Simple advice on recording your CPD activities

Simple advice on recording your CPD activities

25 May 2022

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It is crucial when completing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities to include the process of recording and reflecting. This article provides a breakdown of what is a CPD record, what do you need to record your CPD activities, benefits of recording your CPD, where can I record my CPD as well as general tips for recording your CPD.

What is a CPD record?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is all about maintaining and improving your skills and knowledge through training courses and qualifications. A CPD record is usually kept in the form of a portfolio, and should include goals and objectives in order to help you reflect and improve even more. It's a record of what you experience, learn and then apply. Most professionals will be required to maintain a CPD record and update it regularly in order to meet the requirements of the professional bodies within their industry.

What do you need to record your CPD activities?

If you are thinking about what needs to be in your Continuing Professional Development record, a good place to start would be the date that the training took place. This is so you can keep a clear and concise record of when you took the time to develop your skills, and if the course lasts over a couple of weeks or months then it will be far easier to monitor when you participated.

The next thing we would recommend when logging your CPD record would be the duration of any training course that you have completed. A CPD activity is recorded in terms of learning outcomes and practical application of the knowledge obtained. This is typically measured by the number of hours an individual delegate has spent in a learning environment. It is typically down to the individual to record the correct or most appropriate level of CPD hours for their professional body.

Logging and recording your CPD activities

Benefits of recording your CPD

All professionals that are required to register with an official industry body undertake a commitment to engage in Continuing Professional Development each year. It is usually mandatory for you to regularly record any CPD activities or personal reflections so that you can produce your records on request. Keeping a record of your CPD training will help you determine if you’re on track with your CPD plan for the year. This will help you to identify any gaps or areas where you need to do more learning, so you can plan what courses to attend for the next year.

Besides from the actual requirement to record your CPD activities, there are also many benefits to you as an individual. We have listed a few key benefits below:

  • Increase your capacity and commitment to learning
  • Enhance career prospects by having a record of individual upskilling
  • Encourage learning in a variety of areas that your job roll encompasses
  • Evaluate/reflect on professional development you achieved while helping you to identify gaps in learning for next year
  • Increase resilience to changes in the industry

Where can I record my CPD?

You can keep your CPD records in whatever format works for you. Some professionals will use their employer’s personal development plan, but if this isn’t available then it is down to you to log your progress however you like.

You could choose to keep a binder or folder of any CPD related documents such as certificates and notes. Understandably, most choose to keep an electronic record and use an Excel or Word document. Some of the professional bodies in certain industries have online platforms that you can log any CPD with, so you could use one of them should a body within your industry have that option available.

If none of this sounds quite right for you, then we offer a free myCPD Portal on our website where you can log all CPD activities for free. You can set up your own personal page where information can be logged for each year and you can upload all of your CPD certificates for each CPD activity that offers one. This is a free and easy way to keep all of your CPD logged in one place and should prevent it from being a laborious task when you need to reflect on the training you have done over the year.

Top tips for recording CPD activities

General tips for recording your CPD

When recording your CPD activities we would recommend on initially deciding where you are going to log your CPD. When logging your CPD activities, it is fundamental to include certain topics to ensure your records are as comprehensive as possible. We would recommend including the following topics:

1. Learning objective.

2. Date. 

3. Subject area. 

4. Method of learning. 

5. Number of hours. 

6. Points, if awarded. 

7. Learning outcome.

In the notes section of your CPD records, it is important to make your learning/development needs specific as if it is too broad then it will be difficult to evaluate your learning. You should be aiming to document about 1-2 pieces of learning per month, but this will vary based on the number of hours your professional body or employer require you to complete each year. The person reviewing your CPD log won’t know you or your learning/development needs, so make sure your entries are as thorough as possible so they can gauge what happened on the day. It is really important to write a brief statement on the learning outcomes, even if this is different from the original learning/development need.

Focus your planned CPD on those activities that are likely to have the biggest impact on your service users, your colleagues and your organisation. Make sure to discuss your CPD training with colleagues and peers as this may provide you with a broader range of ideas for your CPD records and identify any areas that might need more attention. You should be aiming to record as many continuing professional development activities as possible as this will not only help you to track your individual professional development, but can also be used as proof of your upskilling each year.

We hope this article on recording your CPD activities was helpful. If you are looking for training, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements, please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more information. Alternatively visit the myCPD Portal page to log all of your CPD activities in one easy to use place.

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For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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