FREE CPD Accreditation – does it really exist? Some thoughts and guidance

Get CPD accredited for FREE - does it really exist?

The CPD Certification Service is the leading and largest CPD accreditation provider with over 25 years’ experience working with organisations across industries. Our background and experience enables us to provide the highest level of training course and event CPD accreditation.

A guide to CPD Accreditation

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and describes learning activities that a professional completes to develop and enhance their capabilities. CPD enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive.

CPD combines different types of training such as eLearning, workshops, seminars, conferences and events all focused for professionals to improve their work abilities.

The CPD Certification Service have 25 years experience providing recognised CPD accreditation for organisations ranging from small consultancy firms to large training providers, multi-national corporations, conference & events organisers, universities, further education colleges, local authorities, councils and Government departments.

This article provides some simple guidance on the possible risks and concerns surrounding getting accredited for free CPD accreditation.

Our thoughts on 'FREE' CPD accreditation

Cheap and easy is not often considered a sustainable suitable alternative for quality and reliability. Industry recognised CPD accreditation gives organisations and learners peace of mind when investing their time and money into training resources.

When it comes to training course accreditation, the process should be thoroughly tested against industry recognised benchmarks and standards. It takes time and effort to assess a training course and to make sure value-add is provided to the learner.

If your training courses have free CPD accreditation, has it really been assessed or did you just get a free logo? How will this attitude reflect on your business by your potential clients?

We do not want organisations not be fooled by marketing spin that claims to provide free CPD accreditation. There is a view there is no such thing as getting accredited for 'free' CPD accreditation, and you should be dubious of such free offers. There is a common saying; “you get what you pay for”.

Thousands of training providers work with us to get CPD accredited

Is “Get CPD Accredited for FREE” just marketing?

There has been a minor surge of new companies using marketing terminology such as “FREE CPD Accreditation” and “Get CPD Accredited for FREE”. In many instances where there is advertising of ‘free accreditation’ you will find later hidden fees when you actually need to accredit your courses or events.

Possibly you maybe spending more than when you originally joined, or are buying a relatively new logo that may not even have industry trademarks in place. Furthermore, we have noticed some new ‘free accreditation’ websites copying and pasting content from our main CPD website.

It is always worth doing some due diligence as your business brand is important. Do you know how much value you are adding to your company by marketing your free CPD accreditation?

Does 'FREE' accreditation risk your business?

Has free CPD accreditation obtained recognised validation? How can you get CPD accredited for free if training courses and events need to be assessed to the highest standards of learning? Who is paying for the quality assessments and further support? Are courses and events being approved without review?

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of free CPD accreditation. Align your business to the best support you can get. What message are you portraying to your target audience if you charge them for training and events but use free CPD accreditation.

The risks involved aligning to cheap and free alternatives sometimes do not outweigh the benefits. Quality standards can decrease, service and support may fall aside, and trustworthiness can be questioned at times.

CPD Accreditation FAQs

Why become an accredited CPD provider?

Organisations become a CPD provider in order to meet more of the right target audience, distinguish from market competitors, increase delegate bookings for courses and events as well as create and maximise new business opportunities.

How are training and events assessed?

CPD submissions are assessed and certified against the universally accepted structured checklist which The CPD Certification Service has developed over the past 20+ years. The process takes an impartial and objective overview of structure and value to ensure full conformity to CPD guidelines.  

What are the steps to obtain CPD accreditation?

Gaining accreditation for training courses helps organisations formalise their knowledge into a recognised approach to learning. The first phase of the course accreditation process is to have an informal consultation to ensure training courses and events are suitable for Continuing Professional Development.  

How much does CPD accreditation cost?

Organisations wishing to embrace CPD can display their commitment through membership of The CPD Certification Service. The CPD Service provides a range of cost effective CPD fees and subscriptions to suit your budget. Membership levels are determined by an initial dialogue resulting in recommendations for your most effective routes to market. CPD Providers are able to utilise key features of CPD membership to help support business, marketing and training objectives.

See more FAQs


Our events are CPD certified, demonstrating our commitment to deliver high-quality training and adhere to a code of best practice.

Clare Gallagher - Healthcare Conferences

This is the start of a plan to align more closely with CPD. This is the first stage on a journey to see not just our training but also all of our events, conferences, forums and webinars formally certified to CPD guidelines.

Fiona Macaskill - Credit Services Association

Every conference we produce is CPD certified and the CPD logo is placed on the brochure. We also issue a certificate of attendance confirming that the event is a CPD accredited course.

Patrycja Denton - Capita Conferences