Continuing Professional Development (CPD) FAQs

This FAQ resource answers many of the common questions we are asked about Professional Development Plans (PDP) and Continuing Professional Deveopment (CPD). However, if you have a specific question please contact us at and we will be happy to help.

CPD requirements

New professionally accredited members (PCIfA, ACIfA, MCIfA)  must commit to undertaking at least 50 hours of CPD every two years as part of the requirements of the Institute. CPD should be recorded when you start your accrediation but you will not be selected for monitoring within your first year of membership.

We also encourage non-accredited members to start recording their CPD as this is a useful record of achievement, and can help when completing your upgrade application.


CIfA's PDP and CPD templates can be found here or you can submit yours online through the Members' Area, just login to the CIfA website and select the area on the right hand side drop down list, you will find the online CPD section there. 



You can use existing templates from your employer for your CPD record, but you need to check that the minimum CPD requirements are covered by this. You should compare what you have with the CIfA CPD record template or online record and add or amend the documents if necessary. 

Retired members also need to keep an up to date CPD log meeting the requirements. CPD opportunities not only include formal training courses and more details about other forms of CPD can be found here 

Individual members’ CPD records will not normally be assessed more than once every five years. You can also submit an online CPD log if you wish to and the Insitute can review it there. Members whose CPD has been assessed and received feedback that it was unsatisfactory will be required to submit CPD for review again the following year. 

If you apply to upgrade your accreditation level, you will need to submit any PDP or CPD log from within the last 2 years with your application or specify it is an online log. We encourage Students and Affiliates to submit what they can.


What counts as CPD?

Learning or activities should not automatically go into your CPD record unless they directly relate to the annual priorities that you set yourself in your Professional Development Plan (PDP). In this instance you should decide how much of the conference – sessions, papers, discussions etc – that you can tie into your skill and topic area priorities and record that time only. 

Although all CPD requires some dedicated time to do it, many learning activities such as reading, and research can be free. They can be done in your own time at home or for example at a local library. However, CPD also covers new topics and skills learned or developed during the course of your work. You can log any activity that you have undertaken which helps to meet your CPD priorities, no matter how long they take or how often.  A list of suggested CPD areas can be found here and you can find CIfA training opportunities and elearning modules here

Training opportunities

CPD is a personal responsibility of every professional, whether you are employed or not.

However, it is in the interests of employers to have an effective and motivated workforce and many will have policies about learning and development as well as the opportunity to discuss these issues at a staff review.

If your organisation is a Registered Organisation, CIfA expects it normally to provide at least 5 days training for its staff and to support them in their professional development.