Continuing Professional Development
The Institute of Food Science and Technology is committed to raising the professional standards of all those working in food science and technology. Food Scientists and Technologists usually obtain their professional qualifications early in their careers, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provides the encouragement and structure for them to keep themselves up-to-date.
IFST is licensed to award the qualification "Chartered Scientist" to qualifying Members and Fellows.. This requires CPD: a self-certifying scheme subject to audit by the Membership Assessment Panel in order to ensure the CPD standards are maintained.
Definition of CPD
CPD is the means by which professionals maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills, and develop the personal qualities and competencies required in their working lives.
The professional skills and knowledge required by participants of the IFST CPD scheme will vary considerably, depending on their professional role and discipline. Each CPD programme will therefore reflect the needs and aspirations of the individual. There can be no question of the IFST trying to prescribe the CPD programme. It is for the participant to specify the areas of skill and knowledge that are relevant to their role, and against which their CPD programme should be designed. As participants' careers evolve, it is expected that the relevant areas of skill and knowledge will change. The role of the IFST Membership Assessment Panel is to act as an independent auditor of the appropriateness / relevance / standard of the contents of participants CPD programmes, in relation to Chartered Scientist.
Fundamental to a CPD scheme is the need for individuals to take ownership of their career progression. While accepting that employers may have a significant role to play, individuals should learn to steer and manage their own route into the future so they can more readily adapt to changing circumstances.
Because the needs of each individual will vary and there can be no prescribed programme, this document provides examples of activities that can contribute to CPD. It is for the participant to recognise needs and opportunities inside and outside the workplace, and to take advantage of learning experiences in developing their own continuing professional development.
For most participants the more successful CPD programmes are those that are designed to be mutually beneficial to them and their employer, and ones that are themselves reviewed and updated regularly to take account of changes in individuals' plans and changes in the business environment.
Planning Your CPD
The IFST does not wish to prescribe the design and planning of individuals' CPD programmes, but the following may be helpful. There are four main elements to the design and planning of a participants CPD programme:
- an honest assessment, by the participant, of their current situation and the determination of professional development goals for both the current year and the medium term eg next 3 to 5 years.
- development of a plan of action for the achievement of these goals.
- monitoring and recording progress against the plan and recording adventitious items of training and experience which nevertheless contribute to professional development.
- revision, review and update of the plan as appropriate
CPD Standards for Chartered Scientist
- 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 (see learning activities below);
- seek to ensure that their CPD has benefited the quality of their practice;
- seek to ensure that their CPD has benefited the users of their work (eg employee, customer, student etc);
- present a written profile containing evidence of their CPD on request.
A key element of the IFST CPD standards is that CPD is wide-ranging and that the activities undertaken should reflect a balance of learning activities. A participant's CPD should include activities in at least three (exceptionally two) of the following categories:
- Work based learning
- Professional activity
- Formal / Educational
- Self-directed learning
Examples of activities which typically may be part of the continuing professional development of Chartered Scientists are given here. A minimum of 35 hours relevant CPD activities is recommended.
New Applicants for CSci must have undertaken CPD for a minimum of 2 years before the award of CSci may be made. You should also be able to demonstrate how your continued learning relates to the generic Chartered Scientist competences.
Once CSci registration has been achieved, Chartered Scientists have an obligation to maintain professional competence and are required to revalidate their registration every year, when you will be required to submit a CPD report.
Participants are responsible for keeping their own records, and the IFST does not prescribe the method or format. However a template is provided for your guidance. If you are using your own format, then it is suggested you append details of how your CPD meets the CPD Standards for Chartered Scientists .
A summary in the form of the Chartered Scientist CPD report must accompany your application for Chartered Scientist.
Some training providers issue certificates when a course has been taken. For other CPD activities, participants should keep records in sufficient detail to justify the period of CPD activity and its relevance to their career. Where relevant, evidence of the CPD activities e.g. certificates of attendance at training courses etc should be kept for scrutiny by IFST.
Examples of completed CPD reports for Chartered Scientist.
Example 1- Senior Buyer
Example 2 - Lecturer
Example 3 - Retired
Example 4 - Director
Example 5 - Consultant
Reason for issue: update Issue No: 4
Document ref: mshp\CSci\CPD CSci criteria.doc Issue Date: 21.2.11
Authorised by: A West/J Emery
This is a controlled document. If printed off the IFST website it is no longer guaranteed to be the latest version.