Shropshire Council

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Introduction to the CPD portfolio -  for re-registration by the Health and Care Professions Council

This guidance is intended to give social workers a simple and straightforward framework designed to help you meet the requirements of HCPC for re-registration. A number of organisations offer guidance on this, including The College of Social Work, BASW and the HCPC itself.

Defining CPD

‘A range of learning activities through which health professionals maintain and develop  throughout their career to ensure that they retain their capacity to practise safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice’. (This definition is taken from the Allied Health Professions project, ‘Demonstrating competence through CPD’, 2002.)

Examples of learning activities may include:

Work-based learning

  • Case studies
  • Reflective practice
  • Audit of service users
  • Peer reviews
  • Gaining and learning from experience
  • Work shadowing
  • Expanding your role

Professional activities

  • Mentoring
  • Teaching/lecturing
  • Membership of a special interest group
  • Organising journal groups
  • Being an expert witness
  • Giving presentations at conferences
  • Involvement in professional bodies

Formal / educational

  • Further education
  • Writing articles or papers
  • Distance learning
  • Planning and running courses
  • Attending accredited courses

Self-directed / other

  • Reading journals or articles
  • Reviewing books or articles
  • Updating knowledge through internet or TV
  • Keeping a file of your progress
  • Other public service / voluntary work

The HCPC doesn't need you to undertake a certain amount of hours or days. Your CPD record must be continuous, showing that you add to it regularly (minimum three-monthly update) and must be up to date.

Your CPD profile must explain:

  • How you planned your CPD
  • How you decided what activities to do
  • How your CPD enables you to HCPC standards

HCPC standards say that registrants must:

1. Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities. These activities should evidence learning every three months. Gaps of more than three months need to be explained, and will only be deemed acceptable in extraordinary circumstances.

2. Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice. (See examples above).

3. Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery. This can include discussions in supervision, reflections on practice, feedback from observations, peer supervision, outcomes of file audits, materials you've produced, information leaflets, case studies, procedures, action plans, personal development plans, materials you've got from others, testimonials, letters from service users, course certificates and reflections which are critical and developmental.

4. Seek to ensure that CPD benefits the service user. There are a variety of reflective tools that can be used to assist you. Contact Debbie Watson on 01743 254509 for further information.

5. Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the standards for CPD.

The HCPC has published example profiles on their website

If you are chosen for audit, HCPC will send you a form (the CPD profile) to fill in.

The main parts of your CPD profile will be:

  • A dated record of CPD activities
  • A summary of your practice history for the last two years (up to 500 words)
  • A statement of how you have met the standards of CPD (up to 1,500 words)
  • Evidence to support your statement
  • A dated record showing continuous CPD provides evidence that standard 1 is met.

The summary of your practice history should help to show us how your CPD activities are linked to your work. This part of the CPD profile should help you to show how your activities are ‘relevant to your current or future work’ (standard 2).

Your statement of how you have met our standards should clearly show how you believe you meet each of our standards, and should refer to all the CPD activities you have undertaken, and the evidence you're sending in to support your statement (standards 3 and 4).

The evidence you send in will back up the statements you make in your CPD profile. It should show that you've undertaken the CPD activities you've referred to, and should also show how they've improved the quality of your work and benefited service users (standards 3 and 4).

Your evidence should include a summary of all your CPD activities. This will show that you meet standard 1. Your evidence should also be able to show that your CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities and are relevant to your work (and therefore meet standard 2).

The audit process isn't an assessment of how clearly or how well you can write. When a CPD assessor looks at your CPD profile, he or she will be focusing on your CPD activities and whether they meet our standards. However, it will still greatly help the CPD assessors if they can easily understand the information and how you meet each of our standards.