You will already know that it is time to re-register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for your Continuing Professional Development (CPD). As social work is the ‘newbie’ to the list of professions monitored by HCPC, it may seem like a fairly daunting task to keep on top of your CPD and create a great portfolio full of evidence…but don’t panic, we’re here to help.
As a social worker in England, you will have needed to re-register to HCPC by 30 November 2014, which professionals such as physiotherapists, dieticians, and paramedics have been doing for years. For every profession that renews its registration, a random sample (equating to 2.5% of those re-registered) is selected for audit. If you are chosen for audit, a CPD profile will be sent to you to fill in to evidence how your CPD over the last two years has met the HCPC’s standards.
You can find some really useful social work profile examples on the HCPC website to understand better what is required and how to lay things out; or there are a number of useful videos on the HCPC YouTube channel which can take you through the steps.
Within your day to day working hours, many CPD activities are likely to already be part of your routine or role such as job rotation, having branch meetings, or taking courses in topics such as health and safety. Alternatively, outside of your working hours you may already be a volunteer or keen attendee of the latest conferences and seminars. All of these examples count as CPD activities. HCPC lets you choose from such a variety so that you can carry out activities which are most convenient, enjoyed, and easily accessible. The breakdown of the main categories is:
• work based learning
• professional activity
• self-directed learning, and
A very diverse CPD profile would be ideal, but you also need to be realistic in what can be achieved alongside your working and social life. If you find yourself lacking in motivation with your CPD, remember the positives:
• the flexibility and diversity in the CPD activities that you can do
• by doing CPD you remain up to date, relevant, and knowledgeable in your line of work
• it gives you motivation to self-evaluate your work and encourages you to continue to keep learning and developing as a professional
• ensures the public keep getting a safe and always improving service from social workers.
Plus there are ways we can help and you can help yourself to make light work of your CPD profile.
Here are some ideas to take away…
Keep on top of it. The recommendation to do at least one activity every couple of months is something which is very attainable and is sound advice. This will give you an opportunity to create a really impressive profile with plenty of substance. Consider creating a calendar with targets and reminders to keep you on track.
Always ask if you see an opportunity where your employer could help your CPD, perhaps with an upcoming course or time shadowing somebody from a different department. We run CPD accredited conferences and seminars through-out the year. Take a look at what we’ve got coming up here.
Take a look through handbooks which are available in your subjects of interest. There are texts on all of the main areas:
• mental health
• children and young people
• vulnerable adults
• drugs and alcohol
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