Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (CPD), otherwise known as ‘lifelong learning’, is the structure of learning and development that contributes to competency in professional practice.

  • CPD is a range of activities through which Social Prescribing Link Workers maintain and improve their practice. It ensures professional competence and public confidence. NALW recognises professionalism through continuous learning.
  • CPD is a joint responsibility, which is reflected in the National Association of Link Workers’ (NALW) Code of Practice.
  • It is your responsibility as a Social Prescribing Link Worker to maintain and improve your knowledge and skills. Employers are responsible for making sure their workforce is competent, have up to date knowledge and skills, and are able to meet the needs of the service.
  • Our code of practice sets out the expected standards of professional conduct and practice; it can be used as a reflective and self-assessment tool to identify learning and improvement needs.

CPD requirements

  • CPD is required by professional members of NALW i.e. practicing social prescribing link workers

  • Members are encouraged to focus on completing CPD activities that add value to them and their professional practice

  • CPD activities need to be relevant to your role and outcomes-based- this means you need to be able to apply learning in practice.

  • Members are required to complete a minimum of 20 CPD points per membership year including 10 hours of formal CPD

  • You are not required to submit your CPD portfolio to us but you need to submit your CPD record to us if we request to see it.

  • A record of your CPD will help you and your employer demonstrate competence and compliance.


Types of CPD

Formal CPD
Formal CPD can be any form of structured learning that has clear learning objectives and outcomes, such as a professional training course, some conferences, online training, workshops, sharing knowledge in a professional setting, learning that includes an assessment measure.

Informal CPD
Informal CPD is any self-managed learning that is relevant or related to your professional role. This could include activities such as private study and research, on-the-job training, attendance at informal seminars or events where the focus is on knowledge sharing. Reading, peer mentoring, clinical supervision, peer group activities, becoming a champion

Gaining CPD & keeping track

There are various opportunities to gain CPD through NALW
Look out for other opportunities to gain CPD through accredited and non-accredited learning
Keep track of your activities and evidence by using the CPD e-portfolio available in the membership

Guidance on CPD point allocation
Our CPD guidance below gives examples of different ways that you can achieve CPD points and the number
of points you can gain by completing each activity per year. This is not an exhaustive list.

CPD Activity Evidence to file CPD points per year
Training course, seminar, workshop
Certificate of completion or attendance
1 per hour (maximum 15)
Social prescribing/Link Working Qualification
Qualification certificate or other evidence of study
20 per year
Case studies/discussions
Written evidence
2 per evidence
Reflective Practice
Written evidence
2 per episode (maximum 6)
Research (writing an article/blog/participating in research
Written evidence
2 per evidence (maximum 6)
Preparing and delivering a presentation in a professional setting
Written evidence
2 per episode (maximum 6)
Conferences (international, national, regional, local)
Certificate of attendance or written evidence
1 per hour (excluding breaks)
Attending a meeting on behalf of NALW or link workers
Written evidence
1 per hour (maximum 6)
Mentoring (other Link Workers or being mentored
Written evidence
3 per session (maximum 9)
Written evidence/feedback form
3 per session (maximum 9)
Peer group activities (participating in twitter chats, forums, support)
Written evidence
1 per hour (maximum 6)
Developing service plan
Service plan
3 per service plan (maximum 6)
Written evidence/feedback form
3 per episode (maximum 2)
Community development project (optional)
Written evidence
10 per project (maximum of one project)
Recommended for all involved and interested in social prescribing!