Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does The CPD Standards Office Exist?
CPD is another term for lifelong learning. In our ‘knowledge society’ continuous learning has become the norm. Nearly all professionals are now expected and often required, to undertake some form of continuous development. There is currently no single authoritative body that validates all forms of training and learning provision for CPD. Professional bodies and institutes frequently accredit training providers for their particular sectors.
Some umbrella companies accredit training in general but not specifically for CPD, or accredit some but not all forms of CPD provision. We are the only body that seeks to accredit all forms of CPD activity, and whose authority derives from research and the oversight of an independent panel of experts.
The CPD Standards Office was founded following extensive research into the practice of CPD. The research included a survey of over 1000 professionals, over 30 interviews with professional bodies, institutes and employers, and expert consultations on innovation in the workplace and CPD.
Why Is Independent CPD Accreditation Necessary?
Our research found that:
- The quality of CPD training is often poor – this was one of the main complaints of professionals in our survey
- CPD is frequently held in low regard and has a bad reputation with both employers and professionals
- Many new forms of CPD are emerging, especially online.
The CPD Standards Office, in response, seeks to raise standards by accrediting high-quality CPD provision, including new forms of CPD such as coaching, webinars and downloads.
In an increasingly competitive market, we have found among providers an appetite to stand out from the crowd by having their activities validated and accredited for quality, and among professionals a desire for assistance in identifying good quality provision.
Accreditation by the CPD Standards Office will provide a kitemark of quality that will serve professionals and providers, and help to raise overall standards.
Why Is There A Need For An Independent Standard?
An independent standard will enable professionals to recognise provision that is of high educational quality.
Our research found that when individuals experience poor training, they lose motivation to continue with CPD. Their learning suffers, which means that they develop less as professionals, employers don’t benefit from a more competent workforce and the public receives a service of a lower standard than it might have been.
In particular, our research found that there are frequent gaps between individuals undertaking learning activities and then reflecting on what they have learnt, applying it to their role and recording it appropriately for CPD purposes.
The process of being accredited by the Standards Office will help learning and training providers to develop their activities in ways that better meet CPD requirements, and enable professionals to have a more fulfilling and satisfying learning experience.
What Happens If We Don’t Satisfy Your Criteria?
Our criteria are deliberately demanding because we accredit only high-quality providers and coaches. We do not operate on a ‘pass or fail’ basis. Rather, we work with you to help you meet the criteria. Our team of experts are available to provide advice and support.
How Do You Keep The Content, And Intellectual Property, Of My Training Courses Protected?
This is a concern for many of our providers and clients. You will notice in our terms and conditions, that your IP remains with you and your organisation. All of our colleagues and assessors work under confidentiality agreements, and it is clear that your content is strictly your IP and not to be shared with any other parties.
If it makes you more comfortable, we are happy to sign a non-disclosure agreement or only work in hard copy.
Lastly, if confidentiality is a serious concern for you, we also have the option of conducting your assessment on a face-to-face basis. This process can limit the number of materials you need to submit directly to the CPD Standards Office.
What Happens If We Have A Very Large Number Of Activities? Must Each Activity Be Accredited?
There are different methodologies for assessing a large number of activities, which depend on the size of your company and portfolio volume. Where repetitive elements are used for multiple courses (such as company policies), for example, we will not ask you to submit them for each activity. Once registered with us, the CPD Standards Office assessment team will work with you to ensure the most efficient methodology to accredit your learning activities and will provide support throughout the assessment process.
What Gives You The Right To Offer This Accreditation?
Our criteria and processes have been developed in the context of our wider research into improving the standards of CPD, increasing the effectiveness of CPD activities, and ensuring CPD achievements are recognised.
We are associated with universities and educational organisations and work closely with professional bodies and institutes, and with a growing number of employers.
Our criteria and processes are overseen by an independent advisory board of experts, drawn from academics, CPD professionals and employers.
What’s The Difference Between You And Being Accredited By A Professional Body?
A professional body accredits only providers who sell into that sector and normally focuses on content. Our independent accreditation:
- Enables you to sell across sectors, professions and industries
- Focuses on your educational processes and guarantees quality
- Enables you to differentiate yourself further if you are selling into a highly competitive sector
- Is 100% focused on CPD provision and accredits by item. Many professional bodies only accredit the training provider as an organisation. So little advice is given on the delivery of specific activities
- Is rooted in ongoing academic and practitioner-based research, enabling us to respond to changing CPD and educational requirements.
Why Should We Be Accredited By You When Our Activities Or Coaching Already Count For CPD?
- More customers and clients may be tempted to buy your activity or coaching if they know it qualifies for CPD
- The CPD market is growing rapidly. Without realising it, you may be failing to take full advantage of this by not being explicit that your activities or coaching count for CPD
- Not all activities automatically qualify for CPD. You may be excluding yourself from the CPD market by not knowing how to make your activities ‘CPD ready’. Our team of CPD experts can help you.