Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a common requirement in professions where a person’s work can have a serious impact on colleagues, organisations or clients


Continuing Professional Development FAQs

Why do I need to do CPD?

For individuals

CPD is a way to advance your career or plan a career change. This policy is designed to benefit you, employers and your clients, by helping you to identify, plan and reflect on your learning more effectively.

For employers

Planning a person’s CPD to suit business needs is a more efficient use of time and money. Many organisations book the same training course and recommend the same books year after year, when they could benefit from more diverse skills and knowledge.

How do I plan and record my CPD?

Different professions have different names for CPD, so you may already be planning and recording what we call “CPD”, even if you call it something else. For example, some employers include a list of training needs as part of performance reviews, which you could use as your CPD Plan. Employers might not list non-formal learning, such as independent reading, which you can add to your own plan.

If you already track learning on your own system, you can send a copy of that when requested.

If you don’t have a plan or record through your employer or a regulator, you can take the following steps to create your own.

  1. Think about your current situation. What’s going well? What would you like to change? Are you interested in a promotion, or changing jobs? Are you looking at moving to another country? It might take time to explore your options and choose appropriate actions.
  2. Decide what you think is achievable in the next 12 months.
  3. Make a list of knowledge and skills that you need to achieve those things. We recognise any learning activities that are relevant to your role, so there’s no need to find activities related to agile every year.
  4. Is your list achievable within the next 12 months? If not, you can still make a note of it on your plan as a long-term goal.
  5. Look at how you can gain the knowledge and skills you have chosen. The quality of any learning activity is more important than counting the number of hours you’ve spent learning. 
  6. If you were issued with a certificate for a conference or training course, it is useful to add to your record, but not mandatory. As long as you give enough detail for a CPD reviewer to be able to find the provider and details of the activity, that is enough to meet your requirement.
  7. Note what you learned from each activity, even if the activity didn’t meet expectations. For example, if you disagreed with a book, it would still count as CPD, if you could explain why it didn’t cover your training need and what you want to do next. 
  8. Record all your decisions in a format that suits you, or download our template:

How do I reflect on what I have learnt?

It’s good practice to take a few minutes to reflect on a learning activity to help reinforce what you’ve learned, particularly if you belong to organisations or professional bodies that track CPD.  

This resource would usually be referred to as “informal” or “unstructured” learning by organisations that track professional development, so the following reflective questions have been chosen to help convert it into “formal” or “structured” learning.    

  • What are my first impressions of this (book/ article/ video/ recording)? Are they mostly positive or negative? What comes to mind when I consider what was said? 
  • What are the key points that I found interesting? Why? 
  • Were there any points that I disagreed with? Why? 
  • Will this change how I do my work in future? If yes, in what way? 
  • Has this learning activity raised more questions that I need to research? If yes, how?

Why don't you count hours?

Our members come from a range of industries with different CPD requirements, so we chose to let members stay in line with their professional background. We also believe that hours don’t prove something meets your training needs.

Imagine that you have a choice between 2 training courses. Your professional body has insisted that you need 15 hours of CPD. You know that you need to study A, B and C and the courses offer the following:

Course 1

Course 2

Subject A

Subject A

Subject B

Subject B

Subject C

Subject D

10 hours

15 hours

You know that you need to study Subjects A, B & C, but you only have time to do one course. Course 1 meets your needs, but doesn’t meet your professional body’s requirements. Which one is more useful to you? We think it’s more important for you to choose the right CPD for you, than count hours for a professional body.

Do I need to provide certificates for courses and conferences?

If you were issued with a certificate for a conference or training course, it is useful to add to your record, but not mandatory. As long as you give enough detail for a CPD reviewer to be able to find the provider and details of the activity, that is enough to meet your requirement.

How do I notify you that I’ve completed the CPD requirements?

We request CPD plans and records from up to 5% of members per year. You don’t need to submit records unless you receive a request.

Will I lose my membership or accreditation if I don’t do CPD?

One of the conditions of maintaining Professional Level membership is that you need to keep up with CPD planning and recording.

See "How do I plan and record my CPD?" above for guidance. If you have any questions, please contact us.

I am currently studying and don't have time for CPD – what should I do?

Your current studies count as CPD, assuming that they improve your work-based skills and knowledge. Agilists work in a range of industries, so we include any studies that relate to a member’s field of work as counting towards their CPD.

I can't afford to attend courses in order to meet the CPD requirements. What else can I do?

CPD is any activity that improves your knowledge and skills as a professional. Formal training courses are a very useful way to learn, but we also recognise learning activities like reading a manual, or end of project reviews where a group discuss lessons learned.

I no longer work for a business that employs agile practices, will I still have to do CPD?

Someone who has studied business agility and wants to maintain Professional membership should plan to maintain their expertise. If you only want to stay in touch with agile thinking, not maintain your accreditations, there is no need to maintain your CPD record.

If I’m not working, do I still need to comply with the CPD requirements?

You should tailor your CPD plan to your situation. For example, someone on sick leave could focus on what they need to know before they return to work and may only need to have a few meetings with colleagues.

I was due to attend a face-to-face event that has been cancelled, how do I meet my CPD requirement?

We don't require members to attend face-to-face events, or specify time spent on formal or informal CPD, so if one of your CPD activities is unavailable, you can choose any other that teaches you what you need to know.

Will you be reducing the CPD requirement in response to Covid-19?

You can tailor your CPD plan to your circumstances, not just during a pandemic. If you or a family member were affected by serious illnesses of any kind, or acting as a carer, you could take that into account in your CPD plan and record.



Become a Member

Membership is a way of connecting with the agile community, helping one another with ideas, techniques and spreading the word of agile among businesses and individuals.