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CPD: what you need to know

You must record CPD on your online account as part of your registration. 

CPD: What you need to know

Why CPD?

Continuing professional development (CPD) is an essential reflection and learning activity. You do CPD throughout your social work career to maintain and improve your practice.

There are 6 professional standards. The professional standards set out what you must know, understand, and be able to do. 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.

Many regulated professionals must evidence their CPD to their regulator. For example doctors, lawyers and dentists. Evidencing CPD is an essential part of demonstrating your fitness to practise.

Who should do CPD?

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

  • on extended leave (for example maternity, paternity, adoption or long-term sick leave)
  • not currently working
  • in non-caseholding/’frontline’ roles (for example managers, educators and commissioners)

This is because anyone on the register can practise using the protected title ‘social worker’.

If you’re not currently working, but you’re registered, you can return to social work at any time. It is our responsibility to ensure that you’re demonstrating your ongoing fitness to practise. This includes maintaining your CPD.

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The only people who do not need to record CPD (as a requirement of registration) are social workers:

  • with an open fitness to practise case
  • who register with us during the renewal period (1 September to 30 November each year). They must record CPD in the next registration year.

CPD as a requirement of registration

Our registration renewal cycle is annual. Currently, you must record a minimum of one piece of CPD per registration year.

You can do this at any time and up to the renewal deadline of 30 November every year. But we encourage you not to leave recording to the last minute, as this can result in rushed or poor-quality CPD.

Whilst the requirement for registration is one piece of CPD, this is a minimum. We recommend recording CPD 4 times a year or more as good practice.

There are 8 parts to the CPD standard. For example, part 1 (4.1) is about feedback and part 2 (4.2) is about supervision. During the year, you should try to show how you have met different parts of the standard. You do not need to meet all 8 parts in every piece of CPD you record.

What is CPD?

The most important thing about CPD is that you have reflected on your learning, and demonstrated how it has, or will, impact your practice.

CPD can be any number of activities which help you to learn, improve, and reflect. Whilst attending a training course can be a great piece of CPD, there are many other things you can record, such as:

  • Listening to and reflecting on a podcast
  • Taking part in and reflecting on supervision (with a manager, or peer-to-peer)
  • Reflecting on your decision making at work. Examine a situation; what went well, and what could you improve?
  • Taking part in and reflecting on work shadowing
  • Preparing/leading a training session or workshop with your staff (if you are a manager)
  • Reading and reflecting on an article or book
  • Sourcing and reflecting on feedback from people you support
  • Documenting and reflecting on a group discussion
  • Reflecting on your teaching or discussions with students (if you are an educator or academic)

Read more about the what CPD you could do. You may also want to look at these examples of recorded CPD.

Recording CPD on your online account

You must record CPD on your online account to renew your registration each year.

For detailed guidance on how to use your online account and record CPD, watch our video: ‘How to record CPD’

Important things to consider when recording CPD

Valid dates

For your CPD to be valid for registration renewal, it must have a date between 1 December 2020 and 30 November 2021.

Standard 4.6, Reflection

Standard 4.6 is mandatory. The question on the CPD forms is:

“Thinking about this example, how did it impact on the quality of your practice?”

You should pay extra attention to this question. Reflecting on your learning ensures that you are continually improving. If we select you for validation, the quality of your reflection will be the focus of the assessment.

Anonymise your CPD

You must anonymise your CPD, removing any details that could identify people. This includes names, addresses or contact details.

Attachments are optional

You do not need to upload an attachment. This function exists so you can attach any reflections that you completed elsewhere. For example, if your organisation uses its own CPD forms.

We do not need to see evidence of your CPD activity, such as correspondence or certificates.

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 assessment.

Read more about CPD validation assessment

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Last updated: 22 April 2021

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