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Six activities you might not know count towards CPD

Top tips

Informal learning can often get overlooked when recording your CPD as you focus on the structured courses you attended or the obvious new skills you picked up in the workplace.

However, there are lots of activities you probably do regularly that can also count towards CPD, so we’ve put together a breakdown of 6 activities that you can also credit…

Visiting conferences and seminars – virtual or physical

You may think that only training courses count towards CPD, but attending any technical event, whether it’s a lecture, conference or seminar demonstrates an opportunity to learn.

Virtual events also count towards your CPD; you don’t physically have to be at a venue in order to learn something new. And it doesn’t necessarily have to cost money either – watching lectures on YouTube or signing up for a free online course warrants just as much credit as a paid-for alternative.

Also keep in mind that these events don’t need to have ties to the IET – attending events run by any organisation counts as long as you’ve gained something from taking part.

Going along to networking events

Yes, even socialising can provide CPD credit! Widening your professional network, speaking with experts in different fields and sharing your knowledge is an important part of developing as an engineer. Find out about our Local Network events.

Doing something new at work

Tackling a new challenge at work? Any ‘first times’, whether it’s your first presentation, report or team leader role can be recorded as part of your CPD.

Work experience

If you think that you have to be in a paid, full-time role for your experience to count towards your CPD then you’re wrong. Any experience you gain whether as a work experience student or an intern provides you with new skills that can be recorded as CPD.


Following on from this, volunteering is also a great way of highlighting new skills and experiences. Whether you dive in and become a STEM ambassador, or you simply give up one afternoon to go into a school to talk about your career, you’ll be picking up or honing several soft skills.

Self-study and independent research

Any time you spend learning something new can be considered CPD – the only caveat is that this knowledge is relevant to your field of work. So, spending an hour of your evening on your iPad checking something out for work can be classed as independent research, and even reading E&T Magazine counts!

Text originally provided by Keri Allan in 2016.

Edited by Erica Hunt in 2021.