CPD for social workers

What is CPD?

CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development. In short, it is the way that we continue to learn and enhance our practice and keep up to date with any relevant changes.

We have to update our HCPC registration every two years where we sign their declaration to confirm that we have met the standards for CPD. HCPC then select a random sample of 2.5% of social workers to undertake an audit. If selected, the social worker is requested to evidence that they have met these standards.

Please note that HCPC would not select social workers within their first two years of practice or a social worker who had recently returned to practice after a break in their registration.


How will I know if I’m selected to evidence CPD?

HPC will send you a letter notifying you that your registration is due for renewal and they will inform you if you have been selected for the audit.


If I’m selected for CPD what do I need to do?

If you are selected by HCPC you will be asked to fill in a profile. You will need to send this back to them before the deadline of your registration renewal date. There is an option to defer this if you are unable to take part in the audit. You would need to request this and provide details of why you are unable to complete it. If you defer you will be selected for the next audit.


How long will I have to complete my profile?

HCPC will provide you with three months to complete your profile. They provide examples and set guidance for you to follow.  If they have not received the profile after two months they will contact you to remind you of this.

There is an option for you to request an extension if you are going to struggle to complete this in the requested time.

If you do not send a profile or you do not complete the profile after additional time has been granted your registration will be terminated.


What happens when my Profile has been sent off?

Once your profile has been sent there will be two CPD assessors who look over this and will determine whether or not they feel you have met the standards. If the feel that you have not met the standards they could ask you for some further information.

If a decision is made that your profile only meets some of the standards they may provide you with some additional time to undertake further CPD.

What can I include for my CPD learning?

 You need to evidence that you have completed at least three different types of activities to meet the CPD.

The different types of learning that count for CPD:

  • Work-based learning
  • Professional activities
  • Self-directed learning
  • Formal and educational

I’m going to provide a few examples below as we complete a number of these regularly;

  1. Work based
  • Reflecting on a case. How could we have done that differently? What else may have worked?
  • Having a group discussion with colleagues. What do they think about this case? What would they try?
  1. Professional activity
  • Being an expert witness. What Court reports have we submitted? What case were you cross examined on?
  • Have you recently been an on-site practice educator or been supervising colleagues?
  • Are you a champion in your team with any particular area; CSE, neglect, children with disabilities, domestic abuse and so on


  1. Formal or Educational
  • What courses have you been on? What have you learnt?
  • Are you completing any additional educational programmes?
  • What conferences have you attended?
  • Have you completed any on-line learning?


A tip I have is just to keep together all of your training material, reflection work, research or information on any books you have read in a folder.  That way if you are selected

the process doesn’t feel so daunting and all the information is already collated. Try to keep note of the training dates or any conferences you have attended to stop you having to go through your old diaries to try and work this out.

I know that people feel panicked when they have been selected for the CPD. You don’t need to worry. It’s not there to catch you out, it’s there to make sure we are having access to the opportunities to continue learning and developing in our practice. We always want to improve and there are always changes being made that can be hard to keep up with. Let’s show that we know what we are doing and that we are always learning.


If you have any further queries, further information is available on the HCPC website.




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