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1. The College’s definition of CPD

1.1 The College of Radiographers defines continuing professional development (CPD) as follows and this new definition replaces any previous definition of CPD by the College of Radiographers:

An ongoing professional activity in which the practitioner identifies, undertakes and evaluates learning appropriate to the maintenance and development of the highest standards of practice within an evolving scope of practice.

1.2 It might be helpful to consider some components of this definition in more detail:

1.2.1 ‘…an ongoing professional activity…’ CPD is a professional activity and should form part of the practice of all professionals. The individual professional is primarily responsible for his or her CPD and should maintain appropriate standards of practice in this area. These are defined in paragraph 2.2 of this document.

1.2.2 ‘… identifies… learning…’ This will normally involve planning learning activities as part of a regular review of practice and learning needs, but it is recognised that learning opportunities will arise spontaneously in the course of practice. It is for the practitioner to identify appropriate learning activities, although this may be done in consultation with a manager or other advisor through a process of development review or similar.

1.2.3 ‘…undertakes… learning…’ Learning should be understood in its widest sense; individuals will often have a preferred approach to learning but must recognise that a wide range of learning activities can contribute to CPD. Formal programmes of learning, learning events or self-directed learning are an essential part of CPD but learning is only a part of the CPD process. CPD is a professional process and must be evidenced by an evaluation of its contribution to practice, not simply by documentation of learning or educational achievement. CPD is a professional, not an educational, activity.

1.2.4 ‘…evaluates... learning…’ Learning should be evaluated to determine its quality and value as well as its impact on practice.

1.2.5 ‘…appropriate… to practice…’ Again, the primary responsibility to determine this lies with the professional, although the advice and guidance of managers and other persons acting in an advisory capacity will be of value.

1.2.6 ‘…an evolving scope of practice.’ Practice may evolve through overt development and career progression but practitioners should remember that external developments; changes in legislation or cultural values, for example, will impact on their practice and learning requirements.

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