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Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Learn more about what CPD is, what is expected of you as an ICE member and how you can manage and record your CPD.

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a way for you as a professional to show that you're keeping your skills, knowledge and experience up to date and recording what you learn and then use in your job.

In a fast-moving world, CPD supports you both to work safely, legally and effectively, and to develop your career. It also shows you're committed to lifelong learning and is a way of demonstrating professional pride in what you do.

As an ICE member, you need to manage your own professional development. This means being able to send us an annual record of your past year’s CPD.

ICE is here to help you develop your career successfully by supporting you at every stage. To encourage your lifelong learning and help broaden your technical and professional capabilities, ICE has brought together a wide range of further training and career development options, including qualifications, courses, recorded lectures, books and other publications. For further information, please visit the ICE Learning Hub.

CPD framework

In 2022 ICE launched a new framework of key Continuing Professional Development (CPD) topics that members are strongly recommended to undertake as appropriate, in addition to their personal learning as part of their ongoing development.

Members are advised to include the topics in the framework as part of their CPD.

How should I record my CPD and send ICE my CPD records?

We recommend you update your Development Action Plan (DAP) and Personal Development Record (PDR) throughout the year. Adding to your records during the year will make you feel much less stressed about meeting the end of year deadline.

Please complete your PDR by noting down what you've recently learnt and how this fulfils your DAP. You should also write down your future development needs. Templates can be found within the ICE CPD guidance to help you keep track of your progress. If you have regular performance appraisals with your employer, you can use these to monitor your development. If you're self-employed, the CPD process will help you to keep your skills current and to stay competitive in your field.

Monitoring CPD: the ICE approach for professionally qualified members

In November 2013 the Engineering Council, which licenses ICE to operate as a Professional Engineering Institution (PEI), issued a CPD Policy statement. This recognised the general importance of CPD for their licensed members and respective memberships. In February 2015, they provided further guidance on how to effectively monitor CPD participation using random sampling.

As a Professional Engineering Institution registered with the Engineering Council, we consider effective CPD to be important. This is both in terms of developing our members and ensuring that our reputational standing remains high. We look for members’ CPD records to include a development action plan (DAP) and personal development record (PDR) for each year. To ensure standards are maintained, since 2011, we have been annually auditing a random sample of members’ CPD records.

The Engineering Council, requires all PEIs to ensure that their members’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is recorded and available for audit as required. This will be monitored through ICE’s annual CPD Audit.

From January 2020 if a member fails to submit their CPD records when requested as part of the annual audit, they will be removed from the membership roll and Engineering Council register.

The CPD Panel responsible for overseeing this annual review has prepared the following Q&A and invites you to get in touch with further suggestions.

Q. I complete a CPD record for my employer or another institution: do I need to complete a further form for the ICE?

A. No. As long as it meets the ICE CPD cycle(Plan – Act – Assess - Review), then we will accept alternative records providing they demonstrate your continuing commitment to professional development.

Q. What activities do I need to record?

A. Anything that has contributed to your learning and development can count towards your CPD e.g. courses, seminars, conferences, reading relevant publications, web-based research and personal development activities. Please see appendix D of the CPD guidance for examples of development activities.

Q. Is a development action plan really necessary?

A. We believe it is. A DAP helps you to identify the areas that require development so that you can proactively maintain, enhance or improve your knowledge and skills.

Q. Who reviews my records?

A. Your records are peer-reviewed by a panel of volunteer civil engineers with a range of skill sets. All have significant industry experience and can provide feedback to help you improve the planning and recording of your CPD.

Q. What is meant by “professionally active”?

A. “Professionally active” means that you have used your designatory letters as evidence of your expertise to gain work, permanent or temporary, paid or unpaid.

Q. Are exemptions available?

A. We recommend you maintain your active learning whatever your circumstances, but there are instances where the requirement to submit your CPD is waived; for example, when you:

  • Are on parental leave
  • Are retired and not a reviewer or undertaking consultancy work
  • Have been unemployed for more than six months
  • Are suffering from any illness or disability which prevents you from undertaking CPD
  • Are on extended leave

If you feel you may be exempt for any reason, please contact [email protected] or 020 7665 2456 and an ICE member of staff will be happy to advise.

Q. Do I have to do a minimum number of hours?

A. Your CPD should be about undertaking relevant development and therefore about effective outcomes. Your professional development should actively add to your knowledge and skills – this is not dependent on how long it takes you to acquire that knowledge.

ICE does not set a minimum CPD hours requirement. The number of CPD hours that a Member completes will vary based on their registration grade, level of experience, role and responsibility and future career plans.

If you have any comments, suggestions or queries regarding CPD, please contact the CPD team on +44 (0)20 7665 2456, or by email on [email protected].

Got a question?

If you've got any questions about CPD, or experience any problems using our online tool then please let us know.