#OTalk 17th August 2021 – CPD in Covid times

This #OTalk is hosted by Dr Nikki Daniels, Professional Development Manager, Professional Development Team, Royal College of Occupational Therapists @NikkiDanielsOT and Anne Keen, Professional Adviser, Professional Practice Enquiries Service, Royal College of Occupational Therapists @annekeen55

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an umbrella term for the various learning and development activities we engage in throughout our careers.  These activities are essential to ensure we continue to be safe, effective and ethical practitioners and monitor and improve the quality of our service (Royal College of Occupational Therapists, 2021). Additionally, CPD provides personal fulfilment as we extend our knowledge, skills and capabilities through our individual career development pathways (Interprofessional CPD and Lifelong Learning UK Working Group, 2019).

To maintain our professional registration, we are required to declare that we have continued to meet the HCPC’s standards for continuing professional development (CPD), emphasising the importance of CPD to each of us as a personal and professional activity. As part of a bi-annual re-registration process, 2.5% of occupational therapists will be required to submit their CPD profile to illustrate the activities they have engaged in and evidence that this CPD meets HCPC standards:

  1. Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of CPD activities
  2. Demonstrate that CPD activities are a mix of learning activities relevant to current or future practice
  3. Ensure that CPD activities have contributed to the quality of practice and service delivery
  4. Ensure that CPD activities benefit the service user

So, as we enter this professional registration renewal period, many of us are reflecting on the CPD activities we have engaged in over the past two years.  In light of the demands placed on the occupational therapy workforce over the past 18 months, it could be perceived that opportunities to engage in CPD may have been limited. Challenges may also have been encountered in capturing and evidencing how CPD activities have improved the quality of our work and benefited those who use our services. However, conversely, many opportunities have also been presented from which we can learn and develop. 

The Professional Development and Professional Practice teams at RCOT have produced an HCPC hub which provides a range of resources to support those called for audit.  In this week’s #OTalk, the team will help us to reflect on the range of CPD activities that we have engaged in, raise awareness of the types of activities from which we have learnt and developed, and think about how we can capture that learning and its effects.

So, whether you have been recently called for audit, need support to keep your portfolio up to date, or an HCPC registrant previously called for audit who can offer support from your experiences, this week’s #OTalk is an opportunity to explore further how we can all meet the HCPC CPD standards.


  1. Can you share with us examples of non-formal activities you have engaged in over the past two years which have helped you to learn and develop in your professional role?
  2. Have the events of the past 18 months offered new or different CPD activities which have contributed to your learning and development? Can you share examples?
  3. Can you share with us what works for you? So, what motivates or enables you to engage in specific CPD activities?
  4. Following on from this, what are your top tips to incorporating CPD activities into your working life? Or put another way, what everyday working life activities do you consider to be CPD?
  5. Let’s think now about how we evidence the effects of CPD. Who do you consider to be service users and how have you shown that CPD activities have benefited them?
  6. How can we ensure that CPD activities have contributed to the quality of practice and service delivery and how can we demonstrate or evidence the contribution made?
  7. If you’ve not been called for audit this time around (or even if you have), what are you going to do now in case you are called next time? What are your CPD resolutions? How can RCOT support you with these resolutions?


Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2021) Professional standards for occupational therapy practice, conduct and ethics Available at: https://www.rcot.co.uk/practice-resources/rcot-publications/downloads/rcot-standards-and-ethics [Accessed 09/08/2021]

Interprofessional CPD and Lifelong Learning UK Working Group (2019) Principles for continuing professional development and lifelong learning in health and social care Available at: https://www.rcot.co.uk/practice-resources/rcot-publications/downloads/rcot-standards-and-ethics [Accessed 09/08/2021]

HCPC Hub Available at: https://www.rcot.co.uk/supporting-you-hcpc-cpd-audit


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