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Continuing Professional Development


The Institution requires that all Fellows, Members and Associate-Members  who are in or seeking active work  take all reasonable steps to maintain and develop their professional competence and knowledge after election as Corporate Members.The requirement is obligatory, i.e. it places the responsibility for compliance on the individual.

The Institution sets guidelines recommending what should be done. It does not set specific penalties for non-compliance, although failure to carry out Continuing Professional Development could be interpreted as professional misconduct for which the penalties prescribed by the Institution in the By-Laws could ultimately be imposed. CPD achievement is measured in input terms, specifically in hours. Recommendations are made for the amount that a specific type of CPD activity may count towards the overall requirement. CPD achievement should be recorded and authenticated

The Institution reserves the right to monitor a member's Continuing Professional Development achievement, through inspection of the member's CPD Record.

Guidance on Continuing Professional Development

During the early years following graduation, Associate Members' focus will be on meeting the Institution's requirements for Corporate membership. However, as their careers develop, they will need to identify the professional development needed to keep themselves employable and enhance their career prospects. Such professional development is also necessary if they are to continue to benefit from the standing and recognition they have already achieved as a Corporate member. The Institution obliges all members to carry out the CPD necessary to maintain their professional competence.

If a member's career is to be fulfilling and successful, it is vital that they maintain and build upon the professional competencies they have developed. This remains the case whether it is intended to seek promotion, greater responsibility, a change in career direction, or simply to maintain employability.

Increasing demands for accountability, tighter regulations, wider legislation, new technologies and, of course, business needs affect the employability of all professionals. Whilst members' employers may help with professional development through mechanisms such as an annual appraisal system, members' needs may go beyond their employer's business objectives and so it is necessary that members are able to plan and direct their own development, and to do it methodically.

Identifying Continuing Professional Development Objectives

The Institution sets out the professional development objectives which all members are required to achieve before becoming Corporate Members of the Institution. These are aimed at providing a sound foundation for a career in naval architecture/marine technology. However, beyond this point members' professional development objectives will be much more individual in nature and will be determined by both their employers business needs, and their own ambitions and career goals.

Members' employers may operate an annual appraisal scheme that will encompass employee development. As a result, members may well be set development targets by their employer. However, the objectives identified for members by their employer are likely to be focused on the employers' business needs.

Members current employment may not give the breadth needed to maintain all of their skills or the opportunity to develop the new skills that they will need should they wish to take their career in new directions. It is therefore likely that members will have to identify further development objectives for themselves.

Continuing Professional Development Plan and Record 

The Institution requires that all members in employment should maintain a Record of their Continuing Professional Development, which should include CPD Activities, a CPD Plan for future development and supporting documentation. The Institution may request to see a member's CPD Plan and Record at any time. A member will also be required to provide evidence of CPD activity when applying for transfer to Fellow.

CPD Plan

A personal CPD Plan will provide a structured framework within which a member's career objectives can be identified, progress achieved and personal development measured. It should cover personal and professional development and be updated regularly as a member's career develops. The CPD Plan is therefore a personal and unique document that should lead the member through the professional development necessary to enable them to face change with confidence and to develop their career.

CPD Record

A member should maintain a record of CPD activities undertaken and the hours claimed. Evidence of CPD activity should also be included where appropriate, authenticated by either by the mentor or employer, or by certificates issued on satisfactory completion of conferences or training courses.

The Institution does not prescribe the format of the CPD Record which for some members it may be required to keep in accordance with a company’s required format.  The Institution’s CPD Record in MSWord format is therefore not mandatory, but is recommended. It may be modified to meet a member’s individual needs. 

CPD Record  (Download and save)
CPD Record (Example entries)

Types of Continuing Professional Development Activity 

Professional development can be achieved through a range of activities, both in and outside of the workplace. However, for any activity to be considered as contributing towards development in relation to meeting the Institution's requirements for Continuing Professional Development, it must be related to the member's own career as a professional engineer.

For many members, CPD activities will include both technical and non-technical topics. Non- technical topics might include management, accounting, law, economics and foreign languages if they are necessary to enable you to do your job. However, functions that are routinely performed as a part of a member's existing employment will not normally qualify as CPD activities. For instance, university lecturers cannot consider the lectures they present as part of their normal duties to be activities that will count towards their CPD.

The Instituion requires that members in employment achieve a minimum average of 35 hours of CPD relevant activity each year.  However, it is recognised that by the nature of their employment, some members may require more time.

The number of hours spent on each of the various activities will vary, depending on a members' circumstances and requirements. Only activities which relate to their requirements may be counted as part of their total Continuing Professional Development activity. It therefore follows, for example, that not all the time spent at a conference or training course may count.

It is also important to ensure that wherever possible the activities which contribute towards CPD reflect a balanced input and come from a range of different sources.  See more about the types of activity which contribute towards meeting the Institution's requirements, and the extent to which they should normally contribute towards a member's Continuing Professional Development.

Reporting of CPD Activity

The Institution may request to see a member's CPD Plan and Record at any time. A member will also be required to provide evidence of CPD activity eg when applying for transfer to Fellow or subject to disciplinary action.

The Engineering Council requires that members registered as CEng, IEng or EngTech routinely report their CPD achievement over the previous 12 months to the Institution. Members will be advised when such a Report is due and they are required to complete and return the Report Form which will be forwarded.  Alternatively,  members may submit their Report online. (Online)  (MSWord file)


The Institution recommends that a member seeks agreement of a suitably experienced and qualified engineer, preferably a member of the Institution to act as their mentor. The role of the mentor, who may be a line manager or supervising engineer, is to provide the member with specific guidance on the formation and development of their Continuing Professional Development Plan, and to advise them on achieving your CPD. A member's mentor may also authenticate their CPD.

As a member become more experienced, the relationship with their mentor should become less formal. The function may then be carried out by a member's immediate superior or a suitably qualified colleague who can assist them in carrying out a periodic review of their career.  

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