Continuing Professional Development
What is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development (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.
IFST has adopted a set of standards for Continuing Professional Development. These are similar to those adopted by other science based professional bodies, including members of the Science Council and the Health Professions Council.
- 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 benefited the quality of their practice;
- seek to ensure that their CPD has benefited the users of their work (employee, customer, student etc);
- present a written profile containing evidence of their CPD on request.
IFST’s CPD schemes are very flexible, although activities undertaken must reflect a balance of learning activities relevant to the participant’s current or future practice. The way in which an individual scientist takes part in CPD will also depend on their speciality, the opportunities available, their priorities, and their personal learning styles and preferences. This diversity of activity is encouraged, as without it CPD activities would be less effective.
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
Your CPD portfolio
IFST encourages all scientists to maintain a CPD portfolio
- an up to date CV including qualifications and responsibilities
- at least 2 references which confirm their level of competency
- a CPD plan, which should be reviewed annually
- a record of CPD activities, including supporting documentation
A suggested template for recording CPD may be downloaded.
Where appropriate, in order to verify your CPD activity, please complete and print off the proforma, prior to attending each activity. After the activity, get the tutor/organiser to sign the proforma. All completed and signed proformas must be submitted with your CPD records, in order to provide the assessors with verification.