Continuous Professional Development (CPD for short) is one of the Society’s 3 mandatory requirements. We expect that each year members complete a minimum of 16 structured hours, and 8 unstructured hours, totalling 24 for the year. Structured CPD is something that can be proved, usually by way of a certificate by attending a course for example, whereas unstructured is covered by things such as reading relevant study materials, newsletters, etc. CPD hours must be logged by members throughout the year and going forward will need to be evidenced on your renewal by way of your annual audit.
Why is CPD required?
Only through proper and regular training can you ensure that your knowledge is correct and up to date. Therefore, CPD is mandatory for all members of the Society. This ensures that the advice you’re giving to your clients is correct, as well as benefiting you and your business through the range of advice, products and services that you’re able to provide.
“Your investment in knowledge is your key to success.”
– Brian W McMillan, SWW Director General
CPD also satisfies the Society’s regulatory functions and could act to defend against complaints by making sure that you don’t allegedly give incorrect advice if your knowledge is incorrect or out of date.
How can I earn CPD?
CPD can be earned through various activities. All courses attended through The College of Will Writing award CPD, with most 1-day courses counting for at least 5 hours structured CPD, with 2 or more-day courses counting for more. The College also hosts an online quiz every month which consists of reading material and 15-question multiple choice questions to answer. This counts for 1 hour of structed CPD if the pass mark of 80% is achieved and if not the course counts for 1 hour of unstructured CPD instead.
Another great source of CPD is through the Society’s regional groups which meet on average 6 times a year boasting a range of topics, speakers and guests. In most cases, a regional group meeting would award 2 hours of structured CPD. Many of our members also earn CPD through external providers and trainers such as CILEx, for example. If the course is relevant it can count towards Society CPD. If you are unsure about whether we will award CPD hours for external training, get in touch and we will happily check for you.
For unstructured CPD, the easiest way to earn this is through reading. This can be books, news or legislation to name a few sources. As unstructured CPD can’t be proved as such, it is expected that you are honest with us about the amount of time spent earning it.
How do I log my CPD?
The Society provide all members with a CPD log sheet when their welcome packs are issued. We can provide this to you at any time should you need another copy, or it can be downloaded from the resources section on the Society’s website Members Area. Over the year you must log all CPD hours as well as collate any certificates or additional forms of proof to be returned with your annual audit.
What if I don’t complete enough CPD?
Don’t lie to comply. Be honest with us about your CPD hours as we will check they’re accurate if necessary, through our random audit process. 24 hours CPD is just the minimum and many members do exceed this, however, if for any reason you don’t complete enough CPD hours or it’s looking like you won’t be able to, you must tell us. We expect that you complete the remaining hours in your next year, as well as that year’s mandatory 24 hours. If you are unable to complete CPD due to medical reasons which leaves you unable to travel to courses, groups etc., please notify us as soon as possible. During this time CPD should still be achieved, usually a minimum of 12 hours structured using the free online CPD that the SWW provides to all members and or via other means, except under exceptional circumstances which you must inform us about so that compliance can be arranged going forwards.