Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

 

Practitioners accredited under the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) are required to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) in order to maintain their accreditation. 

 

This ensures that these practitioners can keep their knowledge and skills relevant and up-to-date.  

 

It is a condition of accreditation for individuals to attain 20 CPD points per year, which can be gained in a variety of ways. 

 

Practitioners will not be able to renew their accreditation each year without providing evidence to FPA Australia that they have met the required threshold. 

 

 

What is Continuing Professional Development? 

 

Continuing professional development (CPD) is ongoing learning undertaken by a practitioner that is relevant to their field of practice.  

 

All industries and professions constantly change and evolve as a result of research; amendments to regulations, standards, and codes; and the introduction of new technologies and equipment. 

 

So it is important that practitioners seek out opportunities to learn about issues that may alter the way they carry out their roles, and (in so doing) improve their own knowledge and abilities. 

 

Ongoing learning and upskilling - in the form of CPD - allows practitioners to remain current and effective and to deliver better services to their clients. 

 

 

FPAS CPD requirements

 

To maintain accreditation, individuals must accrue 20 CPD Points within each 12-month period of their accreditation.  

 

To qualify for CPD points, an activity must:  

 

  • extend knowledge or skills in areas that are relevant to their current and future practice needs;

  • contribute to the development of the relevant accreditation class and category;

  • promote the development of outcomes that will better serve the community; and

  • be separate to (and not form part of) normal income generation activities.  

 

Points can be accrued from any CPD category, as outlined in Table 1 below, and approval of an activity will be at the discretion of FPA Australia.

 

Note:  Practitioners should seek to undertake CPD activities that focus on one or more of the following areas:  

 

  • professional and/or good practice;

  • relevant legislation;

  • the accreditation scheme; 

  • relevant Australian Standards; or 

  • technical knowledge relevant to the accreditation held.  

Record keeping

 

Accredited individuals must keep full and accurate evidence of their CPD activities, so that they can be independently assessed and verified.  These records must include:  

 

  • the date and category of the activity; 

  • a description of the activity and its relevance to improving the knowledge and skills required to practice; 

  • evidence verifying the validity of the activity; and 

  • the number of hours 'claimed' by the individual. 

 

 

Activity selection

 

Not all CPD activities are considered equal in terms of enhancing the technical competence and professionalism of accredited individuals.  

 

For example, activities that more effectively extending knowledge and skills are given a higher weighting than those that simply maintain existing knowledge and skills.  

 

Each activity is allocated a specific number of points per hour to reflect this emphasis.  

 

The total points that can be claimed for an activity is the result of the points per hour multiplied by the total hours contributed to the activity.  

 

CPD activities and their corresponding weighting (points per hour) are shown in Table 1. 

 

Table 1 CPD Guide for Accredited Individuals.  


Category


CPD Activity

Points per hour

Conditions

Notes

1

Formal education and training, including distance education, where there is a formal assessment. 

2.5

There is no limit to the maximum number of CPD Points that you can claim for these activities. 

Study may be either on campus or by distance education. 

For distance education, estimate the equivalent number of hours of formal face-to-face education that would have been involved.  

 

Time claimed is the actual hours of lectures, tutorials and assessment work. 

 

2

Short courses, professional development sessions, and workshops where a formal assessment may not be required. 

 

1.5

There is no limit to the maximum number of CPD Points that you can claim for these activities. 

Includes professional development sessions and workshops relevant to accredited class activities run by FPA Australia, fire services, or other authorities where the content is directly related to the accredited class activities. 

3

Attendance at workshops, seminars, discussion groups, and conferences where:  

 

  • these are delivered or facilitated by recognised professionals in the field; and

  • there is a clear link to the professional development of individuals working in the accredited class profession. 

1.5

There is no limit to the maximum number of CPD Points that you can claim for these activities. 

Seminars and workshops will normally be delivered or facilitated by recognised individuals in the accredited class and associated fields. 

 

Only the portion of the seminar / conference that is relevant to accredited class or the professional development of the individual may be included. 

4

Attendance at a nominated FPA Australia professional development session if considered critical to FPAS accredited classes and categories. 

 

TBA (depending
on subject matter)

There is no limit to the maximum number of CPD Points that you can claim for these activities. 

Seminars and workshops will normally be delivered or facilitated by recognised individuals in the accredited class and associated fields. 

5

Learning activities in the workplace (non-income generating) that extend your knowledge and skills. 

1

A maximum of 10 hours may be claimed for these activities. 

Normal work activities applying current knowledge cannot be claimed as learning activities in the workplace.  

 

For any learning activity undertaken in the workplace to be included, you must be able to demonstrate how it has extended your knowledge. 

 

6

Private study of journals, texts, etc. (informal learning activities), which extends your knowledge and skills in the accredited class and/or in the areas of business and management skills. 

0.5

A maximum of 20 hours may be claimed for these activities. 

Private study should be limited to areas directly related to the accredited class or to business and management skills.  

Private study includes the reading of books, journals, transactions, manuals, etc.  

 

Sufficient records must be kept of the claimed personal reading (e.g. date, title, author, and time invested) to address an auditor's inquiry.  

 

This information should be recorded after you have read the article for audit purposes. 

 

7

Voluntary service to the profession relevant to accreditation. 

1

A maximum of 20 hours may be claimed for these activities.  

Service to the accredited class profession may include:  

 

  • serving in a volunteer capacity on boards, working groups, and committees of FPA Australia;

  • being a member of the Expert Pool for the Accreditation Appeals Panel;

  • reviewing technical publications prior to publication;

  • assisting with CPD audits;

  • serving as a volunteer on other relevant boards and committees that advance the profession;

  • mentoring a colleague for work experience purposes; or

  • participation in technical standards related meetings of organisations, such as Standards Australia, on areas relevant to accredited class.  This may include preparing written submissions / contributions to those organisations. 

8

The preparation and presentation of material for courses, conferences, seminars, or journals. 

1

Up to 10 hours per paper may be claimed for papers published in journals and conference proceedings, and for the preparation of material for courses not part of your normal employment function. 

 

This can be claimed for CPD purposes if the material is prepared and presented by you and the activities contribute to the advancement of the profession. 

 

It cannot be claimed for work that is part of your normal employment. 

9

Any other structured activities not covered by 1 to 8 above that meet the CPD requirements of this scheme. 

 

1

Documentary evidence and a clear justification will be necessary. 

It is recommended that advice be sought from FPA Australia before claiming CPD points for activities in this category.