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CPD Guide

Learn how to manage your Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Opt-in to CPD Monitoring. Send your name and membership number to

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

As the name implies, CPD is with us throughout our careers. It continues beyond Professional Registration and even into retirement, as most of us will always want to stay in touch with developments in engineering.

If you read an article in E&T magazine, watch a relevant programme on or mainstream television, attend a lecture or seminar or give up your time to help young engineers develop, you are undertaking CPD.

At the IET we want our members to embrace CPD on a day-to-day basis, rather than to view it as a chore to be undertaken in isolation at certain times of the year. If we all get into the habit of spending a few minutes now and then recording things we’ve done which can be seen as developmental, then CPD becomes much less burdensome.

The IET categorise CPD activities in to six main categories:

  • Training courses;
  • Work experience;
  • Academic study;
  • Volunteering;
  • Events and seminars;
  • Self-study.

For more details, please follow the link below:

CPD Activities

You can also watch our video 'Understanding Continuing Professional Development' below:

Why are you changing CPD Policy?

In October 2013, The Engineering Council announced an aspiration that by January 2017 all Professional Engineering Institutions will have introduced a Policy of random reviewing of Professionally Active Registrants’ CPD Returns.

The IET’s Board of Trustees have now agreed that we should meet this aspiration, extending it as a benefit to all IET Members.

As an IET Member you have already committed to keeping your knowledge and skills up-to-date through planned professional development as part of our Rules of Conduct.

The only change, therefore, is that from January 2017, you may be chosen to have your previous year’s records reviewed.


I am a retired Member; does the new CPD Policy apply to me too?

Those who are retired and no longer professionally active need only undertake 10 hours of CPD per year; a figure easily achievable by reading E&T magazine on a regular basis or watching a few keynote lectures on

If that is not possible due to ill health or any other reason, the member just needs to include the reasons in their annual CPD declaration in Career Manager, or, if chosen for Review, in an email response to us at

A Professionally Active Member is one who is employed fully or part time in engineering or a related field, or acting as a volunteer in the IET or other Professional Engineering Institution (PEI) and the requirement is for 30 hours of CPD per annum.

A non-Professionally Active Member may be retired and not acting as an IET or PEI volunteer, may be employed but not in an engineering role, or may be a temporarily non-Professionally Active Member due to for example maternity leave, long term illness, unemployment etc in which case a reduced requirement of 10 hours CPD per annum applies 

We have no wish to drive away valued Members whose personal situation does not allow them to complete the recommended CPD hours.

Do I have to use Career Manager to record my CPD activities?

We understand that you may already have your own method of recording your CPD, or that you work for a company or organization with an in-house appraisal system.

We don’t wish to create extra work for you, but there are several reasons why the IET recommends that you make use of Career Manager:

  • If all IET members use Career Manager, we have a level playing-field on which to consider performance. This will allow us to provide consistent feedback to all members on the amount and type of CPD undertaken across the Institution. It also helps us to operate the scheme efficiently;
  • Over the course of a long career, you may work for a number of different organisations. Using Career Manager allows you to take your records with you rather than leave them behind, possibly on a variety of disparate electronic and paper systems;
  • Career Manager is designed with you in mind and includes UK-SPEC and (for those that need it) Professional Registration.

If you are using a different system of recording, your CPD record, should we request it, would need to include the following:

  • Total number of CPD hours undertaken in the previous year;
  • Nature of the CPD, e.g. Training, Work Experience, Academic, Volunteering, Events, Self-Study broken down into respective sub-totals by category;
  • Brief Reflection on the activities.

What if I am unable to complete the required number of hours or record my CPD returns? Will I lose my Membership? 

We are not looking to trip anyone up over this monitoring, nor do we expect to have to introduce sanctions. Rather, we will be looking to inform and advise our members on how they can get the very best out of their existing CPD activities and to signpost new opportunities.

For example, where a member’s returns show that fewer than the recommended 30 hours CPD have been completed, we may suggest ways of undertaking CPD that hadn’t perhaps been considered, such as reading relevant articles in magazines such as E&T or viewing items on  

There may be other activities you are involved in, such as Volunteering, which can also count as CPD. So if in a particular year, your CPD records do not quite meet recommended levels, we will work with you to improve things for the following year.

How long will registering my CPD Activities take me?

Recording your CPD Activities should not be too time-consuming for you and is not intended to be a chore. Whatever system you chose to use, we would not expect it take more than 15 minutes for you to record details of and reflection on any particular activity. If you are using Career Manager, for example, the likely time commitment to maintain your records is detailed below, but it is likely that this will not differ greatly from other systems, as the most time-consuming part is usually the wording rather than navigating around a system:

Action: Opt-in Register my Personal Details Add my Job Role Add my job Role and UK-SPEC Objectives (optional) Create my CPD Planning Report (optional) Record a CPD Activity Record my Reflections
How often do I do this? Once


As a Member, uploaded automatically for you


With updates on change of role

Annually Annually


depends on circumstances / Activities


depends on circumstances / Activities

How long will it take <5mins <30mins* c.30mins <30mins <1hour <5mins per Activity <10mins per Activity

Do I have to include Reflection? What is the point of it?

Please see the PDF document on Reflection in the 'See also' section at the top of the page.

Professional development cycle

An easy-to-follow approach for managing your CPD:


Each section, below, includes easy-to-follow steps as well as IET products and services to support you at each stage of the cycle.

Planning your CPD

Creating a plan involves defining your goals and then setting objectives and actions to ensure you achieve them.

Doing your CPD

Tips for successfully undertaking the development activities you have planned.

Recording your CPD

Record your CPD activities and reflect on what you have learned and how you can apply your learning.

Reviewing your CPD

Review your learning against your plan. Any outstanding development or new goals can be carried over into the planning stage for your next cycle.

PD How2

A joint website from the IET, IMechE, RAeS, IoP and IMarEST, providing further information about planning and undertaking professional development.