Continuing professional development (CPD) is a value of the Ethical Framework and all registered members must agree to plan, record, review and reflect on their CPD in a structured way.

By identifying your learning needs and areas of practice that would benefit from further development, you're also contributing to client safety.

The Register defines CPD as:

"Any learning experience that can be used for the systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of competence, knowledge and skills to ensure that the practitioner has the capacity to practise safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice. It may include both personal and professional development."

We see CPD as a cyclical process (see diagram). Usually this will begin with reflection on development needs, but sometimes learning occurs unexpectedly at another point in the cycle. This can also be recorded as CPD

The CPD cycle: Reflect and identify learning needs - Plan and prioritise - Action - Evaluation

Register requirements for CPD

As a registered member, you must:

  • keep an up-to-date and accurate record of CPD activities within the Learning centre or using the BACP Register template below
  • record a range of CPD activities relevant to current or future practice
  • show clearly how you have reflected, planned, actioned and evaluated your development needs and indicate how this will have an impact in your practice
  • submit your CPD record for audit on request

When you join the Register, and when you renew your membership, we'll ask you to agree to the following terms and conditions:

'I confirm and agree that I will ensure that I undertake and record continuing professional development (CPD) in line with the Register’s requirements and will abide by and fully cooperate with the Register’s CPD audit procedure, as may be varied from time to time.'

How do I identify my CPD needs?

You should think about any gaps in your knowledge or additional skills that will help improve your practice. You can discuss your CPD in supervision and you may want to include your supervisor(s) in the different stages. Appraisals, if you have them, are also a useful opportunity to discuss your CPD needs.

How much CPD should I have?

The focus should be on outcomes, or what you have gained from your CPD. However, we would normally expect registered members to undertake at least 30 hours of CPD a year.

What counts as CPD?

Any activities that have an impact on your current or future professional practice can be included. These could include:

  • conferences - attending or giving presentations
  • e-learning CPD modules
  • formal education, lectures, seminars, courses
  • in-service training
  • mentoring
  • peer support groups
  • organising specialist groups
  • reading books, journals or internet articles
  • supervising research
  • TV and radio programmes
  • workshops
  • work shadowing
  • writing articles or papers

(Supervision is a separate Register requirement and so should not be submitted as CPD.)

You should include a mixture of learning activities in your record, although you can focus on a specific type of activity if that is most appropriate for you. 

How should I record CPD?

For continuing registration, it's important you complete your CPD records in the way required by the Register terms and conditions. You can plan and record your CPD in the Learning centre, under My CPD, or you can use the Word template below. Your audit submission must be in the format that provides all the required information.

Please do not include personal, confidential or identifiable material in your records, unless this information is requested for audit purposes.

For further information on how you can record your CPD in the Learning centre, see My CPD help.

CPD template (doc)

The sample profile show how you might complete the CPD template.

Sample CPD record (pdf)

Register audit

If you're selected for audit, we'll contact you and give you around six weeks to send in your CPD records.

See Registered members' guide to audit and our audit FAQs for further information.

Audit outcomes

We'll contact you with the results of the audit, which may be:

  • your CPD record meets Register standards
  • we need more information
  • your CPD record does not meet our standards

Our approach to CPD will be facilitative. If you fail to meet some of the standards, we'll tell you why and ask you to resubmit your record.

If you don't meet any of the standards and have not engaged with CPD, you will be taken off the Register and removed from membership.

If you provide false or misleading information, you may be referred to Professional Conduct, which can also lead to your removal from the Register and membership.


If you have any questions about CPD or the audit process, please email us at