Professional development

Group of registrants are sitting taking notes while the trainer stands and delivers media training in front of a flip chart
Continuing professional development, or CPD, describes the activities you undertake in addition to on-the-job training, which contribute to your improvement and development as a scientist.

Examples of CPD activities include attending workshops, seminars and conferences; volunteering and mentoring; reading around your subject; and participating in online and other types of courses.

Skills, knowledge and experience that you gain over the course of the working year are documented and assessed against certain standards.

For professional scientists, CPD is an excellent way of ensuring that people are keeping up with the latest scientific developments and techniques. Making a commitment to regular CPD activities gives confidence to employers and the general public that our scientists are working to high standards.

Science Council CPD Standards for Registrants

Everyone on the Science Council’s registers has committed to the 5 Standards for CPD renewal:

  1. A registrant must maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  2. A registrant must demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  3. A registrant must seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice.
  4. A registrant must seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the users of the service (employee, customer, student etc).
  5. A registrant must present a written profile containing evidence of their CPD upon request.

Registrants are all supported to meet these standards by their professional body and through support and advice provided by the Science Council.

If you work for a CPD Approved Employer, then your existing professional development is recognised for enabling you to meet all 5 standards on an annual basis. This means you would not need to complete an annual CPD return.

Updated Standards

Please note: The Science Council and its Licensed Bodies are working towards implementing updated CPD standards and from January 2022 the current CPD standards will no longer be used.  Throughout 2021 you may need to check with your Licensed Body to see what CPD standards they are using as some Licensed Bodies may transition quicker than others