Staying ahead – why your CPD is so important

Change is already underway in the plumbing and heating industry and the long-term pathway to net zero carbon emissions means that many more changes are still to come. With this in mind, it’s important that members commit to continued learning to ensure they are equipped to maintain successful careers in the changing landscape.

With such a high volume of sole traders and micro-SMEs operating in the plumbing and heating industry, finding the time for CPD can feel particularly challenging. However, effective participation can have the most easily identifiable benefits.

All CIPHE members agree to adhere to our Code of Professional Standards, which includes a commitment to ‘broaden, improve and maintain skills, knowledge and personal qualities. To keep up-to-date with developments in the plumbing mechanical engineering services industry by attending, recording and reflecting on Continuing Professional Development and other relevant training activities’.

What counts as CPD?
Much of your CPD is already done without you even realising, but the trick is to add reflection to aid with its future direction. Your CIPHE membership can help with CPD in a number of ways.

Through your member account at you can set goals, and track and reflect upon your progress towards them via our mycareerpath™ online tool.

We will be launching an online academy to help you complete CPD at a time that is convenient for you. CIPHE will continue to provide information regarding the future of the industry that will help you identify the skills you want to pursue.

There’s a long list of things that can be considered as CPD when you place them in the right context, which include:

• Workplace activities
This can be reflecting on the work you have been involved in or a project you have managed, and how you might approach a similar task in the future; considering and responding to feedback from your customers; or supporting and helping to develop colleagues, such as apprentices, in the workplace.

• Professional activity
Getting involved in the activities of a professional body, such as the CIPHE, presenting to others or contributing to committees and technical groups.

• Formal education
Attending courses, such as the CIPHE and LCL Awards qualification in Low Temperature Heating and Hot Water Systems in Dwellings.

• Self-directed learning
Making use of professional resources like magazines, publications, guides and manuals, and identifying relevant content to help with your professional development.

Meeting requirements

Engineering Council CPD Policy

Around 15% of CIPHE members are registered as Engineering Technicians, Incorporated Engineers or as Chartered Engineers with the Engineering Council, which has a very clear CPD policy. Members agree to maintain their competence through CPD, and make a further commitment to keeping an up-to-date record of their CPD.

CPD can focus on different areas at different times and take a variety of forms. Individual registrants are best placed to determine their needs and how to meet them. At its heart is informal learning through working life and interaction with others. But this may be supplemented by structured activities – courses, distance learning, private study, mentoring, preparation of papers and presentations, involvement in professional activities, or voluntary work.

Whatever its purpose or nature, learning through CPD should relate to specific objectives, even if these are only to maintain professional engineering competence. UK-SPEC and the ICTTech standard may serve as a framework for setting development objectives. Doing this will help registrants to determine their future needs. It will also encourage an outcome-based approach that is more appropriate to professional learning than relying solely on quantitative measures, such as hours or points.

Sampling registrants’ CPD records

One of the main functions of a professional body is promoting and supporting the development of its members. The professional engineering institutions (PEIs) licensed by the Engineering Council advise and support their members on CPD in a number of ways, such as providing guidance, resources and mentoring programmes. The PEIs also undertake annual random samples of professionally active registrants’ CPD records, as described in the Engineering Council’s Registration Code of Practice.

The intention is not to police registrants, but to encourage a culture in which members will take ownership of their development. Planning this in a more conscious way benefits them, their employers and society.

Professionally active registrants who persistently do not respond to requests for CPD records from a Licensed Member risk removal from the Engineering Council Register. The names of individuals removed due to non-compliance with a CPD sample will be made available to the other PEIs.

You might also like

CIPHE's Education and Training Survey results

CIPHE's Education and Training Survey results

Plumbing professionals development scheme

Plumbing professionals development scheme

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and CIPHE

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and CIPHE