CPD – an idiot’s guide

15 Nov 2015 | ICG News & Announcements

CPD – an idiot’s guide and how the ICG helps

Continuous Professional Development – a ‘how to’ by Ed Newton

Continuous Professional Development was launched by the MRS in April 2014.  The scheme is free and open to all members of the MRS.  One of its primary roles is to help Members to progress to become Certified Members (previously known as full members). 


Those of you using CPD to progress from Member to Certified Member are required to complete 14 formal hours and a further 7 informal.  Formal hours are primarily comprised of:

  •  Lectures
  •  Seminars/ Webinars
  •  Conferences
  •  Training courses

Informal hours can be any activity that meets a learning outcome as expressed in their Personal Development Plan (PDP). This might include reading a publication, or writing a paper.

When developing your PDP it is obligatory to cover Standards 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 (see below)

The ICG applies for MRS accreditation for all our qualifying events, either meetings or webinars.  Through the year we aim to offer the required 14 hours of accredited events. 

For those of you who are already Certified Members or higher, there is no obligation to participate apart from providing evidence of your commitment to the profession and self-improvement.   Similarly there is no need to complete 21 hours.

Required Steps

If you are planning to participate the required steps (all explained in the CPD handbook downloaded from the MRS website) are:

  • Register with the MRS.  This can either be by phone or email (  They will give you a CPD account, which can be accessed automatically once logged into the MRS website (page 17 of the CPD handbook).  Once there add your personal details as requested (page 18 of the handbook). 
  • Once activated you can then organise your CPD programme.  The intention is that you should plan your own personal development by determining:

                  – Where am I now?

                  – Where do I want to be?

                  – How can I get there?

And the system focusses on this structure by recommending the following action:

  • Create your own ‘Personal Development Plan’
  • Define your goals
  • Identify what training is required for you to achieve this
  • Select/ participate in training activities
  • Reflect on what learnt

Initial observation suggests that this sequence does not take into account what training is available, that is the demand expressed may not necessarily match the supply.  This will be overcome if you skip to ‘Adding a past event’ (Page 30 of the handbook). 

The various sections of the programme will be seen on screen and are shown in the image …

To sum up

The process is not particularly straightforward and it will take time to get used to. 

The ICG provides 14 hours of accredited training via our webinars or meetings and these are either at a nominal fee or free.  Each event will have listed the Benchmark Standards and shown on our certificates which can be downloaded from the ICG website.

The procedures defined by the MRS are somewhat more complex than necessary, particularly when you factor in:

  • Availability of training via either the MRS or other accredited suppliers
  • The associated cost
  • Does not appear to be a mechanism to recognise the participation of those who are already Certified Members.

As you know the ICG strives to provide training through seminars and webinars at no or minimal cost beyond your subscription.

Note- Benchmark Standards:

  • STANDARD 1: Ethical and legal considerations governing the conduct of MRS members
  • STANDARD 2: Research within its broad political/economic social/ technological context
  • STANDARD 3: The role of research in decision making within an organisation
  • STANDARD 4: Client and supply relationships in research
  • STANDARD 5: Project management (including planning and the use of resources)
  • STANDARD 6: Oral and/or written communication skills
  • STANDARD 7: Awareness and evaluation of research methodologies
  • STANDARD 8: Conducting all or part of a research project
  • STANDARD 9: A nominated specialist area in research
  • STANDARD 10: Quality control and assessment in research
  • STANDARD 11: Commitment to your own personal and professional development
  • STANDARD 12: Commitment to the development of others and or the profession
  • Standards 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are obligatory