Getting Back to CPD

The FCA recently outlined its expectations regarding CPD during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of the crisis, the regulator will temporarily allow firms to let individuals in exceptional circumstances carry over any uncompleted CPD hours to the next CPD year (i.e. the next 12-month period in which to complete the relevant CPD). However, the FCA also states that it expects most individuals will be able to continue completing CPD whilst on furlough or working from home. CPD activities can include e-learning and other similar content which can be completed at home, so there are plenty of opportunities for CPD recording to continue.

Understandably, professional development may not have been the top priority of many over recent months, due to Covid-19 – but is now the time to ‘get back to CPD’?

As many offices begin to settle down to the “new normal”, there will need to be a renewed focus on ensuring that staff are competent in their roles. The lockdown and focus on remote working – and remote learning – has provided both challenges and huge opportunities, and now is the time to consider which approaches have been effective, and which have not. To make such important decisions, it is essential that staff and their managers have access to the most up to date and complete data possible.

Recording CPD

For users of the Aviva Development Zone, your CPD Record is probably the most important place on the platform where your achievements are recorded. It provides you with a single store of evidence to demonstrate your competence and professional standards to both supervisors within your firm, and to professional bodies. Producing a strong CPD Record makes it easier to judge your commitment and performance and helps with role appraisals.

Maintaining a CPD Record can often seem to be a bit of a chore, but you should never underestimate the value of keeping an accurate record of the training and development you’ve completed, and activities that you are planning to complete in the coming year. The CPD tools allow you to record information about activities that you are planning to undertake, as well as recording information about completed activities.

Recording the activity itself is only half of the story – seeing that you’ve completed a complete suite of course on, for example, data protection, is useful to know, but it doesn’t give a clear idea of why you have done this, or how it has informed the way that you work. You’ll have identified clear development needs as part of your internal appraisal process, so make sure that you note these against your CPD record to help show your commitment in your next appraisal.

You may well have undertaken training above and beyond what your employer expects of you – taking a minute or two to add a reflection to entries in your CPD Record will help to show what you have gained from completing the training, but also, what benefits your improved understanding of topics will bring to your clients and your employer. Learning about a topic is half the story – identifying how you can apply your learning really shows the value of your hard work.

If you’ve avoided updating your CPD Record so far, now is an ideal time to get it in shape. If you use the Development Zone to store your CPD Record, you’ll find a range of tools to help you get the most from your work and help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. 

The CPD Mentor feature (available via the buttons at the very bottom of your CPD Record on the Development Zone) offers straightforward advice based on an analysis of all CPD entries that you have recorded during the current year. It analyses the data for evidence of over a dozen common issues, ranging from records that appear to be duplicated, missing information such as dates or development needs, right through to finding dates where you appear to have completed activities on the Development Zone but not created a related CPD entry.

You’ll also see an “Improve” button in your main CPD record next to activities that have been marked as completed. This triggers a helpful wizard using a style similar to the “Record My CPD” page, but with an advisory section provided to the right of each of the four sections. Each advisory section is based on an analysis of the information already provided and will contain feedback or guidance about how to improve the entry and ensure that it presents your learning and development in the best possible way.

For further information on the FCA’s stance regarding CPD during the current crisis, please see our article originally published in June: https://insight.rwabusiness.com/blog/posts/2020/june/fca-allowing-individuals-to-carry-over-cpd-due-to-coronavirus/

If you have any questions regarding the CPD Record feature or the Aviva Development Zone, please contact the team at RWA via 01604 709509 or helpdesk@rwagroup.co.uk.

About the author

After gaining a degree in Computer Science, Tim spent nine years teaching in a number of secondary schools (11-19 year olds) in Wales.  For the majority of his time teaching, Tim led a highly successful team of teachers delivering vocational ICT qualifications and reached the level of Associate Assistant Headteacher before leaving teaching.  He has also been a senior examiner and moderator for one of the UK's largest awarding bodies.  Since 2013 he has been the senior developer for the Development Zone.

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