CPD – Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions 

What is CPD and why do I have to do it?

Your professional membership (one which you demonstrate with a suffix like AIEMA, PIEMA, MIEMA etc) is all about demonstrating your achievements and all you’ve learned. But your learning doesn’t stop when you achieve your membership. You need to keep learning in line with changing and new practice - and your growing experience - to maintain your membership. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the process of setting your development goals, carrying out a great range of learning, and recording what you’ve done. It’s an important part of any professional’s working life, and a mandatory requirement of your annual membership renewal. Your record shows us that you’re continuing to learn and develop new skills, and helps us to understand and support your career goals. It’s good practice to plan and record your CPD, so we ask you to keep a record and submit it once a year.

Do I need to log my audit/EIA/ESOS work to maintain my specialist registration?

Yes. The Auditor, ESOS and EIA registers are practitioner registers, so you need to demonstrate that you continue to practice in the field to maintain your registration. We’ve added a separate section to the CPD form to enable you to easily track your Audit, ESOS and EIA work.

Why is setting goals important?

You should build your CPD plan of action by taking time to recognise what you want to achieve in the short-, mid- and long-term, and set ambitious yet realistic targets for developing your knowledge, skills and networks.

Goal setting is important for IEMA, because when we get to see the collective goals set by members it helps us to provide events, webinars, publications and other resources that match what members need.  You can take a look at the IEMA Skills Map any time to get guidance on what area you may need to focus on.

What counts as CPD?

Any activity that boosts your knowledge, understanding, range of skills, ability or influence contributes to your CPD. Some examples include:

  • Attending career-relevant events or conferences or listening to webinars;
  • Structured learning from formal training courses;
  • Informal and self-directed activities such as reading TRANSFORM magazine, journals, books, and other articles;
  • On-the-job learning and practical experience;
  • Supporting others to develop, either through formal or informal coaching and mentoring;
  • Voluntary activities.

And just like the Skills Map directs you towards the right development direction, the Benefits Map helps you find exactly what resources and activities will help you get to your goal.

How much CPD should I do?

You should aim to log at least 30 points every year to keep your knowledge current and your development on track. Be aware that if you have set yourself some particularly challenging goals, then you may need to log more than 30 points in order to achieve them. Then again there may be times where it’s appropriate to log less than 30 points, for example if you are taking a career break, are on parental leave, or if you are on long term sick leave – but you can discuss this with our team if that applies.

Why do we use points rather than hours to log CPD activities?

No two people will get the same value from a specific activity. The contribution any activity makes to your professional development will be entirely unique to you; that’s why we ask you to reflect on each activity, evaluate the contribution it’s made to your ongoing development and score its effectiveness between 1 and 5 points. This means you’re in control of your own CPD, and that the value you take away from an activity is a direct reflection of the effort you put in.

How do I allocate points to an activity?

Our tailored CPD form will ask you to score each activity based on the value you gained from it using a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = some value added, 5 = measurable, definitive value that positively affects the way you work).

Honesty when evaluating the value of each activity is important, as it is your own growth and learning that matters. Factors you could consider include:

  • What have you learnt as a result of the activity?
  • Did it reinforce what you already know or do?
  • What you will do differently as a result?
  • What was the duration?
  • How did the activity stretch your knowledge? Did it require you to use new knowledge and skills?
  • To what extent did you engage positively with the activity?
  • Would you recommend it to others?

As well as recording what you’ve done and allocating points to it, you also need to reflect on the value of the activity.Reflection is as much a part of the learning process as doing the activity itself as it helps you to clarify, collect and focus your thoughts on what you’ve taken from each activity. This part of your CPD helps you think about the progress you have made, and what you’ll do differently in future.

When do I need to submit my CPD record?

Your form should be submitted annually, but don’t worry – we have no set point during the year where we set your deadline. Why not aim to align it with your membership renewal, or your annual work planning? This would be a great time to reflect on activities you’ve undertaken in the past year and use them to guide or adjust your goals moving into the next.

I’m due to renew membership in next few weeks -  am I meant to use the new combined form, or the previous one I’ve been filling in? 

If you’ve already recorded some CPD, you can submit evidence of your progress in the previous forms – there’s no need to transfer all that information onto the new form. However, we’re conscious that many of you are members of other professional bodies, so if you would find it easier to provide evidence of CPD on other forms, we’re happy to accept them.

When will we be able to log CPD directly into an online portal, rather than submitting forms?

We’re committed to developing an online portal which will make recording CPD much simpler, but this requires significant time and investment to ensure all our systems related to your membership and the benefits work well together. We are working on it through, and we’ll let you know when we switch on a dedicated CPD portal.

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