Training courses, lectures, seminars and conferences

Training courses, lectures and seminars are perhaps the most obvious CPD activities, a common belief is that you are required to attend enough of these events every year to make up the required CPD hours. This approach to CPD works well if you can locate events that meet your desired learning outcomes and of course the events need to be at a time when you are available. Ironically most people will find that work (the very thing you are trying to do better) will prevent them from attending these events. There is also the cost to consider, if only all learning was free!

Conferences, less formal seminars and networking events can all offer an opportunity to learn. The format is less structured than a training course and without the stress of an evaluation/test at the end of the session, neither of these restrict the benefit as a CPD activity. Remember the focus is on what you get from attending the event and this is something that you reflect upon when recording your CPD and is not measured by achieving 10/10 in a test.

Networking events may seem a surprising suggestion for a CPD activity, talking to subject matter experts or experts in different fields is an important way of sharing knowledge and best practice.

e-courses and webinars

Virtual events are a very good source of CPD and are often available on demand. A quick search of YouTube for a skill or topic will provide an instant list of tutorials, slide shows or presentations. Remember that one CPD activity is required to last a minimum of 30 minutes, this does not mean that the individual event must last 30 minutes, you could watch a few different versions to gain a variety of perspectives on your new learning.

Workplace learning

Similarly, this does not have to be a formal event, if you are tackling a new challenge then this can count towards CPD. Any activities whether technical or a soft skill that you are doing for the first time or to a more advanced level are learning. For example, a presentation, chairing a meeting, a new system/programme or mentoring a colleague are all activities you may need to prepare for and can record as CPD.

Self-study and research

This is most definitely not something that would be classified as a formal event but provided the knowledge gained is relevant to your work this is CPD. The research can be online or referencing a hard copy manual and is something we all do without labelling the activity as CPD.

Even reading the Assessor magazine can count towards CPD, although this will be informal learning in terms of CPD activity as the outcome is to maintain general awareness of changes in technology and the market rather than a specific identified learning outcome.

Other activities that can count towards CPD include, training others (both the preparation of the subject matter of the training and your own training skills), technical authorship, participating in an industry focus group or workshop and developing a new product or process.