Use FAQs on this page to learn more about what continuing professional development (CPD) means for physiotherapy staff.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the process by which professionals maintain and develop their skills, knowledge and competence in order to practice safely and effectively.
To maintain and enhance their professionalism and competence physiotherapists and physiotherapy support workers must be:
- actively engaged in CPD
- documenting and evidencing their CPD
- applying learning from CPD to their practice
Student physiotherapists must:
- understand the principles of CPD
- begin to collect evidence of learning from their CPD
- continue the process once qualified.
Use the FAQs on this page to learn more:
CPD requires you to demonstrate that you are keeping up to date with new knowledge, techniques and developments related to your practice. It helps ensure that quality, accountability and effective practice are readily maintained.
A number of factors affect the CPD agenda for physiotherapy practitioners:
- the CSP's Code of Members' Professional Values and Behaviour
- HCPC regulatory body standards (and please also see examples of existing HCPC CPD profiles for physios)
- career development and personal planning
- evidence-based practice
- national government drivers
You will need to:
- take a systematic approach to your CPD
- undertake CPD activities appropriate to meeting identified learning needs
- capture your learning from these activities in an appropriate way and store it in a portfolio of evidence
- consider how what you have learned will impact on your subsequent practice.
For further information, please see:
- CPD habits within the CSP ePortfolio for the systematic CPD process and relevant activities
- keeping a CPD portfolio page for capturing evidence of your CPD and its impact on practice
- the CSP learning hub for further resources
Reflective practice is a process: you stop and think about your practice, consciously analyse your decision making and draw on theory, and then relate this back to what you do in practice.
Critical analysis and evaluation refocuses your thinking on your existing knowledge and helps generate new knowledge and ideas. As a result, you may modify your actions, behaviour, treatments and learning needs.
Make time to write down your reflections, as this process often helps clarify thoughts. This will also give you some written evidence to share with others at a later date.
Use the suggestions below to help further develop your own reflective practice:
- record your learning from experiences using the CSP ePortfolio
- use CSP support tools for reflective practice in the ePortfolio
- develop links with colleagues to discuss reflective practice together (either within your organisation or using other professional or clinical networks)
- read more about CPD habit 3: reflective practice in the CSP ePortfolio
- read more about clinical supervision
- read more about mentoring
The society recognises that you will need to undertake different amounts and different types of CPD during your career. The number of hours of CPD that need to be undertaken in any given year however is a matter of personal judgement.
And while most employed members are given time for formal CPD learning opportunities, the same cannot be said for less structured activities.
Section 3 of the society's Quality Assurance Standards specifies that members have protected personal learning time of at least half a day per month for informal CPD activities. This is in addition to study leave arrangements for formal CPD and mandatory training (Quality Assurance Standards 3.4.2).
The time can be used for:
- reflective practice
- portfolio building
- use of library facilities
- evidence-based practice resources review
- journal reading and review
- participating in email discussion groups such as iCSP
The above list is by no means exhaustive though.
This time allocation should be in addition to mandatory training and study leave arrangements for formal courses. To this end, the society signed up to a joint statement on CPD which closes matches this recommendation.
Given there are no statutory agreements on protected time, managers and staff are encouraged to use the CSP recommendation as a minimum baseline. This should help ensure that appropriate time is made available during working hours to undertake and record learning from CPD activities. And if you require greater time to meet your professional learning needs, this should be provided in addition to the existing minimum recommendation.
Remember that you as a professional will also need to dedicate some of your own time to your CPD. This will be very much the case when it relates to development beyond your current role and workplace.
Find out more
In addition to the ePortfolio and Learning Hub, there are a number of relevant CSP videos including: