Richard Cousins reviews the key lessons from a member CPD sampling exercise, and what comes next
IN 2017, in response to changing regulatory body requirements, IChemE began random sampling of members’ continuing professional development (CPD) records – with members asked to provide evidence of their CPD process and reflection on their recent/future CPD activities. Since then we have sampled over 400 members.
We initially limited the numbers we sampled and the grades/registrations examined, but these will be increased over time. Members’ CPD records are assessed by volunteers. In 2019 we recruited additional CPD assessors and we will recruit again in 2020. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
IChemE expects members to have a suitable process in place to manage their CPD, and the CPD activities undertaken should be appropriate to the type and scale of professional work members perform. In general, IChemE does not set requirements for the type or amount of CPD needed – we trust our members to decide for themselves how much and what type of CPD is needed based on their circumstances. Our CPD sampling verifies that members are fulfilling the obligations of their membership and professional registrations. We apply the same “trust but verify” approach that many members use in their day-to-day work.
Common themes have emerged from our review of feedback given to members sampled in 2019, and we would like to share three:
Following this feedback, there is a series of actions we want to take. These include providing members with more guidance on good practice in planning and carrying out their CPD activities. We aim to publish a CPD Guide for Members in 2021.
Secondly, we want to migrate to a web-based sampling process to make it simpler and easier for members to provide their CPD records. This will enable members to record, submit and receive feedback on their CPD records all within one online portal.
We hope members see the value in this work. These changes will help to raise the standard of CPD across the profession and therefore the value of chemical engineers to society. Furthermore, providing members with the tools and knowledge to best conduct their CPD will increase its value to members and boost their careers.
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