Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the process which allows individuals to develop their skills throughout their working lives.
Most professional institutions operate a CPD scheme. The IfA’s scheme, like many others, is mandatory for accredited (corporate grade) members (Practitioners, Associates and Members) and involves individuals undertaking at least 50 hours of CPD over a two year period. It is based on a Personal Development Plan (PDP) (Word doc file) and a CPD log (Word doc file).
Your personal development plan(PDP) is where you record your aims and objectives and the means by which you plan to achieve them. Your CPD log is used to record the learning activities you undertake and can be used as evidence of your achievements.
You can include any activities on your CPD log which help you achieve the learning goals outlined in your plan. Learning is not just about attending training courses or conferences; you can include the time you spend learning new skills or developing existing ones during the course of your work, time you spend researching or reading around new subject areas or learning from colleagues. The key is to try and identify the most appropriate ways of gaining the skills you need to achieve your goals.
You can also read members accounts of their CPD experiences in our new My CPD section.
If you are having difficulty preparing your PDP or recording your CPD, you can download an an example PDP (pdf file), and an example CPD log (pdf file). These are for guidance only and aim to demonstrate the sorts of activities, scenarios and skills that might be applicable to a range of members, from interested avocational archaeologists to senior members of the profession. We don’t expect you to undertake exactly these activities.
CPD has been compulsory for all accredited (corporate) IfA members since October 2009. All members who are applying to upgrade their membership should provide PDP and CPD documentation with their application. A sample of the membership is asked to submit their CPD documentation for assessment every year. In introducing compulsory CPD we hope that individuals will become more motivated to increase their skills and employers will be more motivated to help their employees to do this, resulting in a more skilled sector overall. IfA’s Chief Executive has written an open letter to retired members about their CPD requirements.
IfA’s CPD documentation has been updated with this in mind. We have produced the new ‘Continuing Professional Development – a guide’ (pdf file), available for download below.