what is cpd

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) & How to Complete Yours?

Posted on
December 4, 2021
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Speech and Language therapists are regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). As such, they need to meet the HCPC standards of continuing professional development (CPD).

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

Continuing Professional Development means that, as a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), you're always learning and growing during your career. As a result, you keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. This continuous effort ensure that all Speech and Language Therapists practice safely and effectively.

What is expected and required from the HCPC?

The HCPC expects and required of her registrants to

  • maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities
  • demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice
  • seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery
  • seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user
  • present a written profile explaining how they have met the standards for CPD, upon request

How to meet the HCPC standard?

You can choose whatever format suits you best to keep track of your CPD: a binder, a folder (including documents such as certificates and notes) or an electronic record. This is a personal record and should help you to give the HCPC details of the activities you've completed over the past two years, with supporting evidence, in case of an audit.

Your CPD must mix different types of learning, at least two different ones. A learning activity can be a work-based learning (reflecting on experiences at work, considering feedback from service users or being a member of a committee), a professional activity (being involved in a professional body or giving a presentation at a conference), a formal eduction (going on formal courses or carrying out research) or self-directed learning (reading articles or books).

As your CPD should be relevant to your practice, it needs to be tailored to your needs. The CPD of a team manager might include some leadership training while the CPD of an independent SLT could consist of learning skills to run a successful practice.

The aim of your CPD should be to improve the way you work, which can be audited. The HCPC can ask SLT to tell them about the activities they have carried out, the associated learnings and how it has potentially improved the practice.

Your CPD should also benefit to your service users, i.e. your patients. By gaining new skills and improving your practice, you should then be able to provide a better service. The HCPC encourages SLTs to ask for and reflect on feedback from service users when possible. This feedback can also be consider as a piece of evidence to support that you've met the standards.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy (RCSLT) recommends that all SLTs do at least 30 hours of formal or self-directed CPD every year. To record you CPD you can use the RCSLT online CPD diary (for members only), Julia (paid app) or the Noala platform (free CPD library).

What happens when I'm picked for audit?

The HCPC regularly picks a random sample of registrants for audit. If you're selected, you'll receive an email and letter separate to the renewal invitation. You can continue to practise during the audit process.

You will need to send a CPD profile containing information and evidence about how you have met the standards. To be more specific, this profile, which must be your own work, should include:

  • list of CPD activities for last 2 years
  • summary of recent work in the last 2 years (500 words)
  • statement of how standards have been met (1,500 words), ideally 4-6 specific examples
  • supporting evidence for each of the examples mentioned in your statement. Evidences can be materials from other (powerpoint slides, testimonies), materials produced yourself (presentations given, business plans, induction materials for new staff) or materials showing you have reflected on and evaluated your learning and work (hand written notes, personal development plans)

If you want to learn more about CPD, we highly encourage you to watch the webinar below published by the HCPC on April 2021.

If you have more questions about our CPD library, we're always av

Emilie Spire
CEO & Founder
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