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Maintaining your CPD during COVID-19

For many of us, this is a period of uncertainty as we move towards what is becoming known as the new normal. We are doing everything we can to support our members through this period and one way is by continuing your continuing professional development (CPD). 


This can put you in control of your own career progression and help you cope with any challenges that you might be facing; CPD can help you maintain your resilience, credibility, confidence, and gain a new perspective.

With self-isolation and social distancing measures, we appreciate that this will limit the variety of CPD you are able to undertake but, where possible, we encourage you to continue undertaking CPD to enhance your skills and abilities and, if you hold a professional registration, to continue to undertake CPD to maintain your registration. Below, we have set out IOP’s policy on CPD monitoring during the pandemic. 

To support you, we have a new range of online learning resources in our Career Development Hub. The resources are a mixture of videos, articles, assessments and e-learning courses. Topics in the hub include resilience, project management, leadership, communication, management, business skills, CV writing, and virtual interviews. You can record your CPD in the hub using our new My CPD tool.

There are also a range of other resources and ways in which we can offer support for your CPD. These include:

  • Physics World, the world’s leading physics magazine. Each issue covers the big stories and issues that matter to scientists in all parts of the world, including features from acclaimed physicists and science writers, comprehensive news and analysis, and incisive opinion pieces.
  • Our special-interest groups and branches will be moving some of their engagement activities online, which will enable you to continue to develop your knowledge and stay connected with the physics community. Find out more about events coming up.
  • If you are considering applying for a professional registration or fellowship, we have regular online workshops to help get you started and answer your questions.
  • If you’re a scientific apprentice, at university, or beginning full-time employment, we will be hosting a variety of online activities to support you. Maintaining your wellbeing is crucial during this challenging time, and there are a wealth of resources available in the CDH, and we will also be running a series of webinars during this period.   

This list is not exhaustive, so please do look out for more information about our work to support you via email and our member newsletters.

CPD requirements for holders of a professional registration during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you hold Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer, Engineering Technician, Registered Scientist or Registered Science Technician then you are required to maintain a CPD record, and may be asked to submit it as part of the CPD monitoring to maintain registrations as stipulated by the Engineering Council (for CEng, IEng and EngTech) and the Science Council (for RSci and RSciTech).

Last year we wrote to members to set out the importance of our role as a professional body in upholding and advancing the standards of the register when awarding Chartered Physicist. Therefore, all holders of CPhys will need to continue to engage in CPD activities, where possible. However, as these are exceptional times, we have decided to delay the request for those members that may be selected to submit a CPD return until later in the year. This will make it a much smoother process for our members by coinciding with submissions from our members who also hold a register from the Engineering Council and/or the Science Council. We will review the situation regularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and will communicate our revised timetable and approach to CPD monitoring, in due course.

We understand that many of our members will not be able to undertake the usual range of CPD activities, so we will take this into consideration when we review submitted CPD returns. And please remember that a CPD return submitted to maintain CEng will also apply for the maintenance of CPhys and vice versa. Find further advice on CPD monitoring.

If you are on a career break and selected for audit whilst not currently professionally active, you can request an exemption and will not be required to submit a return. A break can include maternity/paternity/adoption leave, ill-health, a sabbatical or a career break, such as changing sector or taking time out of work to care for a dependent. We will also consider circumstances that may fall outside of the above on a case by case basis and will offer guidance to individual members who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Find out more on how to maintain your CPhys.

We recommend that all members holding a professional registration engage in CPD and record any activity in the My CPD tool (or equivalent) that can be accessed via the Career Development Hub.

But if you have any questions about professional registration, undertaking and recording CPD, or our approach to monitoring, please do not hesitate to contact us at registration@iop.org or 020 7470 4800.  We will be pleased to support you through the process.