CPD Language

1. Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Learning Objectives: these refer to the primary aims, and key purpose of an educational activity. They should be included with any promotion of the educational activity, and completely transparent to delegates or students prior to undertaking the activity.

Learning Outcomes: these refer to the individual learner’s experience of the educational activity, and describe what that person has learnt. These often form a set of sentences which list what has been learnt – in terms of knowledge, skills and / or behaviours – how this learning was achieved, and then most importantly, what the person plans to do with the learning in the context of their professional role or practice.

Learning Outcomes are important because they force the individual delegates or students to reflect on the educational activity, and identify what the ‘key nuggets of information’ were that are 100% relevant to their individual circumstances and professional remit.

How we support you: on the back of the CPD Standards Office Certificates of Attendance (issued to CPD Standards members on full accreditation of their learning activities) there is a learning tool which enables the individual to evidence their learning, and list learning outcomes.

2. Points and Hours

What they are and why they matter: the majority of CPD Schemes require members to log their CPD yearly, based on hours undertaken, or points obtained.

Points are generally assigned by the individual professional in line with guidance from their professional body on the points: hours ratio.

Therefore simply advertising the CPD hours of any given activity is a great way to support delegates through the somewhat intimidating task of maintaining and submitting a CPD record.

How we support you: At the top of the CPD Learning Tool (reverse side of the CPD Certificate), there is a sentence ‘This CPD activity equates to XX CPD hours’. As part of your assessment process, you will have been advised on the approximate number of CPD hours that has been awarded to your CPD activity. As a general rule:

One CPD hour is one full contact hour of teaching or learning, and can include question and answer sessions, but not networking time.

One CPD point usually equals One CPD hour. However, this can vary from sector to sector, and the Office advises that if you are listing CPD points on your certificate, to make sure it is fully aligned to the key professional bodies or institutes within your sector.

3. CPD Schemes

What they are and why they’re relevant to your delegates: Many of your delegates will be members of professional bodies, regulators, or associations, the vast majority of whom will have a CPD Scheme in place. “CPD Schemes” are policies for members set by the professional body, which describe the type, amount, and timeframe in which, CPD activities are required to be undertaken.

There are three types of schemes:

  • Input Schemes
  • Output Schemes
  • Outcome Schemes

Input Schemes: The majority of professional bodies use ‘Input Schemes’, these require members to undertake a minimum amount of CPD activities over a set period of time. Input schemes are mainly recorded as hours, but are sometimes logged as points or credits, where the general rule of thumb is that 1 CPD point = 1 learning hour.

Examples of these schemes include:

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) = Chartered Architects = 35 hours per annum


The Financial Conduct Authority = Independent financial advisors = 35 hours per annum

How you can support your delegates: If your delegates are enrolled on an Inputs based CPD Scheme, you can support them by supplying a CPD Standards certificate which clearly states the number of CPD hours undertaken.

Output Schemes:  These CPD schemes set out a policy that is not time based.  Instead they require individual professionals to plan specific learning goals, or objectives, related to their professional practice, and then choose and undertake training activities to meet these goals. An outputs based scheme typically encourages professional individuals to follow a professional development cycle. The Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales suggest individuals Reflect, Act, Impact, and Declare – see //www.icaew.com/en/members/cpd/make-a-cpd-declaration/planning-for-your-continuing-professional-development

How you can support your delegates: If your delegates are enrolled on an Outputs based CPD Scheme, you can support them by reviewing their planned aims and desired learning outcomes prior to the course.

In particular you need to focus on the core elements of their learning experience with you, and record how these will translate into their work.

Finally, ensure that your delegates complete the ‘Learning Tool’ on the reversed side of the CPD Standards Certificate.

Outcome Schemes: This type of CPD scheme is a relatively new development, and is utilised heavily within the medical profession. Here individual professionals must undertake a number of training activities (often governed by a set number of hours), but must demonstrate how their learning has impacted their role positively, and improved their professional practice. To verify that the learning has taken place, there is a supervisor in place who oversees the CPD activities and the application of learning, and ensures that the CPD record is correct in recording the outcomes.

How you can support your delegates: You’ve already done the most helpful thing you can for your delegates. By becoming accredited you’ve converted your educational activity into the strongest CPD currency available, you are able to assure your delegates that the CPD certificate you provide will be accepted by all professional bodies and associations in the UK.

To go the extra mile and assist delegates enrolled in an Outcome based CPD Scheme – ask them to pinpoint their key learning points from your CPD activity and articulate how these will be applied in practice, and subsequently included in a supervision conversation.

By reading the above, and where possible familiarising yourself with the professional bodies that are relevant to your delegates, you can go that extra step in being aware of your delegates CPD.