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CPD: what you need to do

CPD is an important part of our professional standards, which aim to improve public safety and confidence in social work. It is the reflection and learning activity that social workers do throughout their career to maintain and improve their practice. 

CPD is a requirement of your registration

Our professional standards aim to improve public safety and confidence in social work. They apply to registered social workers in all roles and settings. Standard 4 is about CPD and explains what you need to do to maintain your registration.

You must record CPD before 30 November 2020 if you want to renew your registration.

Who should do CPD

The requirement to do and record CPD applies to all registered social workers. This includes people who are:

  • on maternity or paternity leave
  • not currently working
  • in non-social work roles

If you join or rejoin the register between 1 September and 30 November 2020, it is not mandatory to record CPD during this period, but it would be good practice.

What type of CPD you should do

We will not tell you what CPD you should do, but we encourage you to be creative with your learning. This includes the things you’re already doing in your role which show how you meet the CPD standard.

It's important that your learning is relevant to your role. Your CPD should be about the application of your learning in practice. We want to see how you have reflected on your learning and how the CPD has improved your practice.

Read more about the CPD you could do to show that you meet the CPD standard.
You may also want to look at these CPD examples.

How much CPD you should record

You must record at least 1 piece of CPD before the end of the current registration year (30 November 2020).

Our registration renewal cycle is annual, so you must record CPD every year. It is up to you to decide how much CPD you need to do based on your personal circumstances. We can’t tell you how much CPD you should do but recording CPD at least 4 times a year would be good practice.

You should try to show all 8 parts of the CPD standard across the activities you record during the year. You do not need to show all 8 parts in every piece of CPD you record. We recognise that some people may find it difficult to show all 8 parts in 1 year. For example, someone on maternity would not be receiving supervision.

You don’t need to record CPD from before 2 December 2019

You only need to record CPD that you have done since 2 December 2019. There is no requirement to upload any CPD from before that date. Only CPD with a date between 2 December 2019 and 30 November 2020 will count towards your renewal.

Read more about how to record CPD.

What happens when you renew your registration

If you have not recorded any CPD when you apply to renew your registration, you can do it during the renewal. You can also record CPD later, but you will need to tick a declaration to continue without recording.

If you have not recorded any CPD by 30 November, we will contact you to discuss next steps. You will then have 21 days to record CPD on your online account. If you have not recorded any CPD after 21 days, we will not renew your registration. This means that we will remove you from the register.

We understand that you may worry about not being able to meet the CPD standard because of exceptional circumstances. If you feel that exceptional circumstances apply in your case, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your concerns.


CPD validation

At the end of the registration period, we will check your online account to see if you have recorded CPD. We will then randomly select 2.5% of social workers for CPD validation.

Read more about CPD validation.

More support

If you’re having issues with our website, or you have any questions about CPD, you may want to view to our CPD support page.

You can also download our guidance on CPD (PDF).


Last updated: 30 September 2020

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