Continuing professional development (CPD) is an important part of your career. It involves maintaining and improving upon your knowledge and skills in order to successfully undertake your role.
Recording your CPD
IRCA asks that you record your CPD as evidence that you are maintaining the skills, knowledge and experience appropriate to your grade. IRCA members are required to submit a CPD log along with their other recertification documents on a five-year basis.
In order to make the most out of the CPD process, IRCA suggests that you follow a plan, do, check, act (PDCA) approach.
CPD can encompass a wide variety of learning activities. It is not limited to classroom-based courses, and it does not have to be specific to the scheme against which you audit. Any learning activity that supports your professional development is encouraged.
Examples of CPD activities:
- Training courses, either classroom-based or online
- Seminars and lectures, including webinars
- Conferences and events
- Active engagement in relevant professional networks and forums, such as IRCA’s LinkedIn group
- Reading reports, journals, magazines, or online articles relevant to your industry or profession eg IRCA Knowledge emails, Quality World
In our Members' Area, you can access online resources such as ISO reports, Knowledge articles and webinars. You can also access thousands of journals and industry publications in our eLibrary. All these resources can contribute to continuing your professional development.
Completing the CPD log
You should set your objectives at the start of each year and record your CPD as and when you undertake it. In your CPD log, you should include:
Your development plan (Plan phase)
You should identify your development objectives by considering
- Changes in standards, regulations and legislation, industry, your profession
- Your strengths and weakness
- Any feedback you have received from colleagues, employer and clients
- Organisation and client plans and requirements
- IRCA strongly encourages all auditors to use the CQI Competency Framework
A list of the activities you have undertaken (Do phase)
This phase covers the learning and development activities you undertake in order to meet your objectives identified in the planning phase.
A summary of what you’ve learnt from each of your activities (Check phase)
In this phase you should write which objective your activity relates to and reflect on what you have learnt during the activity.
Examples of the impact of your learning (Act phase)
In this phase you must review the effect of your learning on your performance and give examples of how the learning has impacted your work, employer and stakeholders. This will also help you inform your next CPD cycle.
Additional CPD guidance
IRCA does not prescribe a minimum number of hours or activities, and we will consider all activities that are relevant to your profession and aimed at achieving your identified development objectives.
For guidance purposes you should consider devoting 10-15 hours of activity to your professional development each year.