Types of CPD

When we talk about CPD, we automatically think formal training. However, professional development can include a wide range of activities. Attending lectures, conferences and courses remains a key aspect of life-long learning, but it is important to realise that the majority of learning comes from experience in a day-to-day practice.

The following list of CPD activities (based on the framework developed by Health Professions Council, UK) is not exhaustive, but it will provide you with some idea of the types of activity that you can undertake which will contribute to the achievement of your learning outcomes:

Work Based Learning

  • Learning by doing
  • Case studies/presentations
  • Reflective practice
  • Clinical audit
  • Coaching from others
  • Discussions with colleagues
  • Peer review
  • Involvement in wider work of employer (for example, being a representative on a committee)
  • Work shadowing
  • Site visits
  • Ward rounds
  • Secondments/locums
  • Job rotation
  • Journal club
  • Study groups/interest groups
  • In-service training
  • Supervising staff or students
  • Visiting other departments and reporting back
  • Expanding your role
  • Analysing significant events
  • Filling in self-assessment questionnaires
  • Project work or project management
  • Participating in a committee
  • Quality assurance activities
  • Evidence of learning activities undertaken as part of your progression on competency frameworks.
  • Acting up
  • Developing pathways, protocols, guidelines, policy etc.
  • Undertaking a project.
  • Participating in performance development

Self-Directed Learning

  • Reading journals/articles
  • Conducting a literature search
  • Online discussion groups
  • List-serves
  • Reviewing books or articles
  • Updating knowledge through the Internet or TV
  • Keeping a file of your progress

Professional Activity

  • Involvement in a professional body
  • Membership of a specialist interest group
  • Lecturing or teaching
  • Mentoring
  • Being an examiner
  • Being a tutor
  • Branch meetings
  • Organising journal clubs or other specialist groups
  • Maintaining or developing specialist skills (eg, musical skills)
  • Being an expert witness
  • Participating in a committee
  • Membership of other professional bodies or groups
  • Giving presentations at conferences
  • Organising accredited courses
  • Supervising research
  • Being a national assessor
  • Being promoted

Formal / Educational

  • Courses
  • Workshops
  • Further education
  • Undertaking research
  • Attending conferences
  • Writing articles or papers
  • Going to seminars
  • Distance learning/online learning
  • Courses accredited by professional body
  • Planning or running a course
  • Delivering training.


  • Public service
  • Voluntary work
  • Courses.


Types of CPD & You

  • Make a list of all the CPD activities and opportunities available to you at your workplace and also outside of work.
  • Are you making the most of all the opportunities available?
  • After every CPD event, record the event, your learning’s and how you plan to apply these learning’s to practice.


Useful Resources