Continuing professional development (CPD) is the way in which HCPC Registrants ( & anyone else)  can continue to learn and develop throughout their careers so they keep their skills and knowledge up to date and are able to practise safely and effectively.

CPD is not just formal courses. A CPD activity is any activity from which you learn and develop. This might include the following;

  • Work-based learning. For example, reflecting on experiences at work, considering feedback from service users or being a member of a committee.
  • Professional activity. For example, being involved in a professional body or giving a presentation at a conference.
  • Formal education. For example, going on formal courses or carrying out research.
  • Self-directed learning. For example, reading articles or books.

For examples of which activities fulfil the HCPC criteria for CPD please download a copy of the CPD Reflective Practice document and refer to page 3.

Most of the funding for CPD comes direct from other organisations like Health Education England (HEE), or local Clinical Commisioning Groups (CCGs). Sometimes, restrictions are placed on the area the money can be spent e.g. Glos. CCG funded a bid last year that could only be spent on staff in the Glos. CCG area. HEE often fund bids that come attached with conditions , such as they are aimed at specific staff groups to upskill them in specific ways, which limit the level modules can be taken at or the subjects offered.

SWAST bid for these funds in competition with other Trusts and health and social care organisations. The bids we put in are for certain topics, like upskilling staff in to a particular level (BSc), or work force transformation, (e.g. creating more advanced skills in a certain clinical area). Sometimes funds are a one off tied to a certain national project, sometimes they come round more than once. Either way, it is hard to plan around as most is subject to national plans.The bids have to specify what modules we are going to fund, and once these have been chosen (usually from a list provided to us by funding organisation and the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) , we have to stick to the modules chosen, so can’t fund bespoke ones on request.

SWAST only has a very small budget for CPD, and most of this is spent on small short courses such as PROMPT and pre-hospital burns. The rest of the budget is spent on CPD dept. admin costs to keep the whole thing running.

All this has to be balanced against the delivery of L&D core business, which is an enormous undertaking for our dedicated L&D staff, delivering training and quality assurance to you. (No mean feat, as there’s loads of you, and only a few of them!)

Sometimes, funding comes to us at the very last minute, as organisations (as above) ‘find’ surplus funds that they need to be spent. This is often due to other external projects they are managing ending early / coming in cheaper than expected.

The surplus is often offered to us at the last minute if we can spend it. It often comes with certain conditions, such as – we must deliver the training by a certain date so they can account for the money / we must have everyone enrolled by a certain date so they can account for the money.

Although this isn’t ideal for us or you in terms of trying to arrange the courses and giving notice to book on the courses; we would rather take the funding and do our best to get development and education out short notice than turn it down.

There are 2 people in the CPD Team. (Yes, only 2!). The CPD Lead works 2 days a week , & 3 days a week for a CCG CEPN as an Education Facilitator.

Between us we:

  • Manage the website
  • Manage the Facebook & Twitter feeds
  • Manage all the course venue bookings
  • Manage the funding bids
  • Manage the University liasion (purchasing modules & dealing with the admin.)
  • Manage the applications for all courses & modules
  • Manage all the queries & questions by email, phone, and social media.
  • Occasionally have Lunch & have some relaxing Annual leave

We really do try our best to get back to you as soon as we can, but sometimes (especially when it’s busy) we get a bit snowed under. Please feel free to chase us more than once if you dont get a reply, as we aren’t always in the office either to answer the phone.

First you will need to ensure the CPD Event is suitable, & gain permission to put the event on. This isn’t as hard as it sounds!

Contact your local Clinical Development Officer & run it by them. When you have approval, download this form,CPD EVENT BOOKING FORM & complete all the details, and send it into us.

Contact us via the Contact page or use the details at the bottom of this page. (Please be specific and detail what is wrong).

We try hard to get it right, but we do make mistakes!  We would love it if you let us know so we can fix them ASAP!

SWAST run a commercial training department where you can purchase a variety of courses such as :

  • C1 driver training
  • HSE first at work
  • Defibrillator training
  • Health Care Professional courses in a variety of subjects such as BLS, venepuncture, emergencies in the dental setting etc.
  • PHTLS (pre-hospital trauma life support)
  • Paedatric first aid & BLS


To view & book all courses please click HERE to visit their website – (Courses are open to the general public & other Healthcare Professionals)

All course locations are shown on the course advert page via the ‘INFO & BOOKING’ button

Uniform is not required for HE Modules unless specifically requested for a practical element.

If a course requires uniform for practical elements, it will be specifically mentioned in the course advert page via the ‘INFO & BOOKING’ button’

To book on a Funded short course; go to the How to apply for Funded short courses page

To apply for funding for an HE Module ; go to the How to apply for an HE Module page

To book on a CPD Event ; go to the CPD Events page

SWAST only has a very small budget for CPD, and most of the funding comes from external bids from government organisations such as Health Education England and Clinical Commissioning groups. SWAST bid for funding to develop our staff, and the funding does not cover the cost of covering your shifts.

(Please note expenses and travel costs are not covered either)

There are lots of free online sites that can help you build a CPD portfolio. A popular one is and the College of Paramedics also have lots of info.(but you will need to join!)

The HCPC also has a lot of advice on what you need to do to maintain your CPD portfolio and what the standards are, including some sample portfolios. hcpc CPD

The CPD Reflective Practice document is designed to asist you with your CPD portfolio. Simply download a copy, book onto some courses and complete the questions as you attend each activity.

If the course you wish to attend has a fee attached, you should contact the course provider to discuss payment. We only advertise paid courses for other providers that may be of interest for SWAST staff. The CPD department does not take payments.

If a course is advertised as via the Commerical training deptartment in SWAST, payment can be made direct to them.

Please ensure you advise us of any cancellations with as much advance notice as possible so we can offer your place to someone else.

If you booked the course directly on the website, please contact us as soon as possible at

If you booked the course with an external provider, check the course advert page or your confirmation e-mail for the course administrators’ contact details.

We are very keen to receive any feedback, comments, photos about courses you’ve attended or the website. Feedback can be given in a number of ways;

All feedback will be acknowledged and reviewed by the CPD Admin Team. On occassion we may ask you if we can use positive comments or photos you’ve sent us in order to further advertise and promote the relevant course. Where negative feedback is provided this will be reviewed and if possible changes will be made and improvements will be implemented.

We experimented with some ‘memes’ and tried injecting a bit of fun into the social media streams to see if it would generate more interest in the adverts and courses. Using Google analytics / Facebook insights tool & Twitter marketing tools, we were able to track responses and interactions.

We found that the response generated by marketing messages with a ‘fun’ or comical element increased our digital footfall and site hits / interactions / and click-throughs by over 300% compared to simple information marketing.  We admit, we sometimes we don’t get it quite right, but we are learning and love your feedback!