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The requirement is set out in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) and the ICTTech Standard, and the obligation is explained below in the CPD Code for Registrants.
CPD has several purposes, which will vary in relation to your circumstances, needs and career progression. It can also take a variety of forms. At its heart is informal learning through the challenges and opportunities of working life, and interaction with others such as colleagues, customers and suppliers, including professionals from other disciplines. This may be supplemented by structured activities such as courses, distance learning programmes, private study, preparation of papers and presentations, mentoring, involvement in professional body activities, or relevant voluntary work. This list is not exhaustive and individual registrants are best placed to determine their needs and how to meet them.
The Engineering Council’s CPD Policy Statement explains in more detail the nature, purpose and value of CPD, and explains the sort of support that members can expect from their institution. CPD can take a wide variety of forms and institutions may offer direct CPD opportunities such as workshops, site visits, lectures or short courses. This CPD Policy Statement can be downloaded below.
Engineering Technicians, Incorporated Engineers, Chartered Engineers and ICT Technicians should take all necessary steps to maintain and enhance their competence through CPD. In particular they should:
Take ownership of their learning and development needs, and develop a plan to indicate how they might meet these, in discussion with their employer, as appropriate.
Undertake a variety of development activities, both in accordance with this plan and in response to other opportunities which may arise.
Record their CPD activities.
Reflect upon what they have learned or achieved through their CPD activities and record these reflections.
Evaluate their CPD activities against any objectives which they have set and record this evaluation.
Review their learning and development plan regularly following reflection and assessment of future needs.
Support the learning and development of others through activities such as mentoring, and sharing professional expertise and knowledge.
Please note that the Code does not specify a minimum amount of time to be spent on CPD each year. Instead, it focuses on the outputs of CPD activity for the maintenance and enhancement of competence appropriate to the individual and their job role. CPD requirements for engineers and technicians will vary according to their discipline and the stage of their career.
It is good practice to plan, record and review your CPD activities on a regular basis. Some institutions currently require their members to provide plans or records of their CPD, whilst others are moving towards this. Some institutions offer their own forms, or digital planning and recording systems, whilst others offer the Engineering Council’s mycareerpath® Professional Development System.