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The CPD Policy Review

The review of our CPD policy has been an important piece of work this year and we are now rolling out a bit of a change to the CPD requirements for chartered members coming into effect early next year. Ros Thorpe explains more in this blog.

Rosalind Thorpe Portrait

Rosalind Thorpe

Director of Education and Standards

Last updated: 5th October 2022

The review of the CIOB CPD policy has been an important piece of work this year, falling under our corporate plan Moral Compass theme. Ethical practice will now underpin our CPD requirements, effective from January, in line with our aims to transform the industry into a valued profession on a par with, for example, medicine and engineering.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is and has always been a requirement for continued membership of the CIOB, no matter what grade you sit in. The only exemptions are for those in the RetMCIOB or RetFCIOB grades or those who have applied for and been granted an exemption under our Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations (RASCs) processes as part of the new CPD Policy. 
When you, as a member, renew your membership, you confirm that you abide by the Rules and Regulations of Professional Competence and Conduct and rule 10 relates directly to your commitment to CPD. CPD is a commitment to maintain and extend your professional knowledge and competence which gives assurance to your clients and customers and helps you develop your career.

CIOB continually audits member CPD and if you have retired from practice, it is worth letting us know and moving into the RetMCIOB or RetFCIOB grades to avoid potentially being caught up in these audits.

Listening to Members on the CIOB process for CPD

Through our audits, CIOB also gathers valuable intelligence on how to improve our processes and policies and much of the feedback we have received over the years suggested that greater clarity in terms of how we measure CPD, as well as what content should be covered, would be helpful.

Members also universally said that they liked the approach of CIOB in providing free and accessible content as a benefit of membership. This is a unique selling point of CIOB membership and sacrosanct to our members – and to us.

Supporting Members to fulfil the new CPD obligations

Mindful of the need to support members in their professional development, in 2021 we set up a working group of CIOB members including Hub Representatives to review the feedback and develop a policy which gives clarity on what is required and how much. The working group quickly understood that as a professional body with a broader church of professionals, a one sized approach wouldn’t work. The group wanted an inclusive and enabling process. This means that they wanted members to be able to make their own meaningful choices on what CPD they undertook and to make sure that this continues to be free and accessible to all members.

The new CPD obligations

The group also examined the approach of a range of other professional bodies both within the built environment, and the external environment, and an assessment of the broader needs of our industry and its public benefit role.

The Working Group found a common principle that no matter what your role in the industry, ethical practice is a universal and uniting theme and the need to reflect on the ethical implications of learning in practice is common to all professions. Therefore, our new CPD policy gives you as a member the freedom to choose what learning you do but asks that you reflect on the ethical aspects of this learning in your practice.

This might not come very easily at first but if you consider, for example, a surgeon learning a new technique for heart surgery, although the learning may be very technical in nature, it also expects the doctor to be able to openly outline the risks to the patient and to be clear where this type of surgery would and would not be advisable or beneficial to patients.  This is applying learning ethically in practice. It requires you to think about the ethical implications of any learning you undertake and to be transparent and professional in how you use that learning in practice.

We need to get to a place where we all understand that construction is a safety critical industry and ethical practice is a vital part of ensuring that safety. This can also help us to attract a more diverse workforce from young people looking to start a career, to those looking to change careers with a unique offer that brings real social value in terms of a safe, healthy and sustainable built environment.

The new measures of CPD

Measurements of CPD can be rather arbitrary and the working group quickly excluded hours, in favour of effort of the member as a measure. So, this is good news if you are delivering CPD as you will earn more points. From 2023, all eligible members will need to earn 10 points per year depending on the activity they undertake. For example, passive activities, such as reading Construction Management magazine each month, will give you 1 point whereas more active learning such as delivering a seminar, lecture or round table event will give you 5 points. If you are studying towards a recognised or accredited qualification, you will get the full 10 points as your course meets our accreditation requirements which include ethics and professionalism, but you will still need to reflect on your learning.

Some people will opt to do more passive learning or more active learning depending on where they are in their career path, and this is fine. However, upgrading to MCIOB, FCIOB or CEnv will give you all the points you need for the year. These qualifications clearly demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and ethical practice so don’t put it off, upgrade your membership and if you’ve reached the top already, support others to do so. It will improve our industry and it will give you your CPD points too.  

The most important point to emphasise here is that you will be asked to reflect on the ethical aspects of the learning you have done in your practice just as medical practitioners and other professionals do and this will be more effective if you do this closely after the activity so I encourage all members to reflect on their learning, whether that is a site visit, a conference or a formal qualification as this is the sign of a true professional. I do hope you, our members, will support this CPD policy as part of our move to support professionalism, become ethical in all we do and help to transform our industry into a respected profession that many aspire to join.

For more information about the CPD policy and frequently asked questions, take a look at our Find CPD page. 

If you have any questions, comments or recommendations you can contact us at: [email protected]