A frequent question about Continuing Professional Development is how CPD is recorded, and specifically the question, “What is a CPD point, unit or credit?” The subsequent question is regularly, “How do CPD points relate to CPD Hours?” With the increasing number of professional bodies in the UK and their varying annual requirements of Continuing Professional Development, a natural split in common language terms and expression will arise. Different professional bodies use the terms ‘CPD points’, ‘CPD units’ or ‘CPD credits’ diversely depending on preference, typically for historical reasons when initially implementing their CPD policy, rather than from a modern day strategic perspective.
It is often found across all industries that CPD points, units and credits all relate to the same thing, CPD Hours? What are CPD Hours? The definition of a CPD Hour is the time spent for a delegate to be in “active learning”. Active learning defines the actual time spent learning something relevant for their Continuing Professional Development objectives. A great example of this would be 1-day accredited CPD training course. If the training starts at 9 am and ends at 5 pm, with a 1-hour break for lunch, the CPD Hours would be 7 CPD Hours.
For added information, it is estimated that 95% of all professional bodies use CPD Hours as their Continuing Professional Development measure and that where the terms CPD points, units or credits are used, these are in a typical 1:1 ratio with CPD Hours. By this, it is meant that typically 1 CPD point equals 1 CPD Hour.