Working Part-Time or taking a Career Break? 


CPD aims to support each member’s professional development and is also a vital part of maintenance of registration. The following information addresses both of these criteria.


CPD is defined by the HPC, and endorsed by the IPEM, as a range of learning activities through which health professionals maintain and develop throughout their career to ensure that they retain their capacity to practise safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice.

Maintaining a CPD record for at least a two year period is recommended, to even out opportunities and range of CPD activities.

Part-Time Staff

It is recognised that part-time staff may well encounter problems with achieving the expected CPD per year but, however few hours they are working, they have the same need and responsibility as full time staff to maintain their professional competence in their (reduced) area of work.  No concession in the amount or breadth of CPD can be made, but there are targets, not absolute requirements. Evidence of attempt is valuable. There are many ways of achieving CPD, some of which can be undertaken outside work or at home.


Staff on Career Breaks

During the course of their career, many health professionals may not practice their profession for a period of time. This may occur for many reasons, which could include parental leave, extended travel, caring responsibilities or illness. The Health Professions Council (HPC) return to practice requirements apply to anyone who has not practiced their profession for more than two years and the IPEM CPD guidance is based on the same criterion.


It is recognised that staff on career breaks may or may not continue with CPD activities during their break. If CPD is undertaken, it is recommended that a record is kept. Evidence of attempt is valuable and should be presented to the employer on the return to work, to aid in the decisions made about the update programme.

The HPC requires and IPEM also recommends the following periods of updating, following a return to practice:

0 – 2 years out of practice - no requirements

2 – 5 years out of practice - 30 days of updating

5 years or more out of practice - 60 days of updating

You should structure your update in consultation with your line manager around your job description and competency requirements of your job.

It will be necessary to schedule an appraisal with your line manager when you return to work, so as to set out the objectives as part of your Personal Development Plan.

This is just a summary, Click for more information.

To apply for a career break, download the application form, and complete after reading our Career Break Policy.  The completed form should be returned to

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