Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is any activity where an individual learns new skills or knowledge relevant to their professional role. CPD is an ongoing cyclical process in which individuals reflect on their practice and assess their learning and development needs, decide on actions required to meet those learning needs, and evaluate the effectiveness of their learning.

A global professional registration system for Health Promotion Practitioners was established by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education ( in 2016. For those registered practitioners, active engagement in CPD facilitates the learning of new skills, expands knowledge and experience and ensures competence of practice. Participation in a minimum of 75 hours of CPD across a range of activities is one of the criteria for re-registration with IUHPE.

  • Benefits of CPD for individual practitioners

    • Improves confidence in delivery of professional service
    • Promotes and maintains competence to practice
    • Improves satisfaction with work role
    • Enhances lifelong learning
    • Provides structure and support for the health professional and for his or her valued goals
    • Enhances career opportunities
  • Benefits of CPD for organisations

    • Meets organisational objectives with a skilled and competent workforce
    • Contributes to meeting the increasing demand for accountability and flexibility in relation to service delivery
    • Improves inter-professional working
    • Improves staff motivation and morale
    • Contributes to Quality Assurance
  • Benefits of CPD for the profession of Health Promotion

    • Enhances the professional status of health promotion practitioners
    • Promotes research and evidence-based practice thereby increasing professional recognition
    • Provides stakeholders with evidence of the professions commitment to a high quality service
  • Types of CPD

    CPD involves any activity where the individual is learning. CPD can incorporate a range of formal, informal and work-based activities. It occurs through day-to-day experiences, performance reviews, journal clubs, peer discussion, education and training provided by an employer or professional body, critical analysis and personal reflection. Lecturing, writing reports and research are also identified as CPD activities.

  • Sample CPD activities for Health Promotion Practitioners

    Sample of CPD ActivityDescription
    Education/training Participating in education/training to increase knowledge/skills in Health Promotion across all IUHPE competencies. This includes courses, on-the-job learning etc.
    Conference/Workshop/Formal meeting Participating in a conference/workshop/formal meeting focusing on Health Promotion.
    Presenting/Lecturing/Training Giving a formal presentation/lecture or providing training on a Health Promotion topic
    Peer Group Reflection Participating in a group comprising Health Promotion practitioners to reflect on and share experiences and provide peer support
    Mentored practice Gaining /expanding knowledge and/or skills through working with a Health Promotion mentor or acting as a mentor
    Undertaking research/evaluation Undertaking research/evaluation on any aspect of Health Promotion
    Publishing Publishing an article, book chapter, or book focusing on a Health Promotion topic.
    Professional activities Being active in a regional, national or international Health Promotion professional association/organisation
    Reference: IUHPE 2016 (
  • Planning CPD

    Appropriate CPD planning is crucial to ensure that health promotion practitioners access CPD that is relevant to their individual learning needs, the needs of the service in which they work and are related to the IUHPE Core Competencies and Professional Standards to ensure that it has a health promotion specific focus. Requirements for education and development will vary from practitioner to practitioner depending on their competencies, experience and job role etc. CPD planning is crucial to ensure such needs are identified and met. CPD planning should be carried out in conjunction with a manager or senior colleague to ensure that the identification of learning needs is relevant to the individual’s current work setting and scope of practice.

  • Measuring CPD

    Methods for measuring and recording CPD can include hours, credits or points. The IUHPE use a credit points system to record CPD activities as this provides a measurable and transparent procedure both for the registering organisation (i.e. AHPI) and the practitioner. One credit equals one hour of participation in a CPD activity. The minimum requirement for re-registration as a health promotion practitioner is the completion of 75 credit hours in the preceding three-year period, and the CPD hours must be across a diversity of activities.

    The most important areas professionals must consider when measuring CPD are learning outcomes and any changes in practice that take place as a result of engaging in a CPD activity. Engagement in CPD activities, learning outcomes and reflection on learning should all be documented. 

    AHPI has developed two tools to assist practitioners in (a) identifying learning needs and outcomes and (b) recording CPD activity and learning outcomes

    These are:

    1. CPD Portfolio Document

    2. CPD Record Template

  • Responsibility for CPD

    CPD involves practitioners taking responsibility for the content, relevance and quality of their own development. It involves them assessing their own development needs, planning a programme of education and learning to meet those needs, and recording and reflecting on CPD activities they have undertaken. Support and encouragement from management and the organisation to which the individual belongs is essential also.

  • Submitting CPD records

    Registration with IUHPE is valid for a three year period. As stated earlier, AHPI is the body approved by IUHPE to manage the registration and re-registration of practitioners working in Ireland. To re-register, practitioners will be required to complete an application form and submit it to the Assessment Committee. The form includes a Table in which a summary of the type and duration of CPD activities are documented. Applicants may be asked to provide the Assessment Committee with more detailed information on the activity and show how it relates to the IUHPE Core Competencies and Professional Standards, before a final decision is made on the acceptability of the activity.

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