What is CPD and How Can it Work for You?

Written by: RICS Recruit
Published on: 4 Apr 2014

As a member of RICS, you commit to continually update your skills and knowledge in order to remain professionally competent. However, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) also helps you to achieve your true potential and realise your career aims. So, even if you’re not a member, CPD could still work for you.

What is CPD?

All RICS members must complete and record online a minimum of 20 hours of CPD activity each calendar year. CPD is divided into two types: formal and informal. Of your 20 hours total, at least 10 hours must fall under the category of formal.

Formal CPD

Formal CPD is structured learning with clear objectives and outcomes. This includes professional courses, structured online training, technical authorship, learning which includes an assessment measure or self-managed learning that can be assessed by an expert third party.

For this type of CPD, RICS may request verifiable evidence, including proof of attendance, or verification of assessment by a third party.

Informal CPD

Informal CPD is self-managed learning that must be relevant or related to your professional role. This includes private study, on-the-job training, attending informal seminars or events where the focus is knowledge sharing.

Mandatory CPD

As well as the above, there is a requirement to maintain a current understanding of RICS professional and ethical standards during a rolling three-year period. This learning counts towards your formal CPD.

What doesn’t count as CPD?

Any activity that does not have a clear learning objective relating to your role and specialism will not be considered as appropriate CPD. For instance, networking, social events, informal team building, involvement on boards, committees or clubs that have little or no relevance to your professional role will not count towards your CPD requirements.

However, you may wish to consider keeping a separate record of these activities to help you monitor your own personal development.


How to get your CPD

CPD-qualifying activities can come from a wide variety of places, and the following is not exhaustive.

Work-based activities

These can include the following:

  • On-the-job development including mentoring, special project work, secondments and more.
  • Professional meetings, panels and working groups including faculty and forum work, APC assessor preparation, external examiner positions and beyond.
  • Presentations and publications including research for papers, participating in public meetings, lecturing on careers, and preparing presentations.

Information on RICS Conferences and seminars

Informal learning

Private study or structured reading is an efficient way to broaden your knowledge.

Sources of information include, but are not limited to:

  • Books, journals, magazine and newspapers
  • Websites of professional interest
  • Technical manuals
  • Research papers
  • Videos and podcasts
  • Transcripts of speeches, lectures, and seminars
  • Reports/guidance notes from professional bodies
  • CPD study packs

Ad hoc reading updates basic knowledge, but an in-depth study on a given subject area, using different references, has more potential to greatly increase knowledge while providing a balanced view of the issues.

RICS offers a comprehensive, professional building knowledge database with www.isurv.com. Not only can the information help you make better, more informed decisions, but any reading you engage in counts towards your informal CPD hours. You'll find RICS practice standards together with thousands of pages of balanced commentary, case studies and templates for commonly used documents. isurv provides a learning environment for surveyors at all stages of their career. The dedicated CPD section includes structured reading modules focused on specific disciplines or professional skills, making meeting your CPD requirements easy.

Personal activities

Skills developed outside the workplace can be relevant to developing your personal competence. For example:

  • Voluntary work: Active involvement with voluntary/charitable organisations can help you learn about everything from applying for grants to skills for organising and running meetings.
  • Being a school governor can broaden your knowledge and understanding of people management
  • Member of a Parish council
  • Involvement with youth groups
  • Local business community boards e.g. Chamber of Commerce

Training courses and seminars

Training courses and seminars are a great way of gaining informal or formal CPD hours.

  • Training courses and seminars can be in-house or external on any topic relevant to your professional/personal development
  • Long-term qualifications and projects (6 months or more) are a great way to fulfil CPD, including full/part-time study, distance learning, and contributions to original research

Information on RICS face to face training and Information on RICS Online Academy

Recording your CPD

Once you’ve completed any activities that count towards your CPD requirements, it’s vital that you record them. This is not just to meet your obligations as an RICS member, but also helps you keep track of your professional development and career planning. As an RICS member, this recording must now be done online.

Why plan and record?

Planning and recording your learning activities helps you to get the maximum benefit from them. A structured learning programme is more effective than attending courses that simply look interesting.

A CPD record also allows space for reflection on what has been gained from the activities, how to apply what you have learned, and what to develop in the future.

Keeping records can allow you to demonstrate that you have sought to maintain your competence in the event of a claim or allegation being made against you.

For RICS members, your record of learning helps you to demonstrate to RICS how you have sought to meet the CPD requirement in the Rules of Conduct for members.

What and how should you record?

CPD records should be kept up to date on www.rics.org/cpd by logging in using your member details. You can use this resource to manage your CPD by entering planned activities, and then marking them as complete when appropriate.

CPD records should include the following information:

  • Learning objective
  • Date
  • Subject area
  • Method of learning
  • Number of hours
  • Points, if awarded
  • Learning outcome

Introducing the CPD app

It is now easier for members to keep their CPD records up to date on the move using the free RICS CPD app. This app allows qualified members (AssocRICS, MRICS, FRICS) to record and save their CPD activity securely on the move. The activities are saved directly to the member’s CPD record, and can be edited via the website or the app at a later date.

The app can be used to:

  • Securely record your CPD activities on the move
  • Record future planned activities, that can be marked as completed at a later date
  • Access and edit activities added previously via the app or via your desktop PC
  • View a graph and annual summary of the activities you’ve completed this year
  • Review activities recorded and completed in the previous year

Click on the logo below to download the app!