“Can I use your course towards my CPD?”
This used to be an easy question to answer, but it’s become a bit more tricky now. Here’s why:
In the UK at least, and maybe in the States as well I’m not sure, there are three types of CPD acceptance of training courses:
What I call “level 1”, the most stringent: the course has be either an approved course or run by an approved provider. I would have to apply to the professional body to get my self or my course (or both!) approved. So I’d have to apply to the GMC for doctors, the Law Society / SRA for solicitors, the professional bodies for all the types of engineers (e.g. IMechE, IEE etc), ACCA (I think) for accountants, then there are surveyors, estate agents, university lecturers, nurses, radiographers, physiotherapists, social workers, care home managers, etc etc. This would take me for ever so I haven’t done it. Some trainers have done it for maybe just the GMC or just Lawyers, and then they can specialise in offering training to just that sector, which is a marketing strategy I guess. But luckily for me, and probably for all of us, this level of approval is getting rarer now.
“Level 2” which is where the course has to fit certain criteria defined by the GMC, Law Society, IEE etc, and as long as my course does that you can use it. Most of my courses probably do fit the criteria, because they are good and thorough so it would be weird if they didn’t – though I don’t know the details of what the criteria are, and they probably very a bit depending on what your profession is and what your professional body think such a course should contain.
“Level 3” which is where YOU choose which courses you think are relevant to your professional development and you tell your professional body that you have done them (kind of self assessment) and they have the option to reject what you have done, but they rarely do. Who knows, they might not even be checking every submission! Again, the vast majority of my courses probably do fit the criteria, because they are good and thorough so it would be weird if they didn’t – though neither of us know the details of what your professional body think such a course should contain until we try submitting it.
For example, for lawyers this third option is now the system – Continuing Professional Development has been renamed “Continuing Competence”, and you self-certify your training and hope you got it right. There IS a list of subjects you should cover – I have listed them here and even made an online resource that covers them, only because Lawyers are something I know a bit about. For all other areas I don’t have a specific resource I’m afraid!
For all three levels you can use non-technical courses for your CPD. For example time management would be relevant to any job, and selling or negotiating or leadership could well be relevant to your job.
So I hope this is helpful. My courses probably do the job but I can’t guarantee it. There is a small chance that your professional body is either at level 1 – and I won’t be certified – or at level 2 or 3 and they won’t like the contents of my course. But in most cases they are at level 2 or 3 and my courses are fine.
The only way you can find out is either to take the course and add it to your list and see what happens when you submit, or, if you are very risk adverse, write to your professional body with details of my course, asking if it is suitable for your CPD requirements.
onwards and upwards!