The Health and Care Professions Council

When you hear about the HCPC, the first thing you probably think about is Fitness to Practice. This section is not going to address that, but instead focus on another aspect of keeping your registration - CPD audit.
The HCPC has some good information on their requirements for CPD, so this page will not replicate them in full, but instead provide an overview of the standards for CPD and the audit process. All of the following is based on documents that you can download from the HCPC's CPD webpage.

The HCPC Standards for CPD

The HCPC has five standards for CPD, stating that registrants must:
  1. Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities;
  2. Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice;
  3. Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery;
  4. Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user; and
  5. Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the standards for CPD.
Assuming that you are using this site to maintain your portfolio, keeping a record of your activities is easy. In addition, there is a template built into the site, which will create a correctly formatted CPD profile for you too. So that's 1 and 5 taken care of...all you need to do is sort 2, 3 and 4!

Small print

The following have been lifted straight from the HCPC's guide to CPD and your registration, but are important to note:
Standard 1
You record must be continuous i.e. you need to regularly add to it. It also needs to be up to date. The HCPC are only interested in the last two year's worth of CPD activities. For the next audit, that would be the period from August 2017 until August 2019.
Standard 2
'Mixture of learning activities'. The HCPC do not stipulate how many of their types of activities you should undertake, but it implies that you should do more than one. The types of learning activities are:
  • Work based learning
  • Professional Activities
  • Formal / educational
  • Self-directed learning
  • Other
The HCPC helpfully provides examples of each and these are provided in an 'Activity Types' box on the Add and Edit Portfolio Entry pages (you need to be logged in to see these).
'Relevant to current or future practice'
Don't forget to include anything that might relate to a role you are preparing for even if it is not relevant to your current role. For example, you may have undertaken a HEMS crew course, even though you have not started on the air ambulance yet.
Standards 3 and 4
'Seek to ensure'. The HCPC recognise that despite your best efforts, the CPD you undertake may not improve the quality of your work or benefit you services users due to factors beyond your control.
Standard 5
The HCPC have a template called a CPD profile, which if chosen for audited, you will need to complete and return. If you use this website for your CPD, you can create one automagically.

Audit

Every two years, you need to renew your registration (assuming you want to stay on the register!) and declare that you have undertaken CPD, kept a record of it and meet the HCPC standards. It's not that they don't believe you, but 2.5% of registrants will be audited to check that they have, in fact, undertaken CPD, kept a record of it and meet the HCPC standards! Given that there are around 15,000 paramedics in the UK (ish) that equates to 375 paramedics. It's not likely to be you...but it could be. The next audit for paramedics is in August, 2019.

CPD Profile

Read the guidance provided by the HCPC, this page is just an overview. You'll probably get one sent with the profile, but it would be a good idea to take a look before then. You can find it on the HCPC's CPD webpage, along with an electronic copy of the profile template. If you use this website to maintain your portfolio, you can Create a CPD profile at any time (you do need to be logged in though).
The profile consists of four sections:
Section 1: Your profession and unique CPD number, which the HCPC will send you if audited. This is not your HCPC registration number. This is to ensure that the people assessing your profile do not know who you are. This is not foolproof however, since evidence you might choose to include (for example certificates of attendance) will probably have your name on!
Section 2: Summary of recent work / practice (max 500 words)
You need to describe your role and the type of work you do. This should include your main responsibilities, any specialist areas you work in and identify your service users. These may be your patients only, but could well include other members of staff, students etc.
The HCPC suggest that this could be based around your job description. Given the word count, I wouldn't recommend just including it word for word, but just the essential elements. An example is shown below for paramedics, which you are welcome to use for guidance. Be careful that you don't fall foul of the HCPC's warning on plagiarising (copying) content. This profile should be all your own work!

Example of summary (mine in fact!)

"I am currently working as a clinical team educator (CTE) in a city ambulance station. I work full-time on a rota consisting of a full range of shifts. Most shifts are spent crewing ambulances where I mentor a wide range of staff including undergraduate paramedic students, assistant practitioners, advanced EMTs as well as well as existing paramedics as part of their annual continuing professional development. In addition, I also work as an associate lecturer at a local university on their paramedic course. I have various duties, including teaching, marking and assessing students, including non-traditional entry routes such as the ambulance technician to paramedic conversion and paramedic practitioner courses.
Working in a large city, there are a broad range of service users including the elderly, many of whom who have complaints secondary to working in primary industry such as steel works, and those affected by drugs, alcohol and the consequences of living in economically deprived areas. In addition, there are two universities who swell the population over a large proportion of the year. The city is close to a major motorway and rail networks and an airport.
As a CTE and lecturer, I also regularly support staff and students in the classroom and clinical environment.
Outlined below are the elements of my job description which summarise my professional responsibilities:
  • To treat and transport emergency and urgent cases in accordance with the HCPC standards of proficiency and conduct, performance and ethics, JRCALC guidelines and Trust protocols.
  • To observe safe practices as laid down within the Trust's policies, procedures and instructions.
  • Maintain confidentiality of my Service and any patient information and records notwithstanding the Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults legislation.
  • Ensure effective communication to other health and social care professionals for the benefit of the patient
  • To assist in major incidents and when necessary act in an Incident Management Role.
  • To maintain a satisfactory record of continuous professional development in relation to the Health Professions Council."

This is about 325 words.