For the record: CPD advice

Have you been wanting to improve your CPD records but struggle to find the time? Stephen Page, from CIBSE’s CPD panel, provides some useful tips for recording your CPD

As a member of any accredited institution and a practicing qualified engineer, the recording of continuing professional development (CPD) is a vital aspect for your personal development.

Most professional institutions recommend from 30 to 50 hours of CPD annually, with those registered as Low Carbon Consultants or Low Carbon Energy Assessors required to complete a minimum of 21 hours.

This shouldn’t be considered a target – it’s the quality, not the quantity, that counts.

The most crucial aspect to undertaking CPD is to be reflective. This can mean discussing what you have learned with a colleague or, if you’ve been on a structured course, presenting the findings back to your team. This will benefit you, as well as your peers, by enabling you to absorb more knowledge.

Using a reflective approach should help to highlight subject areas that require further study and this can, in turn, help you to build your development goals and objectives.

I’ve been a member of the CIBSE CPD Panel since 2013 and, in that time, we have ramped up the number of members selected at random that have their CPD records reviewed each year.

There is a section in the MyCIBSE portal to record CPD. CIBSE is currently looking at making this more mobile-friendly.

CPD hours don’t always need to come from a structured course or a CPD-approved webinar. I recently took a report-writing course to conduct my first expert witness project. I then sat with a colleague who wanted to brush up on his skills ahead of a report he was working on. I was able to add the CPD hours passing on this knowledge.

CPD activities can also include learning a language. During my time working in Egypt, I learned the daily pleasantries, making it much easier to break the ice with the local team of consultants, contractors and clients.

Although I didn’t record this in my CPD log, if I’d taken an Arabic language course and began to speak with technical terminology it certainly would have contributed.