Simon Webster gives members an update on bitesized learning and other forms of CPD that the PFS offers
The PFS is aware that learning styles are always evolving and aims to provide flexibility within its continuing professional development (CPD) rules around bitesized learning. There are many different ways members can undertake CPD. Here, we explore those, along with common examples of how grouped activities can also count.
This is particularly timely given the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent decision to remove the minimum 30-minute time requirement for structured CPD activities for regulated investment advisers.
CPD scheme rules
Our existing CPD scheme rules already provide this flexibility for members.
As a reminder, the scheme caters for all qualified members, irrespective of their specialism, discipline or geographical location. Your commitment is:
- Complete a minimum of 35 hours' compulsory CPD each year, of which at least 21 hours must be structured.
- 35 hours is the minimum required – in practice, the figure may exceed this as the actual requirement will be determined by an individual’s development needs in any 12-month period.
- For an activity to be eligible, it must be a minimum of 30 minutes in duration (a batch of different activities of less than 30 minutes each undertaken to meet a specific development need can be combined and recorded together).
The activities you choose to group together as part of your learning and development will vary from person to person, but common examples include:
- Undertaking 20 minutes of preparation for a meeting with a client on a new product or regulation and then taking 10 minutes after the meeting to check your understanding before following up on any specific questions that you were not able to answer fully in the meeting.
- Reading an article on management skills, which took five minutes but highlighted a need for further knowledge and development. Then, meeting the development need by watching a 10-minute video on the topic and discussing the techniques you learned with your manager for 15 minutes, including how they could be applied on the job, before spending 10 minutes reflecting on the outcome of what has been learned (perhaps including some commitments on implementing the knowledge in practice).
- Attending a conference where a topic was discussed as part of a 15-minute interview-style presentation, then testing your knowledge on the topic by taking a 20-minute online course with a multiple-choice test at the end.
- Your company or network might ask you to complete a series of mandatory tests on an annual basis. Where these tests contribute to the same development need, these bitesize learning sessions can be grouped together to meet the minimum 30 minutes per CPD activity. An example is completing three 10-minute online learning sessions on cybersecurity.
Evidencing grouped activities
For the grouped activities to be successfully claimed as structured CPD, your CPD record must clearly include:
- The development need.
- Details of the activities undertaken to meet that development need.
- The time taken on the activities.
- The date(s) the activities were undertaken.
- A reflective statement detailing the extent to which the activities contributed towards meeting the development need.
Whatever role you have within the profession, undertaking regular CPD is likely to be an important part of your professional development. Keeping up with industry trends, talking with others and attending training events or webinars can all help to make you a better professional in 2023 and beyond.
Simon Webster is membership marketing manager at the CII