CPD Tools

Frequently asked

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

CPD is the ongoing process of maintaining or gaining competence and tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain through either formal training or informal learning in your professional life. Keeping up to date with your CPD provides evidence of your professional competence, allowing you and others to remain confident of your engineering abilities.

As the name implies, CPD is with us throughout our careers. Generally, Initial Professional Development (IPD) is undertaken while working towards professional registration, such as through the Monitored Professional Development Scheme (MPDS), while CPD continues beyond professional registration and throughout your professional career. When looking forward and planning your career goals, your CPD should be an integral part of how you get the additional learning and experience to achieve those goals.

We want our members to embrace CPD on a day-to-day basis – a habit - rather than to view it as a chore to be undertaken in isolation at certain times of the year. That is why we want to make sure the experience of recording your CPD online is as intuitive as possible – please feel free to send us your feedback on the usability of the online tool.

For professionally registered engineers, the Engineering Council (EngC) states that CPD should be based on reflective learning as it will, "encourage an outcome-based approach which is more appropriate to professional learning than relying solely on quantitative measures such as hours or points".

Who can use the Career Developer – CPD Tools?

Professionally registered members (EngTech, IEng or CEng) of the IMechE.

What do I have to do?

We ask that you record your CPD and carry out an appropriate level of reflection on the activities undertaken and goals achieved. We provide Career Developer as a tool for you to record and plan your goals and activities.

We recommend that you use Firefox or Chrome for the best CPD Tools experience.

We understand that you may already have your own method of recording your CPD, or that you work for a company or organisation with an in-house appraisal system which encompasses personal development plans. If you are satisfied that your company scheme meets all your professional development needs, then that is all you need to tell us. However as part of the annual audit, in a small number of cases, we may ask to see some evidence of your activities and reflective learning statements.

What counts towards my CPD?

Our approach to CPD is about learning outcomes achieved, rather than time spent on an activity. CPD activities will vary depending on where you are in your career and what you are aiming to achieve; they are individual to each engineer, so no quantitative measures are given.

Anything related to professional development counts and should be measured in terms of how much you, the individual, learn from it.

There are many forms of learning:

Some examples of CPD activities:

Publishing papers

Training courses

Learning a language

Delivering presentations


Coaching / training

Institution events

Online learning


STEM activities

Attending lectures


Organising events

Attending conferences

Attending seminars

Reading PE Magazine

Reading Institution News


On the job training

Writing for journals

Regulation updates

Being on a committee

What is Reflective Practice?

Reflective practice is a way of supporting continuous learning. It can be summarised as:

  • looking back – and thinking critically
  • looking forward – and planning positively

How much CPD do I have to do?

The Institution does not count ‘points’ or ‘hours’ as some other Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) do.

CPD is constituted by any activity where you have learned something of use to you in your profession. This may be broadening (learning a new technology or skill), deepening of your skills (keeping up to date in your specialist field) or supporting others (mentoring, STEM ambassador etc.).

It may be through formal study (evening classes, Open University qualifications etc.), taking on new responsibilities (chairing a committee, leading a project team etc.) or general activities (attending seminars, industrial visits etc.).

Volunteering activities within the Institution count towards CPD, as do other voluntary roles such as School Governor, District Councillor. Other examples are  reading Professional Engineer magazine, attending webinars, taking on a new project, watching lectures through the Institution's ‘on-demand’ system – all of these count. These lists are not prescriptive or exhaustive: each engineers CPD goals and activities will be individual to themselves as they define what would be useful learning for themselves.

Do extracurricular activities count?

Yes, extracurricular activities can count, as long as you identify how it is linked to your professional registration. For example it could be around interacting with others, or how you might put the skills you have learnt into practice.

What are the CPD regulations?

As a Member/Fellow (IEng, CEng or EngTech) you have already committed to keeping your knowledge and skills up to date through planned professional development, as explained in the Institution’s Code of Conduct. As of January 2017, CPD audit has become a mandatory requirement on IMechE, as part of our licence regulations. The CPD audit is undertaken through the mechanism of random sampling.

As of January 2019, recording of CPD will become mandatory for all professionally registered and active engineers. Repeated failure to engage in the audit requirement on request from IMechE will ultimately result in a loss of registration. 

Are EngTech Members expected to do CPD?

Yes. Engineering Technicians make a commitment to maintain their CPD and it is expected that they will do so in the same manner as all other registrants. CPD should be appropriate to their work, and recording in Career Developer is encouraged.

I am a retired Member/Fellow; does CPD apply to me?

Yes<span"> - if you consider yourself to be ‘active in the profession'</span">

No - if you are 'not active in the profession’.

Please note the distinction between being ‘active in the profession’ which may be working many hours a week in a voluntary role as a STEM ambassador, Professional Review Interviewer, committee member etc. as opposed to being ‘professionally active’ meaning you get paid for being an engineer. In this example, the activities that make you ‘active in the profession’ are also your CPD activities.

If selected for audit you may self-certify as 'not active in the profession’ for a variety of reasons, in which case we will not ask you for details of your CPD.

I am a member of more than one professional engineering institution. Do I have to log my CPD with each one?

No. You would not be expected to duplicate your CPD records.

However, if you would like to receive feedback from the IMechE or you are requested to submit evidence as part of the audit, then you would need to upload this into your Document Vault within the CPD Tools.

Can I capture my CPD in a spreadsheet and upload to the Document Vault?

Capturing CPD on a spreadsheet is acceptable, as long as there is evidence of reflective practice against any of your goals and/or activities.

Can I download, export or print all of my CPD records in one go?

Unfortunately, there is currently no functionality to allow you to download or print all of your CPD records in one go, but we hope to implement this functionality in the next stage of development.

However you can print or download each one individually by clicking the 'Print' button in each activity or goal.




Annual Audit Process:

CPD Audit stagest

How are members selected for the CPD audit?

5% of Professionally Registered members (CEng/IEng or EngTech) will be randomly selected for CPD audit each year.

If selected for Stage 1 CPD Audit, what do I need to do?

In the first instance, you will be asked to select a statement that best applies to you:

  • I would like feedback from the Institution on my CPD plans and achievements over the past year; or
  • I am not seeking additional feedback, because:
    • I have a valid company appraisal that satisfactorily covers my CPD needs
    • I am involved in volunteering activities (either through the Institution, STEMNet or other engineering related body) that covers my CPD needs
    • I applied for professional registration within the last two years and my CPD was assessed at interview
    • I record my CPD with another institution
    • I am not currently ‘active in the profession’ (retired, maternity/paternity, career break, unemployed etc.)

If you chose to receive feedback, then please make sure your CPD records are up to date for the previous 12 months.

Please note: if you are not seeking feedback, we may still request to see a sample of your CPD as part of the audit, which you can upload into your Document Vault.

Can I volunteer to take part in the CPD audit?

Yes you can. If you visit the CPD Audit tab with Career Developer – CPD Tools you can indicate your interest to participate in the next audit. If you do this at any point during the current year you will receive an invite to join in the following year’s audit.

What feedback will I receive from the audit?

The feedback will be available in two stages, with Stage 2 being optional:

  • Stage 1 is the initial review and feedback of the CPD records which takes place between January and June each year. It reviews CPD from the previous 12 months and provides a ‘light touch’ feedback focusing on positive aspects and suggestions for enhancement.
  • Stage 2 is a more in depth review that will take place between July and November. Members who have received Stage 1 feedback will be invited, to choose to submit more CPD information. Stage 2 feedback will provide more detailed feedback focussing on planning for future CPD and goals.

Please note: Stage 2 is by invitation and is only available to members’ who completed Stage 1 in the same year.


Who will see my CPD records?

Your CPD submission will only be viewed by trained CPD assessors, who will all be full members of the Institution, and the Institution's CPD administration staff. It will have the same level of confidentiality as when you submitted your membership application.

You should not be submitting any commercially sensitive information or confidential documents, but as you are only asked to submit a summary of information for your CPD records, this should not cause any conflicts.

What will the CPD assessors review during the Stage 1 audit?

Any goals, activities and documents recorded in Career Developer during the previous calendar year, will be reviewed for audit. Please ensure they are marked ‘Yes’ to allow our CPD assessors access for your review.

If you have completed a SWOT analysis or used the Benchmarking tool, then they will also be made available to the CPD assessors.

Can I discuss my feedback with the CPD assessor?

Unfortunately, we are not able to put you in touch with our assessors, but our staff are more than happy to answer any question you may have.

The purpose of the CPD audit is to provide our members with general feedback on their CPD and provide possible suggestions for any opportunities for the future. The feedback we are giving at this point is quite high level, providing members with an indication that they are on the right track and suggestions for possible further development. It is important to remember that these are only recommendations and not conditions of ‘approved’ CPD. At this stage we are not operating a pass/fail system and recognise that individuals will have different development paths and opportunities. Our focus is very much on reflective practice and how members take what they have learned and apply it to future practice.

Need some help?

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