When putting together a continuing professional development or CPD profile for the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), you need to give examples of how your learning has improved your work; typically around four or five examples, depending on what you are trying to demonstrate. Each of these examples should explain what the learning activity was, how it improves your current or future practice and how it helps service users.
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The British Association of Social Workers is currently working with the HCPC to produce a set of sample CPD profiles for social workers. In the meantime, here are a few examples offering a flavour of what could be included:
Example 1: Formal training
The Mental Health Act 2007 requires all approved mental health practitioners (AMHPs) to complete 18 hours of refresher training a year. If an AMHP attended a university refresher course that included an update on legal changes and case law, this could be included as an example of CPD. In their CPD profile, they could explain how this classroom training made them aware of recent developments in the law that affects their work, thereby improving their practice. They could then explain, for example, how that knowledge informed a decision they made during a mental health assessment of a service user.
Example 2: Supervision
Everyday activities such as supervision can count too. For example, a social worker might be having difficult communicating with an elderly service user and ask their manager for advice. The manager suggests a different approach to engaging the service user, which works. This scenario could be added to the social worker’s CPD profile as evidence of how they learned a new way to approach a problem and made progress with that service user as a result.
Example 3: Online chats
Not all learning has to connect directly to the workplace. Let’s say a social worker, after watching the BBC’s Protecting Our Children documentaries earlier this year, went onto Community Care’s forum, CareSpace, and discussed with others the issue of home visits where service users behave in a threatening way. If those discussions led to the social worker learning about a new approach to handling such situations, they could include it in their CPD profile as an example of professional development.