Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is part of the Institute’s mission. The Institute expects all its members in practice as mathematicians to maintain the standards required for admission to their membership grade. The knowledge, skills and expertise gained at an early stage in a career require renewal, development and enhancement to maintain professional status and competence.
As a member, you are not compelled to keep a CPD record but we strongly advise that it is in your best interests to do so. Many members find that they are already active in professional development but have not acquired the habit of writing it down. This is particularly true if you include day-to-day learning in the workplace and not just formal courses.
Chartered Scientist and CPD
The Science Council licenses the IMA to award the Chartered Scientist designation to Chartered Mathematicians. Keeping a CPD record is compulsory for Chartered Scientists who wish to revalidate. The first revalidations took place during the period 2009 to 2010 at the end of the first five year period. From 2011, the scheme changed to annual revalidation. For more information please see CPD and Revalidation.
NOTE: If you have already submitted CPD records on the older forms you do not need to re-submit.
If you are a Chartered Scientist (CSci) wishing to revalidate, please read the CPD Guide, then download and complete the form for CPD/CSci. The grey boxes in the Word version expand as much as you require to take the information when you type or paste text into them.
If you are an IMA member not seeking to revalidate CSci, you are free to use any option that is most convenient for you. We are keeping the old CPD forms because some members have expressed a preference for using them. You may select from any of the following:
- The new CSci form CPD1 referred to above
- Your employer’s CPD forms
- The original IMA time-based scheme
- The original IMA assessment-based scheme.
What to do with your form: attach a Word form to an email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or post a PDF version to the IMA at Catherine Richards House, 16 Nelson Street, Southend-on-sea, SS1 1EF.
The form has blank spaces for you to enter whatever information you feel will explain briefly the CPD you are doing. These group under five categories: work based learning, professional activity, formal/educational/ self-directed learning and ‘other’. You need to complete a minimum of three. Provide whatever details you think would be necessary for an assessor to understand how you are developing your professional competence. You may add hours spent or describe benefits obtained, etc. A one-page summary should be sufficient for most members. It may be necessary to provide more detailed information later if you are chosen at random for the Chartered Scientist revalidation audit. You may add additional material or notes if you wish. You may submit or refer to your employer’s CPD record if you prefer.
Please bear in mind that an essential aspect of CPD is to reflect upon your development activities and to consider the benefit both to yourself and to those with whom you interact. Please ensure that your CPD records include this essential reflection element. More details on the benefits of CPD can be downloaded here.
In the past, the Chair of the Institute’s Professional Affairs Committee (PASA) approved every CPD record. With the growth of CPD, this personal attention is no longer practical. In future, Secretariat staff will acknowledge records for receipt only and place a copy on your file. The committee will take a sample (around 2.5%) for detailed scrutiny to ensure they meet the Institute’s CPD requirement. If committee members ask questions or request further information, we will approach you for clarification and, if necessary, put a revised version on your file.
Remember that somebody may be assessing your CPD record at some stage. Would they understand from your entries what the activities consist of? Consider providing brief supporting notes or other material if you think it would help.
You will find that many opportunities for learning occur once you get into the habit of recording them for your CPD report. Here are some suggestions:
- Learning on the job
- Writing reports and articles for publication
- Peer guidance and discussion
- Coaching and mentoring colleagues
- Structured reading
- Research activities
- Work shadowing
- Open/distance learning
- Promoting mathematics in schools (for those who are not teaching)
- Learning from the Internet
- Secondment to industry (for those who are teaching)
- Courses, conferences, seminars and workshops
- Delivering presentations.
CPD can also include training on IT packages relevant to mathematics related work and participation in the organisation of conferences and meetings and lecturing outside the normal course of employment.
CPD may also include non-mathematical activities such as general management training such as business skills, project management, foreign languages etc. These activities may be important for career development but their contribution to overall CPD is limited as the main objective of the Institute’s CPD scheme is to maintain competence as a professional mathematician.
The Institute will not grade or rate specific courses, meetings or events. Events sponsored or co-sponsored by the Institute may have a statement in the notification that attendance may contribute towards meeting the Institute’s CPD requirements.
Members should inform their employers of their involvement in the CPD scheme. Other professional groups have or are in the process of introducing CPD schemes and for some regulatory professions e.g. accountancy these schemes are compulsory. By informing their employers, members will establish their credentials alongside other professional staff and demonstrate their commitment to their career and the maintenance of their scientific and technical standards. Employers are more likely to provide in-house training, pay course fees and allow absence from immediate work commitments to staff that are committed to a formal CPD programme and are devoting some of their own time and possibly money to meeting the requirements.
Members should seek the advice of their employers about appropriate and relevant training. Members must be aware that lifetime commitment to employment no longer exists on either side and that current projections are that they will have four key employments during their career with one or more moves being for reasons other than personal choice. Selection of CPD activities should take into account possibilities for future career development. This is particularly important where current employment is in a specialist area where identical employment activities may not exist elsewhere. A comprehensive career logbook and a CPD record will form a sound base on which to seek new career opportunities.
CPD is particularly relevant during periods of career break, perhaps due to family reasons or unemployment. Financial support from employers may no longer be available but time to attend meetings or participate in distance education may be more easily available.
CSci represents, a single chartered mark for all scientists, recognising high levels of professionalism and competence in science. Chartered Scientist »
Many professional and learned societies have information on their web sites that provides valuable guidance on IPD and CPD. Ones worth consulting that are currently on open access include:
Download CPD_CSci_Form [pdf]
Download CPD_CSci_Form [docx]