What counts as CPD?

There are now just under four months until we reach the end of 2021.

Between the lifting of lockdown restrictions, returning to offices or simply working out where to spend the remainder of the summer holidays with the family, it is understandable that professional development may not have been a top priority for many in recent months. 

However, with the calendar year flying by, it is important to remind ourselves that undertaking CPD should not just be about ticking boxes to fill in the required target amount of training. It is a requirement of the IDD that staff must complete a minimum of 15 hours of CPD each year, across eight core competencies to demonstrate that they remain competent to carry out their work. Regularly taking part in a wide range of CPD-related activities can help to retain more relative in-depth knowledge, as opposed to waiting for that deadline to loom closer before you start cramming everything in at the last minute!

Aside from finding the time to carry out CPD in an already busy schedule, there is often confusion as to what activities count towards CPD outside of the standard on-the-job training. Generally speaking, any activity which contributes to your own learning in relation to your professional development can be accepted as CPD. These activities should complement your job roles as well as enhance the skills that you have to offer.

What activities can be undertaken as part of CPD?

  • Podcasts – learning through listening is both educational and entertaining. Regulatory issues are becoming an increasingly popular topic in business podcasts, and the added convenience of being able to listen at your own pace means that you can stay up-to date on the latest discussions while you work or on your daily commute.

Our partners at IHRS have recently begun a podcast series discussing the latest trending topics and regulatory updates in the world of HR. Listen to the trailer here or follow ‘The IHRS Podcast’ on Spotify to receive notifications for the latest episodes.

  • Webinars and workshops – with the majority of face-to-face training moving online as a result of the pandemic, attending workshops has become more accessible, allowing for real-time discussion on relevant topics without the need to factor in travel and/or accommodation costs.
  • E-learning courses – Online training offers flexibility and can be tailored to suit the learner’s needs. It is a perfect accompaniment to face-to-face training, allowing for independent study in a specialised topic.

The Aviva Development Zone platform contains a wide selection of courses designed specifically to support the needs of those in the financial services and insurance sectors.

  • Online journals or articles - staying up-to-date on the latest news, case studies and regulatory changes within the industry is a straight-forward method of independent learning and provides you with insight on how others handle challenging situations within their practice.
  • Appraisals – reviewing your performance is a good way to evaluate what areas you need to improve on as well as identifying your learning objectives.
  • Video-based tutorials or presentations – need to quickly learn how to convert a pdf? What about learning what it takes to create an inspiring sales pitch? Watching a tutorial that boosts your efficiency is also part of your learning and development.

Recording CPD Activities

A good CPD record should contain information about the completed activity, when it was completed, how long it took, as well as which of the eight themes of IDD (if any) the activity relates to. The record should also reflect on what has been gained by undertaking the activity and whether it has helped you meet your learning objectives.  

Looking at the list of examples, you may find that you have already been undertaking CPD without even realising it. These small instances are probably already part of your everyday tasks and can be recorded regularly without having to set aside a large block of time to complete them towards the end of the year.

Varying your CPD activities will keep you engaged and motivated to learn. Consistently recording CPD throughout the year will also make your workload more manageable and leave you with less stress the closer you get to the end of the year. Take the time to plan these activities into your schedule and make the most of these remaining four months of 2021*.


*The FCA does not prescribe that CPD be carried out on a ‘start of January to end of December basis’ – only that the required hours are carried out in a twelve-month period.

About the author

Jessica joined RWA in 2018, having graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Film Studies. Her role as a content designer involves developing new and engaging e-learning modules as well as assisting in the creation of articles for Insight. 

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