What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

What counts as CPD?

If you read an article in E&T magazine, watch a relevant programme on IET.tv or mainstream television, attend a lecture or seminar or give up your time to help young engineers develop, you are undertaking CPD. You can download our CPD brochure [PDF, 448KB] and watch our pre-recorded CPD webinar to find out more. We want to make CPD an inspiring part of your career development so we’ve created an array of products and services that will keep you motivated and engaged. To make it easier to remember, we’ve created the acronym TWAVES:

Please also remember that content from any source is equally acceptable.

Why bother with CPD?

Undertaking CPD is written into the IET’s Rules of Conduct, ensuring all our members remain informed and in touch. It’s how you keep up to date with current practice and standards, and it drives you to improve your skills so you can progress into new roles throughout your working life.

CPD will help you:

  • achieve your goals efficiently
  • keep up with changing technology
  • get recognition
  • stay in the job market
  • develop leadership skills and help influence others
  • provide evidence of competence when it’s needed
  • demonstrate commitment to your profession.

Ready to record your CPD?

Take a look at our guide on getting started with Continuing Professional Development.

How much CPD should you complete?

You should try and complete at least 30 hours CPD a year. You can choose how you split your time and the type of activities you do but we recommend doing planned CPD such as training courses and secondments with unplanned CPD such as events and studying at home.

If you’re a retired member who still undertakes engineering-related activities or wants to maintain active knowledge, there’s a reduced requirement of 10 hours CPD annually. However, if you’re active in Committees, Registration and Standards, Accreditation, CPD Monitoring or Mentoring roles, the full 30 hours is required.

A retired or no longer professionally active member isn’t required to undertake CPD. A non-professionally active retired member who is selected for CPD monitoring should simply let us know their circumstances and no further action would be required. Remember, the IET will never remove the professional status of members once they retire and there are no plans to change this with the introduction of CPD monitoring.

If you’re finding it hard to keep up, let us know as we may be able to suggest ways of CPD that you hadn’t thought about, like volunteering, reading relevant E&T Magazine articles or watching IET.tv.

How should you record your CPD?

We recommend using Career Manager to record your CPD. Think of it as your professional home for life: you may move roles and organisations but your records will always be in one place. Plus, it’s designed to help you meet regulatory standards such as UK-SPEC and reach goals such as professional registration in a structured way.

If you’re using a different system to log your CPD, just bear in mind that we may need to see it. You’ll need to make sure you’ve covered:

  • the total number of CPD hours you’ve completed in the previous year
  • the type of CPD activity
  • a brief reflection on each activity
  • a summary of your overall CPD.

How long does it take?

It shouldn’t be time-consuming and it certainly shouldn’t feel like a chore. Whatever system you choose to use, we think it should take you no more than 15 minutes to record your activity and give a brief reflection. We’ve put together a likely time commitment table for Career Manager to help set your expectations:


How often?

How long does it take?

Register your personal details Once 30 minutes
Add a job role Once (with updates) 30 minutes
Add a job role and UK-SPEC objectives Annually 30 minutes
Create a plan Annually 1 hour
Record an activity Monthly (depending on the circumstances) 5 minutes per activity
Reflect Monthly 10 minutes per activity
Submit a declaration Annually 5 minutes


Do you have to include reflection?

Reflection is an important part of your CPD record as it makes sense to show how the activity you’ve completed has contributed to your professional development. We’re not looking for lengthy reflective statements – you simply need to identify the value of what you did and why you did it. Reflecting when you record your activity also helps you complete your annual return and get the most from your goals. See our CPD Reflection document for more information.

Career Manager

Plan, record and review your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) using our skills development and recording tool.

You can also submit your annual CPD record.

Read more about Career Manager