HCPC audit: are you ready?

The CSP’s Gwyn Owen and Isabella Oyelade offer guidance to help you prepare for the HCPC’s CPD audit.

We are well and truly into 2018 – and this is a time of year when we might turn to our continuing professional development (CPD) portfolios to look for information to include in an annual performance review, a job application, a grant application or a CPD profile for submission to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 
The HCPC registration renewal for physiotherapists opened on 1 February. It ends on 30 April and you must renew your registration by that date to continue working as a physiotherapist. 
As part of the re-registration process, the HCPC selects 2.5 per cent of physiotherapy registrants at random to participate in its CPD audit. Selected participants have until the end of April to submit a CPD profile showing how they meet HCPC standards, should you be selected.
As CSP adviser Nina Paterson wrote in her new year reflections  in the last issue of Frontline, you will have done all the hard work for the CPD audit already. See www.csp.org.uk/node/1131973
This article will help you to organise the information you’ve been gathering about your learning and practice to produce a CPD profile which will show how you meet the HCPC’s standards for CPD. 
Even if you’re not picked to take part in the audit, it will help you to prepare a portfolio of evidence to support your annual performance review or an application for your next job.
The HCPC’s standards for CPD state that registrants must 
  1. maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities 
  2. demonstrate that CPD undertaken is a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice 
  3. seek to ensure that CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery 
  4. seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user  
  5. upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the standards or CPD 
In a nutshell, standards 1 to 4 are about engaging in CPD activities with outcomes that will positively impact on your quality of practice, while standard 5 outlines what is expected from the CPD audit process. Visit the HCPC website for information about what is expected. Once you know, start to organise your information – looking for evidence you would like to include to show that you meet the CPD standards. 
The CSP and HCPC adopt an outcomes-based approach to CPD, looking at the impact on personal and professional development in practice. Therefore, any learning opportunity has CPD potential and can occur formally or informally, at work or outside it. If you’re not sure, look at the list of CPD activity types on HCPC’s website.
You may want to include records from in-house training courses, team sessions, conversations with your mentor/mentee, reflections from practice educator training days, reading, academic courses, voluntary work … the list goes on. Each person’s CPD log is unique, so don’t be too critical. For the CPD audit, the HCPC will accept examples from up to two years ago, when you last registered. 

Writing your profile

Once you have compiled your evidence, start drafting your profile. This should include a summary of your practice history and a statement of how you have met the HCPC’s standards. Your list of CPD activity will help to show how you meet standards 1 and 2; the evidence of how your learning outcomes connect to your practice will show how you’re meeting standards 3 and 4. 
Making the link between your CPD activities and practice may seem difficult at first, but you could approach this by listing your learning outcomes from each activity and then footmark how each has produced definite outcomes in your practice. Alternatively, look at the information you have about practice and service delivery, and how your work benefits service users – to do this, you need to analyse your behaviours, knowledge and skills. Whichever way you decide, you should be able to evidence your current practice and detail how it has progressed. 
This is a great opportunity to reflect on your achievements and to celebrate your development. 
Top tips for members: how to prepare an audit profile
  • Make time (to gather the information you need and to prepare, draft and edit your CPD profile – it may take longer than you expect.
  • Update your log of CPD activities on a regular basis – it will save time and help you choose items critically.
  • Read the letter and accompanying information carefully and keep it in front of you as you prepare. Refer to it regularly so you know you are providing what is required. By following the instructions you will avoid the frustration and anxiety of having to resubmit information.
  • Think broadly about what ‘evidence’ to include – the HCPC website gives examples of the sorts of things you could use.
  • Talk to colleagues who have been through the process already and develop a network of critical friends to give you feedback.
  • Don’t panic. You will be able to present evidence on what you have done and both the CSP and HCPC have resources to help you.

Further reading

  • Find out more about the HCPC registration renewal and CPD audit process.
  • Visit CSP’s ePortfolio and Learning Hub  to access a collection of CPD templates, tools and eBites, including the ‘Preparing for HCPC registration renewal/CPD audit 2018’ eBite.
  • From Frontline: advice on learning from events and using your CPD profile to show how you have developed your capacity to lead
  • Explore the links betweenlearning, practice and development

Gwyn Owen and Isabella Oyelade

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