How can we improve CPD?

28 June 2022, Jon Buttolph, CIEH Associate Director of Professional Development

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Over the last few years, many of you have told us that you’ve had difficulties fulfilling your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) obligations.

This is understandable and we relaxed the CPD requirement throughout the pandemic to take your needs into account.

One of the reasons for this relaxation was that living and working through a global pandemic was a profound learning experience for everyone in environmental health. And that kind of professional development isn’t captured especially well by our CPD scheme with its requirement for a quantity of hours of evidenced structured training.

Even without COVID-19, our CPD scheme was long overdue for a review – and this is doubly true after the pandemic, when all of us have found new ways to work – and have developed as professionals through doing that.

For that reason, I am working with our Membership and the Professional Advisory Group (MPAG) to make CPD better. Our aim is to:

  • improve the CPD scheme so that it better captures how you, our members learn on the job and develop as professionals throughout your careers.

  • do this without placing unnecessary burdens on people who are already working incredibly hard.

  • shift the culture of CPD away from members recording hours and CIEH auditing them, towards something that is based more on a mutual culture of professional ethics.

To kickstart this, we commissioned the Professional Association Research Network to evaluate our current CPD requirements for members and also benchmarked our scheme against those of other professional bodies. From this we think that some simple improvements can be made to the scheme which should resonate well with members.

But we would also like to hear from you, the member at the coalface. How do you think our CPD scheme could be improved? Email me your thoughts – even one sentence would be helpful. I look forward to hearing from you.

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