Continuing Professional Development

The requirements for renewing your registration with the NRCPD

Guidance for NRCPD registrants

Continuing Professional Development: The Principles

Undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD) helps you maintain your professional practice after you qualify in your language service specialism, and improves the quality and safety of your professional practice for d/Deaf and deafblind people.

Responsibility for Professional Development

You are responsible for identifying your CPD needs and addressing these with CPD activities that will support your professional development and further improve your professional practice.

Individual Learning

Your CPD activities should aim to maintain and improve standards across all areas of your professional practice.

Scope of Professional Practice

You must remain competent and up to date in all areas of your language service specialisms.

Reflection

You should regularly reflect on the standards of your practice for d/Deaf and deafblind people so that you can develop and improve, and then record the impact (if any) on your performance and professional practice.

About This CPD Handbook

This handbook is for NRCPD registrants who are fully qualified language service professionals and are registered with us, but it may also be of use to regulated trainees, stakeholders, beneficiaries and the public.

This handbook explains what you need to do to maintain and improve your professional practice, after you qualify as a language service professional. It helps you to understand and meet the CPD requirements for renewing your registration with NRCPD each year.

Why we require you to undertake CPD:

As the UK national regulator in the Deaf sector, our role is to protect the public, in particular d/Deaf and deafblind people who work with NRCPD-registered language service professionals. We do this by promoting high standards of training, conduct and practice for service users, and through administering a Code of Conduct.

Our Code of Conduct sets out the ethical principles that we believe all NRCPD registrants (and regulated trainees) should abide by, to provide safe and high-quality language service provision. CPD is central to this once you are fully qualified and registered with NRCPD.

Before you can renew your registration, you need to meet our CPD requirements. If you are unable to meet these requirements when it is time to renew your NRCPD registration, please get in touch with us to discuss your options and how we can help you renew and continue your registration.

Your CPD responsibilities

It is your responsibility to keep your skills up to date in your language service specialism and you can do this through undertaking CPD activities to maintain proficiency and further advance your skills throughout your career. This handbook explains how you should fulfil this responsibility which will help you renew your NRCPD registration when it is time to do so.

What this handbook covers:

This handbook covers identifying CPD needs and planning and carrying out CPD activities, including how these will be reviewed when it is time for your renewal. It also covers the evaluation of CPD activities and reflecting upon your professional practice. This handbook does not tell you what CPD is right for you and you will need to determine how best to apply the handbook to your own practice and development.

Additional Notes:

  • Regulated trainee Sign Language interpreters and translators do not need to undertake CPD until they are fully qualified and registered with NRCPD.
  • If you are newly qualified and registering for the first time, or upgrading from regulated trainee to registered, the CPD requirements will apply to you straight away. You will need to meet the requirements in full to renew for the first time and thereafter.

What Is CPD?

CPD is any learning activities outside of the training you undertook to be fully registered with NRCPD, as a qualified language service professional. All NRCPD-registered professionals must keep up to date with developments in their respective professions.

CPD is learning that helps you to maintain and improve your professional practice after you qualify as a language service professional. With NRCPD, this learning can be ‘structured’ or ‘unstructured’ and covers the advancement of your attitudes, behaviours, knowledge and skills across all aspects of your professional practice.

Your CPD activities should:

  • Improve and maintain the high standards of your language service provision for d/Deaf and deafblind people.
  • Keep your practice skills up to date, whilst addressing new areas and those that require improvement.

Your CPD is important because:

  • It helps maintain your proficiency to reflect changes in the needs of d/Deaf and deafblind people, changes in practice and changes in expectations of how language service professionals’ work.
  • It keeps you current in your profession so that you are fit to practice and maintains the high standards that we require so that you can renew and continue your registration with NRCPD.

How your CPD benefits you:

  • The benefits to you can include increased confidence as you develop your profession, as well as increased credibility with clients and employers due to maintaining your registration with NRCPD. You will also be furthering knowledge of your specialism and augmenting your professional practice, which enhances your career prospects. You will also be keeping current with trends and best practice.

How your CPD benefits your clients:

  • The benefits to your clients include high quality language service provision, and improved access to education, health, employment and criminal justice settings, and in other parts of society. They will also be better protected from poor practice and be reassured of the quality and standards that you exhibit.

Planning Your CPD

  • When thinking about your CPD needs, you should be guided by the objective of keeping d/Deaf and deafblind people safe by maintaining, developing and improving your professional practice.

Your CPD needs:

It is your responsibility to identify your learning and development needs and to plan how you will address these in order to support and advance your professional practice. When identifying your CPD needs, you must consider it across the scope of your professional practice.

You should ask for feedback from your clients and colleagues about your practice, and using this to tailor your CPD needs. You should also regularly reflect and think critically on your standards of practice and use this analysis to improve your skills and knowledge.

It is advised to consider emerging trends and the changing nature of practice when identifying your CPD needs, as well as thinking about how your CPD can support your clients and the organisations that you work for.

Not all CPD opportunities are planned weeks and months in advance - they can arise spontaneously as well, depending on the topic and situation, and so it is recommended to watch out for these, as they could apply to your own CPD needs too.

Carrying Out Your CPD

It is your responsibility to ensure that your CPD activities are relevant, effective and beneficial for your professional development. NRCPD also do not endorse any CPD activities or providers, as it is down to you to identify your individual learning needs and the best CPD activities to address these.

In order to renew your registration, you need to fulfil the CPD requirements, which are explained below, each year. If you need to discuss your CPD requirement at any time, please get in touch.

Your CPD requirements:

All NRCPD Registrants must meet the CPD requirements explained below:

You are required to complete a minimum of 24 CPD points annually. Each hour of CPD activity you do is the equivalent of 1 point.

There is no minimum structured CPD points requirement. During each registration year, you must carry out a minimum of two different CPD activities that are structured . The two activities must be different types of structured CPD activity

Examples:

  • Attending one training course and one session of professional supervision.
  • Completing a qualification and attending a formal meeting of language service professionals.
  • Attending one webinar and one conference.

This is the minimum requirement for structured CPD and you may wish to do more than two activities to meet your individual CPD needs.

During each registration year, you must carry out a minimum of one unstructured CPD activity.

You must record your CPD activities on your online CPD record, completing all of the required fields for each record. You must also upload your CPD evidence against each CPD entry you record. Please see the section on ‘Recording Your CPD Activities and Uploading Your CPD Activity Evidence'.

All CPD activities aimed at professionals will count as structured CPD, as long as you can demonstrate how the activity contributes to your professional development. Completing the required information when you enter your CPD activities on your online CPD record will help you demonstrate this.

You can carry over up to 12 points to your next registration year if you complete more hours than the minimum 24 hour requirement.

It is important to do a mix of CPD activities so that it is varied and is a good balance to help you develop in different ways.

For all CPD activity that you undertake, you must be able to explain why you chose to do this and how it contributed to your professional development.

If you are on more than one register such as being both a NRCPD- registered Lipspeaker and a NRCPD-registered Notetaker, the CPD requirements are the same as those on one register only, but your CPD must be varied and help you develop your different specialisms.

Structured and Unstructured CPD activities and Evidence

Please see below the examples of structured and unstructured CPD activities, with the evidence required in the tables. The examples given are not exhaustive of each type of CPD activity.

Structured CPD Evidence Requirements

Attending a training event. Any formal training event aimed at professionals is structured CPD as long as you can demonstrate how it contributes to your professional development. Remote training events also count as structured CPD.
A certificate of attendance or confirmation of your attendance from the event organiser. If these are not issued, you can use your notes from the event. The dates and times of the event are also needed.
Attending a live webinar or listening to a prerecorded webinar. Any webinar aimed at professionals is structured CPD as long as you can demonstrate how it contributes to your professional development.
A certificate of attendance or confirmation of your attendance from the event organiser. If these are not issued, you can use your notes or workbook from the event. The dates and times of the webinar are also needed.
Completing or working towards a qualification. Any formal qualification aimed at professionals can be counted as structured CPD as long as you can demonstrate how it contributes to your professional development.
A certificate, transcript or letter from awarding organisation.
Attending a Conference. Any formal conference aimed at professionals can be counted as structured CPD as long as you can demonstrate how it contributes to your professional development.
A certificate of attendance or confirmation of your attendance from the event organiser. If these are not issued, you can use your notes or workbook from the event. The dates and times of the conference are also needed.
Attending formal meetings of language service professionals to discuss practice, including AGMs and regional meetings.
The agenda and minutes or a certificate of attendance. Please ensure that the names of attendees are included on the minutes. The dates and times of the formal meetings are also needed.
The design, preparation and the first delivery of a training course, workshop, seminar or similar.
Preparation notes or a summary. You should provide evidence that you delivered the training course such as a course handout or a link to the relevant webpage. The dates and times of this are also needed.
Receiving Professional Supervision which can be either individual supervision or group supervision.
Confirmation of the supervision session from your supervisor, or you can provide notes from the supervision session if you wish to provide these. The dates and times of the supervision session are also needed.
Being formally mentored.
Confirmation of the supervision session from your supervisor, or you can provide notes from the supervision session if you wish to provide these. The dates and times of the supervision session are also needed.
Being formally observed practising by another professional.
The notes and feedback from the observation of you from the professional. The dates and times of the observation are also needed.
Observing and/or shadowing other professionals practising.
Your notes from the observation. The dates and times of the observation are also needed.

Unstructured CPD Evidence Requirements

Reading articles, books, journals, reports, best practise guidelines, research papers and similar. Reading and/or contributing to online fora.
Title of document ,Type of document
Research Paper, Professional Journal, Article, Book (whole), Book (chapter)
Reference
Reflective notes, plus the dates and times of the activity
Receiving feedback from clients or other professionals and reflecting upon this.
Reflective notes including the dates and times.
Informal discussions with colleagues or other professionals about practise or other issues relating to your profession. This includes informal mentoring.
Reflective notes including the dates and times.
Providing supervision or mentoring to other professionals. (This includes observing a regulated trainee to observe their practice and assist with their development.)
Reflective notes including the dates and times. (If you are supervising or mentoring a regulated trainee, you need to write up your development, not the regulated trainee's development.)
Reflecting on your new knowledge or skills. For example, your post-assignment reflection or reflecting and writing up on the learning from your training.
Reflective notes including the dates and times.
Researching and writing an article, paper, thesis, book or best practise guidelines and/or leaflets.
The document you researched and drafted.
Preparing for an assignment in a new domain for the first time.
Your preparation notes, including the dates and times of the assignment.
Dictionary and glossary work.
*See below.
Developing a professional development plan for yourself.
The development plan itself.
Being involved in an activity that helps develop your profession.
Reflective notes including dates and times.

We require you to upload your evidence against each CPD record to ensure you have a complete and comprehensive CPD record for each year. NRCPD will view your CPD record and your evidence if you are selected for audit.

For professional supervision, you do not need to upload the notes from your supervision sessions. Please obtain confirmation of your supervision session from your supervisor as evidence. Evidence uploaded should not contain personal information about others and may need to be redacted or information excluded to protect confidentiality. If you have any concerns about the uploading your evidence due to its confidential or sensitive nature, please contact us at: enquiries@nrcpd.org.uk to discuss further.

*Dictionary and glossary work:

Dictionary and glossary work have not previously been included in NRCPD's list of accepted CPD activities, so we have provided some additional advice about this CPD activity. Routine preparation of dictionaries for a booking should not be treated as CPD. However, more substantial dictionary work may be regarded as unstructured CPD, as long as you can explain what you did, how and why you chose to do it, and how it will help you in the future.

You could write a short precis on why you have undertaken a particular piece of dictionary work and what your aim was in doing this, along with some examples of dictionary entries to demonstrate the level and depth of the work you carried out.

You might decide that you want to adapt your writing style, for example, to reduce fatigue. Summarise what you did and describe how you implemented the dictionary changes during a subsequent assignment. Provide some examples. Did they work? Did they improve your output? If not, what might you do next, if anything?

Work in a new or an especially complex field may require research and much more dictionary preparation, than for a typical assignment. You could precis what you researched and note the type of dictionary entries and the level of work that you did before the assignment. You could include a note on how the booking went and any follow-ups that you may want to do.

Social media pages and online websites relevant to Speech to Text Reporting can be excellent for sharing writing tips and short forms, as well as keeping up with technology and the latest developments. You could write a brief summary of topics discussed, those you found particularly useful, what you learned and how you might use them.

Recording Your CPD Activities and Uploading Evidence

When logging CPD activity on the portal, you need to complete all of the fields on the CPD entry page. The additional fields you will see on the entry page are to support your recording of what you have learnt and how you will put this into practice. This information can be retrieved from your recording of your CPD activities into a learning journal or personal development plan or from your reflective notes.

If you have already clearly recorded this learning in your reflective notes or learning journal, you don’t need to record it again on the entry page. But you must indicate that you have already recorded this information in the fields on the entry page and upload the relevant evidence to show this.

Uploading your CPD activity evidence:

For each registration year, all registrants are required to log their structured and unstructured CPD activities to the portal. You must also upload your CPD evidence to the online portal. You can also upload most types of files, including video files up to 2MB.

Evaluating Your CPD

It is important to evaluate your CPD activities and its effectiveness in addressing your learning needs, and their relevance to your professional practice. It is advised to set out your individual learning objectives prior to deciding which CPD activities to undertake, so that you know if the CPD activity will be beneficial to you and your practice needs.

The purpose of evaluating your CPD is so that you can:

  • Reflect on the effectiveness of your CPD activities in developing your professional practice.
  • Identify if you wish to apply what you have learned to your practice, and if not, why you think it is not appropriate to do so.
  • Recognise your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify if there are still gaps in your skills and knowledge that require action with future CPD needs.
  • Identify if and how your learning has improved the application of your knowledge and skills in practice.
  • Offer feedback to your CPD activity providers so that they can develop and improve their activities for communication and language professionals.

The outcomes of evaluating your CPD activities on your learning and development for your practice may inform your future CPD needs for your next registration year. For each registration year that you complete CPD, you can review and build upon what you have completed previously and evaluate what has worked well (or not) in the past. Over time, you will have a greater understanding of which CPD activities will be beneficial for your practice development.

Additional Notes:

Your recording of CPD activity and putting together reflective notes is one way to help you evaluate your CPD activities.

CPD Reflection

There is lots of evidence that reflective practice improves your skills and knowledge in practice. Throughout your career, you will come across lots of situations where you will reflect on what happened.

This is where reflective notes come in and they explain what you have learned, and how it has developed your professional practice.

Note: Reflections can be written, typed, audio or BSL video.

When providing reflective notes about the different situations you come across during practice, it may help to think about

  • What you were thinking. How you were feeling.
  • What you have gained from this exercise.
  • What you would do differently next time in order to improve your professional practice further.
  • Discussing your reflections with others in the profession to hear different perspectives and to hear what they would have done in that instance and why.

Reflective practice can act as a catalyst for improvement in your skills and knowledge and so making reflective notes count towards your unstructured CPD activity and helps you to think critically about your professional and personal experiences. The analysis of your own practice can help you to modify your actions and behaviour for future situations.

Practice Breaks

Many language service professionals take a break from practice for various reasons during their career. This could be to work overseas, illness, parental leave, or to gain experience in a different role or profession.

If you are considering taking a practice break, or you are already doing so, please contact us to let us know. We can offer you advice about how you can return to the register following your break.

If your practice break is for less than one year, we can reduce your CPD requirements if you are not working for maternity/paternity leave or if you are unwell, for example. If you decide to take a break for one year or more, there are certain CPD requirements you will need to meet, before you can register with NRCPD again. This will be dependent on the length of your practice break.

For further information about practice breaks, please see our Practice Breaks Policy or you can contact us about this. If you wish to take a practice break, please contact NRCPD at: enquiries@nrcpd.org.uk for a Practice Break form and to fill in the required paperwork.

Professional Supervision

Professional Supervision provides you with a confidential space to reflect on decisions made at work, explore working relationships with clients and colleagues, discuss dilemmas, and consider how your work impacts on you emotionally. Offering a non-judgemental space where you can talk about all aspects of work, professional supervision fosters resilience and well-being. It allows for a greater depth of reflection, giving you the confidence that you are working ethically and being accountable for your practice.

The benefits of professional supervision can include

  • Recognising your professional and personal strengths.
  • Identifying areas for professional development. Providing a better service for your clients.
  • Points towards your structured CPD requirement. Exploration of your personal responses to work.
  • Increased confidence in your practice skills.
  • Gain valuable feedback and guidance from a professional in your specialism.
  • Become more resilient to practice challenges.

It is important that the supervisee chooses their supervisor. Most supervisors offer a free initial consultation and you can meet with a few supervisors before choosing one that you feel is a good fit.

Supervisees decide what they wish to talk about in the sessions, with the supervisor guiding and supporting them to explore decisions made within their practice, consider alternatives, and reflect upon how they can best be supported in their role.

The first session is an opportunity to discuss the length and frequency of sessions, which is negotiated and agreed between the supervisee and their supervisor. Supervision takes place on a regular basis, generally every four to six weeks. Individual supervision sessions usually last for an hour, with the timing of group supervision being dependent on the number of supervisees present. For example, a session with a group of four supervisees would usually be for a period of two hours.

CPD Audits

When audits are carried out, it is of the previous year. For example in 2019, we audited the year 2017 - 18. If you renewed in January 2018 we would want to look at CPD from February 2017 – January 2018. From November 2020, you must upload CPD evidence to the portal, but we would also advise keeping CPD records and evidence from the previous three years.

Selection for Audit

The audit selection is generated at random.

NRCPD audits are carried out by Professional Standards Advisors, who are selected for their relevant knowledge and expertise. They objectively examine the records and evidence of a mix of new NRCPD registrants, and those who have been registered for several years.

If you are selected for audit, we will notify you by email to let you know which year we are auditing, what you need to send us and when you need to send it by. We will always contact you several weeks before the audit so you have time to check your CPD record.

Additional Notes

  • You will not be selected for audit two years in a row, if you are selected for audit and there were no concerns over your record and evidence, you will be automatically exempt the following year.
  • If there is any information missing from your record or evidence, you will be offered the opportunity to provide additional evidence. We will contact you and ask you for the additional information.
  • If you are unable to provide missing information and we are unable to see that you have met the CPD requirement in full, we will give you advice about how to improve your CPD record and evidence in the future. You may also be included in the following years’ audit.
  • If you have any extenuating circumstances that mean you need to defer your audit for one year, or if you are concerned about being audited, then please get in touch with us at: enquiries@nrcpd.org.uk.

CPD Directory

This CPD directory is to help guide registrants and give examples of where you can source out CPD opportunities, so you can research and decide on the best CPD activities for your professional development. It is not to endorse any CPD courses or providers (nor is it meant to be an exhaustive list). We can add to this directory at any time, if you know of any CPD providers that should be included, please get in touch.

Appa:
www.appa.me.uk/cpd
Association of Lipspeakers with Additional Sign (ALAS):
www.lipspeakingwithsign.co.uk/events
Association of Lipspeakers (ALS):
www.lipspeaking.co.uk/cpd-and-training
Association of Notetaking Professionals (ANP):
www.anpnotetakers.co.uk
Association of Sign Language Interpreters (ASLI):
www.asli.org.uk/events
Association of Verbatim Speech to Text Reporters (AVSTTR):
www.avsttr.org.uk
Ayesha Communications:
www.ayeshacommunications.com
British Institute of Verbatim Reporters (BIVR):
www.bivr.org.uk
BSL Link For Communication:
www.bsl-link4comm.co.uk
CommPlus:
www.commplus.org.uk/cpd-training
Deaf Minds Education:
www.deafmindseducation.com
Deaf Hub:
www.deafhub.co.uk/training
DPSI courses:
dpsionline.co.uk/dpsi-courses/
Jacki Pritchard Ltd:
www.jackipritchard.co.uk
Katie Bazini – Professional Supervisor
bazinibsl@gmail.com
Labyrinth Supervision:
www.labyrinthsupervision.com
LinguistPD:
www.linguistpd.co.uk
Lipspeaker UK:
www.lipspeaker.co.uk
Queen Margaret University:
www.qmu.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate-study/2020-postgraduate-courses/msc-pgdip-bsl-english-interpreting-post-registration
Remark!:
www.remark.uk.com
SG Interpreting:
www.sginterpreting.co.uk
Signature:
www.signaturelearninghub.co.uk/cpd
Visual Language Professionals (VLP):
www.vlp.org.uk
Zakon Training:
www.zakon.co.uk
BSL Interpretations
www.bslinterpretations.co.uk
The Together Conference (Annually)
www.thetogetherconference.co.uk
BACP
www.bacp.uk
Counselling Directory
www.counselling-directory.org.uk

A list of supervisors from outside the British Sign Language Interpreting profession can be found at: www.bacp.uk and www.counselling-directory.org.uk.