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Guidance on maintaining your professional registration
Guidance on maintaining your professional registration

If you are a holder of a professional registration with the IOP, this page provides information and guidance on how to successfully engage in the IOP’s CPD monitoring process.

CPD policy
In line with the IOP’s continuing professional development (CPD) policy, all members are expected to regularly engage in CPD activities as outlined in the IOP’s Code of Conduct. However, if you are a holder of a professional registration and are professionally active, you will be required to provide a reflective CPD record. This contains evidence of the activities undertaken and your reflections on them. If you are no longer professionally active, you can still retain your registration provided you regularly engage in and record your CPD activities. However, you will not be required to submit a reflective CPD record. Below are definitions of professionally active and not professionally active.

Professionally active
You use your physics, engineering, or science knowledge in a professional capacity for the benefit of others. This can include full or part-time employment, paid or unpaid activities, volunteering activities, and consultancy work (this can be on an ad-hoc basis).

Break from practice
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.

Not professionally active
You no longer engage in any activities where your professional skills and knowledge are used for the benefit of others. While you may be accessing resources, such as listening to podcasts, attending webinars and reading articles of interest, you are not transferring your knowledge.

CPD Commitment
As a member and holder of a professional registration, you have committed to regularly undertake CPD activities that will help you advance your knowledge, skills, and competence to keep pace with your role and developments in your field. The IOP will ensure that the integrity of all registers are maintained through regular monitoring of CPD records, and that members are undertaking a range of CPD activities in support of their professional development.

Benefits of undertaking CPD activities:

· Recognition of your on-going commitment to gaining new knowledge and skills

· Maintaining your credibility amongst peers, associates, and the wider community

· Exemplifying your commitment to maintaining high ethical standards

· Collectively upholding the value of professional registration for all holders, thus strengthening the reputation of physicists.

About the CPD monitoring process
You will be contacted via email, or letter, to provide evidence that you regularly engage in CPD activities. You will then have three months to produce a CPD record or inform us that you are not professionally active. If we do not receive any communication, you will, ultimately, be removed from the professional register. When producing your CPD record for monitoring, you will only be required to provide evidence of activities undertaken in the last 12 months, with reflection on these activities. For example, if you are called upon in September 2021 to submit your CPD record, you are only required to present evidence of your learning activities for the period September 2020 – September 2021.

Once submitted, CPD records will be reviewed by trained assessors and, in due course, we will inform you of the outcome and provide you with feedback.

CPD requirements for professionally active members – you will be expected to produce a CPD record that provides evidence of:

· Continuous learning – While the assessors would like to see a range of CPD activities for the submission period, you are encouraged to limit your submission to between 5 and 15 CPD activities. This is usually sufficient to demonstrate continuous learning.

· Reflection – this is an essential part of the IOP’s CPD monitoring process, and we have designed the CPD questions to allow you to reflect on each individual activity that you have recorded. Click here to view the CPD question and example responses (link to new page – CPD questions).

· Engagement in a variety of CPD activities – learning activities that can contribute towards your CPD record are extensive. Therefore, you are encouraged to vary your learning activities as this supports your personal and professional development. Learning activities include: reading Physics World, listening to podcasts, radio or webinars, completing online courses, attending lectures, exchanging knowledge and ideas, collaborating, or volunteering in a professional capacity.

CPD requirements for members who are not professionally active – you are still expected to keep a record of your professional activities but the record just needs to capture the type/title of activity and date of each individual activity. For example, Read Physics World – November 2021. The IOP reserves the right to conducting random sampling of members who are not professionally active to ensure they are undertaking CPD.

Tools and resources
The IOP has a range of tools and resources to support you in planning, reflecting, recording and undertaking your CPD activities. Please note, you can use any format you choose to record your CPD activities. My CPD tool – You can use the My CPD tool in our Career Development Hub to log your CPD activities, accessible here.

MyCPD ‘How to guide’ – For step-by-step guidance on how to access and record your learning in the My CPD tool please click here.

CPD questions – It’s essential that you answer the CPD questions which are designed to encourage you to reflect on each CPD activity you record. Click here for the CPD questions, and example responses.

Excel File – You can record your CPD activities using this Excel template, please click here.

CPD guidance document – This is a comprehensive guide that explains the CPD monitoring process; learning categories; how to plan, reflect, record, and undertake your CPD activities. Please click here.

CPD drop-in sessions – The CPD drop-in sessions are especially useful if you are new to the CPD monitoring process, or you have a specific question about the process. Click here for dates and links for the drop-in sessions.

FAQ page – We have created a CPD FAQ page here, to address questions such as: Do I have to give up my professional registration if I am not professionally active? What happens if I have extenuating circumstances? What happens if I am on a break from practice?

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