The Grove At Work

Questions to ask when choosing a CPD provider

Are you a professional whose membership organisation requires you to complete CPD each year?

We’ve heard from people in a wealth of occupations who say they don’t learn anything from the psychotherapy CPD they attend. At its worst, this mandatory need for Continuous Professional Development can feel like a chore or being micro-managed.

However, working as a mental health practitioner revolves around having a curiosity about people, and CPD for counsellors can be reframed as an opportunity to keep being curious within the field.

As a result, we believe there are some important questions to ask yourself or your CPD provider before choosing a course. Be brave and honest!

Questions to ask yourself

  • What do I want to gain from this training?
  • What would be helpful to learn?
  • What don’t I know about this topic?
  • How would this course enhance my skills or scope of practice?

Questions to ask the CPD training provider

  • What level is this course pitched at? 
  • Is the course externally accredited?
  • Is it awarded solely by the training organisation that runs it?
  • Is it a course for CPD attendance only or are there any assessments or assignments?
  • What is the experience and expertise of the tutors?
  • What is the feedback like from previous students?

Check that these elements are published and seem reasonable.

  • Application process and selection criteria to gain a place.
  • Fee payable and payment plan.
  • Terms and conditions of the course.
  • Assessment process (if applicable) and marking scheme.
  • Policies and procedures:
    • Diversity and inclusivity
    • Safeguarding
    • Complaints
    • Appeal regarding the award or marking

External accreditation provides reassurance about quality and professional standards. This means that the external accrediting body has reviewed the course for relevant content and the quality of the tutors.

If a training provider publishes its policies and procedures, along with clear information about selection criteria and fees payable, this is likely to be an indicator of clear and straightforward dealings.

Feedback from previous courses gives an indicator of how earlier cohorts responded to the material provided, and how the CPD training affected their therapy work. 

Lots of prospects ask us what level our courses are taught at. Ofqual regulates qualifications in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own educational standards. Ofqual’s regulated qualifications framework (RQF) outlines the level of demands placed on the learner, where Level 5 is pitched at a foundation degree, whereas Level 7 would be a post-graduate level. The Grove’s courses are not regulated by Ofqual, but these ‘Levels’ have become common language when describing the level of academic study and theoretical participation required on a training course.

Remember that what you put in will affect the benefits you’ll receive from participating in the training. Attitude and contribution from the group makes a big impact on enjoying the course.

That said, checking these factors can be invaluable when making your CPD decisions - reputations count!

The Grove has a strong reputation for running high-quality CPD training courses for therapists, many of which are externally accredited. Our CPD programme is expanding in 2022 with more courses and more intakes, giving more choice and opportunity to learn from the experts at our centre of excellence.

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About The Grove

Based in London W1, The Grove offers a unique blend of mental health support: psychotherapy, psychiatry, professional training courses in mental health, integrated wellbeing & equine-facilitated programmes.