CPD Guide

Learn how to manage your Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Start recording your CPD on Career Manager 

CPD Brochure

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 IET.tv 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.

When planning and recording your CPD, remember the acronym TWAVES:

You can also watch our:

Pre-recorded CPD webinar

as well as our short video 'Understanding Continuing Professional Development' below:

Why have you changed the CPD Policy?

From January 2017 all Professional Engineering Institutions have introduced a Policy of random reviewing of Professionally Active Registrants’ CPD Returns. The IET’s Board of Trustees agreed that we should meet this aspiration, extending it as a benefit to IET Members (TMIET, MIET, FIET).

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 is that 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?

For retired members who still undertake engineering-related activities or who wish to maintain an active knowledge, we have agreed a reduced requirement of 10 hours CPD annually (or the full 30 hours for IET volunteers who are active in Committees, Registration and Standards, Accreditation, CPD Monitoring or Mentoring roles). There would be no such requirement for those who are no longer professionally active.

Should a retired member who no longer considers themselves professionally active be selected for CPD monitoring, they would simply need to let us know their circumstances and we expect that no further action would be required.

Some retired members have raised concerns about losing their professional status. As detailed above, maintenance of CPD is required for each member “throughout their working life” but there is no such stated requirement in retirement. The IET has never previously removed the professional status of members once they retire and there are no plans to change this with the introduction of CPD monitoring.

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.
  • A CPD summary on Career Manager.

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. 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 IET.tv.  

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.

Persistent failure to comply with a request to send us your CPD records could ultimately result in loss of membership and/or Registration.

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: Register my Personal Details Add my Job Role Add my job Role and UK-SPEC Objectives Create my CPD Planning Report Record a CPD Activity Record my Reflections Submit my Declaration
How often do I do this?



(With updates on change of role)

Annually Annually


(depends on preferences, circumstances / activities)


(depends on preferences, circumstances / activities)


How long will it take 30 mins 30 mins 30 mins 1 hour 5 mins per Activity 10 mins per Activity 5 mins

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

Yes, reflection is an important part of your CPD record. People who reflect on their learning retain more information and are more efficient at applying it to improve their performance. For more information on adding reflection and why it’s needed, please read the CPD reflection guidance.

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.