10 tips to secure your CPD

Trusted techniques to help you get the continuing professional development (CPD) you need

CPD advice: Be clear 
Say exactly what you want and why you need it.

CPD advice: Be positive 
Explain how the training you’ve requested will fit into organisational priorities and will have a positive impact on patient care.

CPD advice: Think outside the box 
Thinking creatively about solutions will help. You don’t always need to complete a formal training course to get the development you need. Consider online training, appropriate reading and shadowing.

CPD advice: Refer to your appraisal 
If training was discussed and agreed in your appraisal, make sure you say this when you make your request.

CPD advice: Remember revalidation 
If you’re on the NMC register, explain why CPD is essential for your revalidation.

CPD advice: Make things easy for your manager 
Everyone is busy. If your manager has less to do, they may be more willing to agree to your request, so get as much in place as you can before you speak to them.

CPD advice: Be flexible 
If you can’t get the training when you first apply, think about how else you could do it. There might not be funding for a course at the time of asking, but could you shadow a professional in the area before you apply again?

CPD advice: Be prepared to source your own funding 
Funding isn’t always easy to source, but there are still opportunities out there. Consider applying to the RCN Foundation. Their scholarships and bursaries fund a wide variety of learning and development opportunities.

CPD advice: Remember why you're requesting CPD 
Without it you’re at risk of falling behind with the latest developments in practice, with patient safety at risk as a consequence.

CPD advice: Use the RCN library

It’s a huge source of free information. You can access thousands of e-journals and e-books as well as a wide range of nursing and health care databases from your home or mobile phone. 

Find out about how the library team can help you with literature searches and take a look at the RCN’s subject guides.

Employers must do more

Latest stats from the NMC show the number of nurses who failed to meet CPD requirements for revalidation went up by almost 50% last financial year. A total of 114 nurses didn’t complete the minimum 35 hours of CPD over three years that is required to re-register.

The RCN says employers must ensure 
nursing staff have access to CPD and guarantee protected time for it. But there’s been a significant drop in the number of courses available and nursing staff say they’re increasingly forced to abandon training because of work pressures caused by staff shortages. 

RCN Head of Professional Learning 
and Development Anne Corrin says: “We can’t ignore the fact that cuts to CPD budgets have left many nurses concerned about their ability to stay up to date and advance their careers.

"Maintaining and improving practice is ultimately a patient safety issue. Employers must find a way to fund training, and guarantee time to learn.”

Find out more

The RCN has called for data on funding for CPD to be published and urged politicians to reverse cuts and boost opportunities.

Read more in Investing in a Safe 
and Effective Workforce: Continuing Professional Development for Nurses in the UK.

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