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CPD Frequently asked questions

Welcome to the FAQ page about recording CPD activities in relation to your professional registration. On this page you will find answers to questions that members frequently ask.

Definition of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
CPD is the term used to describe learning and development activities undertaken by individuals to ensure that they are maintaining their current skills, developing them to a new level, or equipping themselves to volunteer in a professional capacity.

What is a reflective CPD record?
A reflective CPD record helps you to consolidate your learning and develop a deeper understanding of what you’ve learnt. It also supports you in identifying and implementing new behaviours and processes, planning future CPD activities, and converting your learning into action.

How do I know if I need to submit a CPD record, and how long am I given to produce my record?
As a holder of a professional registration with the IOP, you will be contacted by the Membership team to submit your CPD record, or declare that you are not professionally active. You will then have three months to submit your CPD record.

How do I declare I am not professionally active?
You will need to speak to someone from the membership team to confirm you are not professionally active.

I am not professionally active, what should my record consist of?
Your record should simply consist of the type of activities you’ve undertaken and month/year completed. For example, ‘Read an article in Physics World on photonics, November 2021’.

Will I lose my professional registration if I am not professionally active?
No, providing you are undertaking CPD and keeping a record of your activities, you can still keep your professional registration. However, you will need to declare you are not professionally active and the membership team will update your record accordingly. By making this declaration you will not be required to submit a reflective CPD record.

If I am on a break from practice, do I have to submit a CPD record?
A break in practice can include maternity/paternity/adoption leave, ill-health, a sabbatical, or taking time out of work to care for a dependant and therefore you can request an exemption. However, we will also consider circumstances that may fall outside of the above on a case-by-case basis. 

A break in practice can be up to three years, after which you will be asked to submit a CPD record. Three years is currently the maximum period of time stipulated by several professional and regulatory bodies.

Contact the Membership Team
If you have any questions or concerns regarding maintaining your professional registration, please email [email protected] or call 020 7470 4800