Friday Fresh #10: CPD Accreditation vs. Qualification – Why Not Both?

Hello and welcome to another dose of valuable information!

In this week’s edition of Friday Fresh, we’re diving into the often-misunderstood distinction between CPD accreditation and qualifications, and why it can be beneficial for training providers to consider both.

Understanding the Difference

Qualifications are individual achievements, often following a structured educational pathway, culminating in exams or coursework. They demonstrate an individual’s learned skills and knowledge, and in the UK, they align with the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

From the perspective of a training provider, aligning your training to a qualification means aligning the learning objective to the national educational standard and ensuring that your teaching reiterates the traditional learning materials.

Accreditations, on the other hand, are more about recognising the quality and standard of a learning activity or organisation. They aren’t tied to the national educational system but are endorsed by authoritative bodies like The CPD Standards Office.

From the perspective of a training provider, an accreditation allows you much more freedom and innovation in your teaching materials, whilst simultaneously assuring your learners that your delivery and setup are of high professional standards.

Why Opt for Both As A Training Provider?

If your training has been designed exclusively to support professionals on their journey towards a qualification and you will not be selling to a wider market, then CPD accreditation might be redundant.

On the other hand, if your training offers an innovative approach on a topic and can enhance a professional’s career, then CPD accreditation might be exactly what you need. In this instance, if you’d like to confidently offer your learning activity to a wider array of professionals, aligning your content to a qualification might be a tedious and unnecessary process that will bring no benefit to you or to your learners.

Practical Example

A Level 5 National Diploma can be CPD accredited. Upon completion, a student not only gains a qualification but also earns CPD points. This dual benefit is particularly appealing for those who have CPD requirements but also seek a formal qualification.

Final Thoughts

Remember, qualifications are about individual achievement, while accreditations reflect the quality of your training programs. By offering both, you open doors to a wider range of learners and enhance the appeal and credibility of your courses.


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