There is often confusion between CPD Providers/Activities and Awarding Bodies and formal qualifications. Both refer to organised learning, but there are key differences between them.
We’ve put together this short article that clears up the difference between the two and explores why CPD Accreditation is so important for the regulation of CPD learning.
Regulated Qualifications and Accredited CPD Courses are quite different. Qualifications are designed, developed, issued, and certified by Awarding Organisations (AOs) who are regulated by Ofqual, a non-ministerial government department who regulate all qualifications, examinations, and assessments in England.
Once an AO has issued their Qualifications, they are submitted to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) to see if they meet the necessary criteria and to provide validation that they offer value to employers and learners alike.
How is CPD different?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD), however, is a different model. It is a mechanism designed to assist professionals in tracking and evidencing the ongoing knowledge, skills and experience they have gained throughout their professional career. CPD training can be delivered in a wide range of formats including events, conferences, traditional classroom-based training, and eLearning, amongst others.
CPD Activities are not regulated in the same way as Qualifications are, meaning there is no overarching regulator, such as Ofqual, to ensure standards and provide learners and employers with the validation that the training they are taking part in is fit for purpose.
CPD Accreditation Bodies
This is where independent CPD Accreditation Bodies’ role becomes so important. The CPD Group is one of many CPD Accreditation Bodies in the UK that offer a credible appraisal of CPD activities to ensure they offer true value and are fit for purpose for the individual taking part.
The CPD Group, however, have taken this process to the next level. We’re raising the bar for the industry of CPD Accreditation Bodies, and we’re one of the largest and most progressive Accreditation Bodies in the country. We believe that the current ‘blanket’ approach to accreditation, applied by many CPD Accreditation Bodies in the marketplace, is outdated and simply does not provide the level of validity required by consumers of CPD.
What Makes Us Different?
To combat this, we have introduced the most robust Accreditation process yet, which we apply to each and every CPD Activity we receive. Our accreditation process puts CPD Activities through a strict assessment process that ensures their suitability to support a professional’s continuing professional development.
Our A.C.C.R.E.D.I.T.E.D Frameworks have been designed and introduced across each of our accreditation routes, ensuring high standards are met across a variety of criteria before accreditation is offered. This is unique in the current CPD Accreditation marketplace.
We have applied this robust Accreditation process across all of our accreditation services, including our CPD Activities, Individual Trainer Accreditation and Provider Accreditation for individuals and organisations delivering high quality CPD activities.
Everything we accredit must meet all the Framework criteria, and we go above and beyond to offer advice and guidance for customers to ensure they can meet these requirements. We also provide Accreditation for Employers who are ‘Committed to CPD’ and can evidence they provide ongoing development opportunities for new and existing members of staff.
The CPD Register
We also work very closely with The CPD Register, submitting all accreditations offered to the international directory of all things CPD. This gives additional exposure to our clients, while offering a single directory that employers and individuals alike can visit to verify the CPD Accreditation status of a particular CPD Activity at the click of a button.
Our comprehensive and robust accreditation model secures us as one of the leading CPD Accreditation Bodies in the UK and we continue to be innovators within the industry to make CPD the very best it can be and consistently raise CPD standards.
So there you have it, the difference between CPD and Awarding Organisations. They differ in terms of being regulated/non-regulated however, both are important in professional development and The CPD Group are working hard to ensure that CPD is as robust and reliable as regulated qualifications.