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July 17, 2015

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Keeping your CPD up to date

Jonathan Backhouse, an experienced chartered safety and health practitioner and published author,  provides some hints and tips for the best ways of keeping your CPD up to date.

Jonathan BackhouseAs a peer reviewer for IOSH graduates, I believe that members would benefit from receiving a greater steer on how to post/record their continuous professional development (CPD) activity on MyIOSH.

There are many ways in which members can write up the activities that they undertake, and there is a great deal of difference of opinion in what should and should not be included.

IOSH states that “CPD is about your skills, knowledge and expertise, and reflecting on what you’ve gained or achieved.” It is a requirement for membership grades from technical to fellow.

The process is a rolling programme where members allocate 1-3 credits per activity in the following sections:

  • maintaining core professional skills and knowledge (B); or
  • developing new professional skills (C); and/or
  • developing transferable/management skills (D).

In addition, as a member you are required to complete a development plan and diary (A).

So how do you start?

The best way for me to explain is to state how I have developed my own online CPD programme.

In section A of the development plan and diary, I have included a short profile (cut and paste from the top of my current CV), followed by my long-term action plan (i.e. over the next three years). Then under a subheading of 2015, I have written the month and produced a short bullet point list of all the activities I have undertaken or plan to undertake that month; simply put this is a summary of my diary.

Every month, I reflect on each of my activities and select one or two to write up as a CPD activity.

For each activity, I create a new entry and paste the following four questions and write a short answer under each:

1)         What the activity was?

2)         Why you did it?

3)         What you learnt/gained from it?

4)         How you will use the knowledge/skills gained going forward?

I then allocate 1-3 credits for B, C and/or D. Sometimes this can be a mix; for example, writing this article I have been maintaining my professional knowledge and also I have developed my transferable skills, so 1 for B and 1 of D would be appropriate.

When is an activity a CPD activity?

This is very subjective – these might include activities that are not specifically health and safety related; for example, attending a workshop on using LinkedIn and then developing a profile. The following are examples of some of the CPD activities I have included over the last 12 months:

  • attending a fire risk assessment course (using PAS79 methodology);
  • attending a First Aid requalification course;
  • updating my lesson plan covering the new NEBOSH syllabus (I don’t include each course);
  • update my CV;
  • writing and presenting a stress awareness course for a local borough council; and
  • undertaking numerous fire risk assessments (I only included this as one entry).

When is a CPD worth credits, and how many?

This again is subjective – honestly it does not really matter. The important aspect is the reflection on what is included under each of the questions above identifying learning outcomes.

1)         What the activity was?

Write an article of 650 words or less to help members with CPD.

This involved reviewing CPD literature and information on the IOSH website.

2)         Why you did it?

Wanted to write it! I also wanted to use this as an example at future workshops on CPD that I present at IOSH branches.

3)         What you learnt/gained from it?

The importance of being been concise with the information that is needed for an article, i.e. including only what is needed. The insight of asking a colleague to review your work prior to publication.

4)         How you will use the knowledge/skills gained going forward?

I will update my presentation to include a copy of this article and any feedback it receives via the SHP website.

Jonathan Backhouse would like to thank Tony Hayward for his support in writing this article.

Jonathan Backhouse

“I am a highly qualified (holding two Masters, one in education the other in health, safety and environmental management) and experienced chartered safety and health practitioner; having over 18 years of experience working as a self-employed consultant, fire risk assessor, and qualified teacher. I am the author of three books (published by Routledge), made contributions within six others, and wrote over 30 articles.

Since 2002, I have gained a vast amount of experience consulting for local and national organisations and teaching a wide range of NEBOSH, non-accredited, and bespoke courses in the UK, Africa, Europe, Middle East, and the USA. Since 2010, I have been actively involved within the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and I am currently Chair of Tees Branch. In 2018 I was awarded Fellowship (CFIOSH).”

Qualifications: CertEd BA(Hons) MA MRes DipNEBOSH EnvDipNEBOSH

Memberships: MIFireE CFIOSH

Tony Hayward

QSE manager at Bouygues Energies & Services UK Limited, chair of the IOSH Peer Review Interview Panel and CPD auditor, having originally joined IOSH as a volunteer in 2009.

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Jonathan Backhouse
Jonathan Backhouse
8 years ago

Contact details for myself are:

Mobile 07801 305653
Email jonathanbackhouse@Rachel

8 years ago

Nice write up. I like the simplicity in conveying an instant and exact solution. Definitely one for the archives.

Robert Houghton
Robert Houghton
8 years ago

I’ve always intended to have a comprehsive CPD plan and reflective journal. But never got around to starting one. Mainly due to the fact I didn’t want to go off on a tangent and record the wrong things or award myself points where a shouldn’t etc
Thanks for your article it explained a lot. It’s also pleasing to note that I wasn’t far too far out on my assumptions either

Cheers Bob

Linda Barrett
Linda Barrett
8 years ago

Thank you Jonathan.

That was very straight forward. I’m sure I won’t be alone when I say that I’m not very good at recording activities, courses, meetings, knowledge gathering, that would actually constitute as CPD. After reading your blog I’m encouraged to do more or should I say actually start to record. I’m attending the IOSH Teesside Branch on the 15th to listen to more of your simple but encouraging words. Thanks again.L

Nick Taggart
Nick Taggart
8 years ago

I was looking for a good guide on updating CPD and I found yours! Although I am able to have enough activities to maintain my CPD I have never found it easy to record these. Your article was simple and to the point and it showed me how to think about my workplan, how to record it and to reflect on what I have done in a logical and concise manner. I am going to trial it out for the remainder of the year and then write up a plan for 2016-17. Thanks very much, its been a great help!… Read more »