organisation, regulatory requirements and government initiatives.

Keeping up to date with changes could include:

  • becoming a moderator, examiner or quality assurer
  • following relevant professional standards and/or codes of practice
  • membership of professional organisations
  • researching developments and changes to relevant legislation, policies and procedures
  • subscribing to various updates such as those offered by Ofqual and awarding organisations (see the list at the end of this page).

CPD: subject skills and knowledge

You can partake in lots of activities which cost very little, such as researching websites, reading journals and text books which are relevant to your subject. Many publishers are happy to give away free inspection copies of text books (hard copy or electronic) in return for feedback. This can be a way of ensuring your knowledge of the subject you are teaching is current. Just take a look at any educational publishers' website for 'inspection copies'.

Keeping up to date with your subject could include:

  • creating or updating a reading list in your subject area for your learners 
  • e-learning and online activities
  • industrial and workplace visits
  • membership of professional and trade associations or committees
  • presenting at a conference
  • reading text books and journal articles 
  • researching developments or changes to your subject 
  • secondments
  • voluntary or part-time work
  • work experience placements
  • writing or reviewing books and articles.

You could join free social network sites such as LinkedIn, which is a professional networking site. Here you will find groups you can join which are specifically aimed at your specialist subject. You can post questions and respond to queries, and join in regular discussions. If there isn't a group for your subject area, you could create one. You can join me in the Award, Certificate and Diploma Group.

Useful websites, information and online courses

The following websites are useful to gain up to date information regarding developments in the further education and training sector. Most of them enable you to register for electronic updates or contain links to useful free courses, research and resources.

CPD resources available for immediate download

Template – Personal Development Plan (in Word) (50p)
(Ref AT003) 
1 page template which can be used to plan CPD activities. A completed example is available to purchase below: Ref A9060

Completed example of a Personal Development Plan (80p)
(Ref A9060)
1 page completed example of a personal development plan from the perspective of an assessor. A blank form in Word is available to purchase above: Ref AT003

Template – Continuing Professional Development Record (in Word) (50p)
(Ref AT004)

1 page template which can be used to document completed CPD activities. A completed example is available to purchase below: Ref A9061 

Completed example of a Continuing Professional Development Record (80p)
(Ref A9061) 
1 page completed example of a CPD record from the perspective of an assessor. A blank form in Word is available to purchase above: Ref AT004

Template – Reflective Learning Journal (in Word) (50p)
(Ref AT005) 
1 page template which can be used as a reflective learning journal. A completed example is available to purchase below: Ref I9015

Completed example of a Reflective Learning Journal (£1.50)
(Ref I9015) 
2 page completed example of a reflective learning journal. This is from the perspective of a teacher delivering their first session to a new group of learners. The detailed reflection takes into account theories such as Schon and Brookfield. A blank form in Word is available to purchase above: Ref AT005

More resources are available,

click here for details.

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