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Continuing professional development (CPD)
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All social care workers need to make sure they take part in training or learning as part of their continuing professional development (CPD).

How it works

When you register with us, you agree to log your CPD.

The number of hours you need to do will depend on your job:

  • social care workers need to complete at least 45 hours of CPD
  • social care managers and social workers need to complete at least 90 hours of CPD
  • social work students do not need to complete CPD.

You should log all the hours you’ve completed within your three-year registration period.

You’ll need to log your CPD in your SCWonline account. You’ll need this when you renew your registration with us.

You should also keep a portfolio of evidence to support your record as we might also ask for proof of your CPD if you’re chosen for audit.

Your employer – or an approved person, if you’re self-employed – will verify your CPD once you’ve logged it.

You need this to renew your registration with us.

Things to remember

  • CPD is your responsibility
  • social care workers need to complete at least 45 hours of CPD during their three-year registration period
  • social care managers and social workers need to complete at least 90 hours of CPD during their three-year registration period
  • social work students don’t need to complete CPD
  • CPD should be the outcome of your learning and development, and should be supported by your employer
  • by being registered, you agreed to complete the required amount of CPD for your role and it helps keep your knowledge up-to-date
  • you can add CPD any time to your record in your SCWonline account.

What counts as CPD

Your CPD should:

  • improve your ability to provide high quality services
  • benefit your personal or career development needs
  • be relevant to your current job
  • help you keep up-to-date with changes in legislation, policy, research and practice
  • include any mandatory training or continuing professional education and learning
  • make the most of the learning opportunities available to you to form part of your wider professional development.

Here are some examples you could use in your CPD log:

  • completing a relevant qualification or accredited course
  • newly-qualified social workers can use the hours from completing their consolidation programme
  • attending in-house training, workshops, seminars or conferences, and summarising how this has contributed to your professional development
  • completing an e-learning module relevant to your practice
  • attending a professional forum or networking group and summarising how this has contributed to your professional development
  • shadowing a colleague in a related team, service or profession
  • carrying out research or structured reading that’s related to your practice and summarising how this has contributed to your professional development
  • giving a presentation or leading a discussion on a new topic you have researched and summarising how this has contributed to your professional development
  • completing a secondment in a relevant area of new or related work
  • volunteering to work in a new service
  • taking on new or different responsibilities and summarising how this has contributed to your professional development.

You should aim for a range and balance of different learning activities.

For example, you shouldn’t put structured reading down for more than 10 per cent of your CPD and you’ll need to tell us what you’ve learnt, and how you’ll use your learning in your work.

We don’t normally accept regular activities, such as supervision or team meetings, as CPD.

How to log your CPD

You should use your SCWonline account to log your CPD.

You can log CPD any time, using your SCWonline account. Watch our video to find out how to do this.

All your CPD needs to be logged before you can renew your registration.

We’ll ask you when the training or learning was completed, how long it lasted, what you’ve learned and how you’ll use it to improve your practice.

Remember

You should log your CPD regularly, so it’s always up-to-date. This will speed things up when you come to renew your registration.

Evidence of your CPD

If you’re chosen for audit, you’ll need to send us a portfolio of evidence of your CPD. This proves that you’ve done the activity and shows us what you’ve learned from the experience.

Your evidence could include:

  • qualification certificates
  • training attendance certificates
  • a short write-up of the learning outcomes.

You could use email confirmations and agendas from conferences, forums or events if you don’t have any other documentation.

Your employer’s responsibility

You’re responsible for making sure you complete your CPD hours and your employer has to make sure you’re supported to do that.

This is the same whether you work full-time or part-time, or if you work for an agency.

Your employer has to:

  • give you opportunities to access, discuss, reflect on and share best practice in the workplace
  • make sure you have induction, training and learning opportunities that support you
  • make time for you to be supervised and appraised
  • give you helpful feedback about your performance and development.

Your CPD should be relevant to your registered role, and the aims and objectives of your employer and service.

It’s important that you and your employer discuss and plan how you’ll meet your requirements.

If you’re self-employed

You need to complete your CPD hours if you’re self-employed, and keep a record of your CPD.

When you log your CPD through SCWonline and are chosen for audit, your CPD activities can either be verified by a suitable person or you can send a non-returnable portfolio of evidence to our registration team.

If you’re not sure who can verify your CPD, take a look at the verifying guidance.

If you’re returning to work after a break

If you’re returning to work after a long absence (for example: a career break, maternity leave, illness or unemployment) you need to complete learning or induction activities. You can log these as CPD activities.

You’ll still need to complete your required CPD hours during your three-year registration period to be able to renew your registration.

If you’re worried about meeting your CPD requirements, email our registration team at enquiries@socialcare.wales as soon as possible.

First published: 8 June 2022
Last updated: 25 September 2022
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