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How (do) teachers keep track of CPD(?) 

Abbie CPD


In this blog I wanted to share with you some thoughts on how teachers keep track of CPD activity, a continuous process or a yearly job, it is something we are faced with doing!  

As teachers across educational sectors and subjects, it is likely that at some point during the year, we will be asked to provide this information. With the ETF (2020) reporting that, on average, FE teachers are engaging in around 30 hours of CPD a year (2020:8), there is much to document. However, it seems there is no standardized way of doing this. Does your workplace have a system in place that makes this easier? 

Artist-Teachers in ACL and CPD

As part of my research into artist-teachers in adult community learning (ACL), I surveyed participants (n=42) on how they stored and kept track of their CPD. 35 responded to the question. Table 1 shows the responses from my participants. The most frequent method was some kind of digital system (n=9), through the system varied between participants. This was closely followed by those who do not keep track in any way (n=8)!   

Table 1: Artist-Teachers: How do you currently keep track of your CPD activities? 

Method Category   Subcategories  Freq. 
Digital  Google drive folder, Calendar entries and a MS 365 Teams Notebook, Google doc Spreadsheet (2), MS Word-based list, Through my emails, Folder on laptop, Recording visual diaries in my PC 
Paper Based  Diary Keep a note of them (2) 
Collection of Certificates  Certificates (2) Save digital copies of training certificates, Print out and keep certificates (2)  
CV I list them [on my] CV. (2) 
Education and Training  Through programme of study 
Accounts (Money)  I can see what I’ve paid for in my accounts 
Do not   
Other  With difficulty because of duplication between providers  
Workplace System My workplace, Additional hours spreadsheet, Work spreadsheet, Records are kept centrally, Linked to my schemes of work 


I particularly resonated with the response from a participant who stated that they find keeping track difficult due to “duplication between providers.” As an artist-teacher who works across several settings, I find this to be true, especially when it comes to keeping track of mandatory training, which is often provided by the workplace and non-transferable. This means that each year I find myself completing two-three sets of training on safeguarding, for example. Multiple jobs seem to result in the need for multiple CPD documents. However, I have found that the onus of keeping track of these being completed falls more so to the employer.  

As my jobs are similar in each setting I work in, I find the self-directed CPD I engage in is relevant to all of them. Similar to my participants, I favour digital record keeping. I go for a Word document. However, like my participants, I find it easy to forget to update this.   

Three questions

My questions to you are, how are you completing this task? How do you remember to update your chosen method? And what do you do with the information in the long run? 


ETF (Education and Training Foundation) (2020) Further Education Workforce Data for England Analysis of the 2018-2019 Staff Individualised Record (SIR) Data Frontier Economics – March 2020. Available at: (Accessed 04 March 23). 

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The author

Abbie Cairns is an artist-teacher working in Adult Community Learning. She is currently completing her PhD at Norwich University of the Arts, in which she explores the identity (trans)formation of artist-teachers in ACL. Cairns identifies herself as an artist-teacher and is engaged in both art and teaching practices. Abbie is interested in how those that identify as artist-teachers in ACL came to develop their identity and is engaged in narrative research with self-selecting participants. Her research was motivated by her own lived experience of being an artist-teacher in ACL and wanting to connect with others living the same experience. Abbie is a text-based artist who makes, and exhibits work regularly. She sits on the board for Colchester Art Society and work with SPACE to facilitate the Creative Practitioner Support Programme, which supports emerging artists.

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