The Society is committed to providing members with guidance on Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Professional development is at the centre of the aspirations of the Society and we are keen that members take part. Registration with the Engineering Council carries an obligation through their code of conduct for professional development. From 2019 it is mandatory to record CPD for registrants. More information about Engineering Council requirements here.

The Society provides an online portal for Continuing Professional Development. mycareerpath can be found in the Members Only area of the website and is available by registering for this part of the website. If you have any questions about CPD or mycareerpath, please call the SaRS office on 0161 393 8411.

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What CPD does the Safety and Reliability Society provide?

Continuing Professional Development is according to the Engineering Council’s website:

‘CPD has several purposes, which will vary in relation to your circumstances, needs and career progression. It can also take a variety of forms.  At its heart is informal learning through the challenges and opportunities of working life, and interaction with others such as colleagues, customers and suppliers, including professionals from other disciplines.  This may be supplemented by structured activities such as courses, distance learning programmes, private study, preparation of papers and presentations, mentoring, involvement in professional body activities, or relevant voluntary work. This list is not exhaustive and individual registrants are best placed to determine their needs and how to meet them.’

Here at SaRS we take CPD very seriously. CPD is now mandatory for members of SaRS who are registered with the Engineering Council. All Licensed Member Institutes will now be sampling members, so it is important to complete CPD.

We provide the following CPD Opportunities for members:

  • A Peer Reviewed Journal
  • Branch Meetings with Technical focus
  • Webinars with international, cross industry participation
  • Opportunities to represent SaRS on external Standards and in Consultations
  • Opportunities to serve with cross-industry experts on SaRS Council and Committees

This list is not exhaustive and many other activities count as CPD. We are very proud of our CPD program and urge members to take part, record and reflect.


It’s the systematic way of keeping up to date in your field(s) of professional work.


Working professionals from all disciplines need to refresh and widen their knowledge. All institutions and professional societies require their members to maintain current awareness within their chosen discipline; from January 2019 it is a mandatory requirement of the Engineering Council for a registrant to maintain CPD and this may be sampled. A member of an institution/society may also be required to complete CPD.


Throughout your career. Consider your immediate and longer term professional needs, how you can satisfy them, and integrate them into your working life.


Our approach to CPD is about learning outcomes. CPD activities will vary depending on where you are in your career and what you are aiming to achieve; they are individual to each engineer, so no quantitative measures (i.e. hours spent, points based system) are required.

Much of what you do every day will count as CPD. Formal CPD such as attending a conference, going on a management course or attaining new qualifications is commonly misunderstood as the only recognised form of CPD. The value of informal learning such as reading journals and articles, taking part in technical webinars and attending branch meetings count as CPD. .  

Even your day-to-day job contributes towards your development. This includes advancing your knowledge and understanding of risk, safety and reliability through research for a new project or background reading outside your discipline. 

Serving on committees, giving presentations, and volunteer activities also count as CPD. Activities such as on the job learning, projects, problem solving, research, conferences, mentoring, volunteering, technical learning, management training and so much more – all count as valid CPD.

As long as you are able to record and reflect on an activity, and identify a learning or personal growth outcome, and that it is relevant to your discipline, it is CPD. The focus is on the learning and growth outcome rather than on time spent.


If you are registered with the Engineering Council and still involved in the discipline – working, involved in volunteer activities – you must still complete CPD. Similarly, if you are on a career break and you intend to retain your registration and return to work, you need to complete CPD. In both cases your CPD may be sampled.

More details on CPD can be found here SaRS CPD overview 20190913

Case Study: Richard Denning

As a professional engineer, I am committed to Continuing Professional
Development (CPD) not the box ticking I have done x hours of training courses in the last year, or the I need to do something just in case I get audited (UK professional engineering institutions have to audit their registrants CPD) or the utter panic when my name is selected for review. Rather I undertake CPD because I want to be the best that I can be and recognise that most days are a learning day, and if treated correctly will improve my skills, knowledge or experience which in turn will make me a more rounded individual, increasing my employability but more importantly giving me opportunities to take on activities which I find satisfying

Many people see CPD as being about formal training activity be that classroom based, computer based or “book based”, I see it as being much more than this and would estimate that maybe 10% of development in recent years has been formal, I have also developed from working with great people where some of their approach to problems has rubbed off or where they either shown me how to do something or more likely have helped me to tackle a new area or experience, but much more of my development has been through trying new things or taking on new activities. Of course many development opportunities can be a combination of all 3, trying something new getting a friend to assist and perhaps research better ways of doing things.

To me CPD isn’t just about learning or doing the new thing, it is about structuring what you do by proactively seeking out opportunities to either improve on weaknesses/gaps or to reinforce existing strengths and then reflecting on what you have “learnt” and of course recording this so that if you do get audited you have the records of what you have done.

In many ways I have a split personality – Richard in his day job and Richard the President of SaRS, of course the two are intertwined skills from the day job helping in the president role while skills developed from being on a member of SaRS and council have improved my capability in the day job. SaRS has given me a surprising number of development opportunities including:

·       Reviewing papers for the Journal – not only do I learn new things but I also have to critique the paper in such a way that the author does not take the comments as criticism but as suggestions as to how to improve their paper to make it more relevant/understandable to our readership

·       Guest Editing special editions of the journal pulling together experts in an area and persuading them to produce a paper on a subject of my choice

·       Presenting at national and regional SaRS events – a chance to develop my presenting skills, consolidate my knowledge/experience and then test it against others in the field

·       Reading the Journal and reflecting on lessons from other areas

·       Meeting with experts from other areas and learning from their experience

·       Working with volunteers – improved my communication skills

Richard Denning

Planning Your CPD

Planning your Continuous Professional Development


SaRS believes that all Safety and Reliability professionals should undertake Continuous Professional Development[i]. For those members who are registered with a “regulator” such as the Engineering Council CPD is mandated. But CPD can mean different things for different people depending on the stage of their career and their future aspirations. This note expands on the generic SaRS guidance[ii] by describing approaches to CPD for these different cases. These cases are written in a binary way and many people will be a combination of these cases.

In the following examples the “Plan” is a document that looks ahead up to 10 years with decreasing detail, but should broadly identify the activities to be undertaken in 1-2 years, 3-5 years and 5-10 years to achieve the desired professional goal and the knowledge required to achieve it (whether this “knowledge” is through academic study, seminars/webinars, training (in-house/external) or just “on the job”.) 

Scenario 1: Mid-Career professional who is planning to continue in the same role for the immediate future.

The focus of the plan will be on:

  • Maintaining currency
  • Looking to learn from experience of others.
  • Monitoring changes/developments

Scenario 2: Newly qualified person who is in the early stages of their Safety/Reliability Career

The focus of the plan will be on:

  • Growing technical knowledge and experience
  • Taking responsibility for more complex and challenging activity
  • Growing broader skills, such as management, commercial, project management

Scenario 3: Established professional who is looking to move into management roles. The focus of the plan will be on:

  • Maintaining currency
  • Developing/demonstrating people management skills
  • Developing/demonstrating management skills such as programme management and commercial skills

Scenario 4: Established professional who is looking to move into another industrial sector. The focus of the plan will be on:

  • Maintaining currency
  • Understanding the different technologies
  • Understanding different:
    • uses of the standard tools and techniques.
    • approaches to Safety/Reliability problems/activity.

Scenario 5: Established professional who is looking to move into an associated technical area.

The focus of the plan will be on:

  • Maintaining currency
  • Identifying the differences in applying common techniques
  • Developing knowledge of new techniques

Scenario 6: A professional returning to work after a career break

The focus of the plan will be on:

  • Refreshing existing knowledge
  • Understanding any changes which have occurred whilst on a career break.
  • Developing knowledge to fill any gaps caused by these changes.

Common to all

In all of these scenarios, a plan may also include elements of:

  • Contributing to the profession
  • Developing people who are junior.
  • Encouraging STEM in schools

[i] SaRS Code of conduct for members – “Maintain and enhance their competence” Bylaws, Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure – The Safety and Reliability Society (,

[ii] Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – The Safety and Reliability Society (