Continuing professional development (CPD)

Personal and professional development helps manage your own learning and growth throughout your career. Continuous learning helps open up new doors in your career, keep your skills and knowledge up to date and ensure you practice safely and legally. 

The NHS offers continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities for all staff at every level.

There are many learning activities that you can take part in to help your career such as:

  • on-the-job learning
  • courses and workshops
  • volunteering
  • E-learning

Career development and progression

The NHS provides opportunities for staff to extend their skills and take on new responsibilities. This could include retraining to move into another area. If you already have a degree, there are graduate entry programmes that you can consider for example

A career in the NHS means you can expect an annual personal development review and plan to support your career progression. It will give you the opportunity to identify any training and development needs with your manager, making it easier to progress through the NHS bands and potentially earn more money.


An e-portfolio allows you to store and record a collection of evidence to demonstrate the skills you have developed. It is useful for:

  • keeping all your relevant documents together
  • reflecting on your learning
  • recording your career planning in your personal development plan (PDP)
  • preparing for applications and interviews

Find out more about developing a portfolio.

Your regulatory body

If you work in a role that requires registration with a regulatory body in order to practise, such as nursing, then you'll usually be required to keep your skills and knowledge up to date through CPD.

You can find out what the requirements are from the relevant regulatory body responsible for your profession. Professional bodies provide advice, support and opportunities to enable you to maintain your CPD. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has more information about CPD, including tools to help you record your CPD. 

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