David Pearce, head of group training and development at Tenet Group, shares his tips on structuring a CPD training plan and how to keep all the hard work recorded correctly.
From January, continuing professional development (CPD) has changed from a points-based activity to an hours-based one. Advisers are now required to log a minimum of 35 hours annually, 21 of which must be ‘structured’ CPD.
There are three key reasons why advisers undertake CPD. The first is for a firm’s training and competence (T&C) scheme and the second is to maintain an educational status, for designated titles such as a Diploma in Financial Planning for the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
The third – and this is where it became mandatory post-Retail Distribution Review – is for their statement of professional standing (SPS).
How to construct a CPD learning programme
So, let’s take a look at what can actually be recorded as CPD. ‘Structured’ CPD must have clear, stated learning objectives and the learning must be capable of lasting for a minimum of 30 minutes. ‘Unstructured’ is any other learning activities that have not been used to meet a specific learning need.
Training courses, workshops, conferences, seminars, webinars and other e-learning activities are all examples of structured CPD. These are particularly useful if they are delivered by an accredited professional body, as the adviser will have security they have fulfilled the relevant criteria.
Study hours for any business-related exam can also be logged but the time spent sitting the exam cannot. Technically, studying for an exam could fulfil all CPD hours but advisers will, realistically, need to demonstrate a wider remit than this.
On-the-job training, such as instruction from a subject expert to address a learning need, is applicable, as is the preparation for lecturing or tutoring others, again with clear learning outcomes. Reading – be it the trade press, bulletins, podcasts and so on – can be termed as structured if it has been done to meet a specific learning objective.
Examples here are around learning that is not to meet a specific development need. All general reading to keep up to date with the industry would, therefore, count as unstructured. Delivering training or lectures also counts as unstructured CPD, as does exam moderation work.
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