CPD is about maintaining and extending your professional competence.
Our approach to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is focused on learning outcomes. 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 and there are currently no quantitative measures required, i.e. hours spent or points-based system.
Activities such as on the job learning, projects, problem solving, research, conferences, mentoring, volunteering, technical learning, management training and so much more – all count as valid CPD.
Formal and informal development activities
Formal CPD is the easiest to identify, whether it be attending a conference, going on a management course or attaining new qualifications. It is commonly misunderstood as the only recognised form of CPD; often overlooked is the value of informal learning.
Research has shown that only 10% of learning comes from formal training. The 70:20:10 model suggests that 20% of learning originates from working with others, e.g. coaching colleagues, collaboration on projects or giving/receiving feedback, and 70% from experience, experiment and reflection (e.g. problem solving, challenging tasks, auditing/reviewing.
A lot of what you do in your day-to-day work can contribute towards your development; this could be increasing your knowledge and understanding of engineering through research for a new project; taking on responsibility for a new budget; and even developing you communication and inter-personal abilities in coaching others.
UK-SPEC as a framework
There is an increased emphasis for ethical principles, sustainability, risk, and where appropriate, security and whistleblowing, to be covered as part of your annual CPD activities. However, anything related to professional development counts and should be measured in terms of how much you, the individual, learn from it. Most importantly, CPD is not just technical development; UK-SPEC mostly covers non-technical competences and anything that increases your skills in management. Communication or your community involvement and commitment to the profession can and should also be recorded as valid CPD, especially if you feel that activity has been beneficial.