The purpose of CPD for psychologists is to ensure that knowledge is up to date and to commit to learning that will help to deliver a safer and more effective practice. It helps to promote competency in everday practice and ensures that the way psychologists work is relevant to the latest developments across the industry. Where CPD is the focus patients are always going to get the best possible evidence-based treatment and care from the professionals that they work with. CPD hours may be required for membership of professional bodies but will also also support the growth of the individual psychologist, enabling professionals to fulfill potential, discover new knowledge and maintain and improve professional standards.
CPD - the basics
There are many different ways to achieve CPD hours and these don’t have to be via formal courses. CPD could be generated by work-based learning such as reflection and feedback, as well as a professional activity such as giving a presentation. It could also be directed or self-directed. Directed CPD activities might include professional committee work or carrying out research while self-directed activities include systematic reflection on individual practice or receiving psychological counselling for professional purposes.
Which professional bodies require CPD?
- The British Psychological Society (BPS). The approach that the BPS takes to CPD is outcomes based. So, it’s not just about racking up the right number of hours but the learning that can result from this and how this is applied to existing and future practice. There is a big focus on how professionals evaluate their own learning through reflection. The BPS suggests between half and one day per month depending on where an individual is in their career.
- The International Society for Coaching Psychology (ISCP). Full members of the ISCP are required to obtain around 40 hours of CPD every year and evidence of this is obligatory for those looking to attain accreditation or certified status. A minimum of 30 of these hours need to be focused on coaching psychology.
- The Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). The HCPC is a statutory regulator for more than 280,000 health and care professionals. Those who wish to remain on the list need to meet certain standards for CPD, although these don’t specify the number of hours required. Instead they focus on maintaining a continuous record, a mix of learning and ensuring that CPD contributes to the quality of practice as well as the end user’s experience.
Recording CPD is essential
Despite the fact that professional bodies have some quite specific requirements for CPD there is no detailed format for recording it. Binders or folders that show evidence of hours undertaken and any achievements attained, such as certificates, can be useful. Keeping an electronic record can make it easier to access the CPD record as and when required. It’s important to be able to show CPD progression over the years and professionals can be audited at any time. An audit usually involves providing details of CPD activities within a specific period of time and sending in evidence to show how and when this was undertaken. Remember that CPD should be relevant to current or future practice and aimed at improving outcomes.
Psychologists in the UK need to maintain ongoing professional development, not just to meet requirements from professional bodies but for the purposes of individual growth and development too. The Grove is a leading provider of quality CPD counselling courses in psychology,