Continuing professional development (CPD)

This page covers:

  • What is continuing professional development (CPD)?

  • CPD events

  • Removal of CPD regulations

  • CPD: teaching, learning, assessment and quality assurance

  • CPD: generic activities

  • CPD: changes in the education and training sector

  • 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 the information on this page will give you a few ideas of what you could do to keep up to date with the subject you teach and assess, as well as your teaching skills. Some useful websites and resources are listed at the end of the 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 the 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 are available.

CPD events

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.

AmplifyFE have a list of events.

I am no longer delivering events but you can see details and photos from my previous events.

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

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. 

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CPD: teaching, learning, assessment and quality assurance

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

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

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

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

  • There are many online providers of CPD and qualifications, please check out this information before signing up, to ensure that you are getting the service you expect.

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 and the teaching of my subject?

  • How will the activity benefit me professionally and personally?

  • How will the activity benefit the organisation?

  • What will the impact be 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 obtain any funding. If your organisation funds 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 and associations
  • 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 relevant information on websites, and reading journals and text books relating to your subject. Many publishers are happy to give away free inspection copies of text books (hard copy or electronic) in return for feedback. Reading them and providing feedback 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 of suitable text books 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 which 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 Further Education 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 Skills sector. Most of them enable you to register for electronic updates or contain links to useful free courses; relevant research and resources.  Do check out these tips for finding a legitimate provider before you sign up for a course. The websites are not endorsed by me, they are for your information, and I recommend that you check their legitimacy before agreeing to anything.

CPD resources 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.

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