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CPD requirements and obligations

CPD requirements and obligations

All members (AssocRICS, MRICS and FRICS) must record their CPD activity online. APC candidates should continue to record their activities on the APC templates.

All members must complete 20 hours of CPD activities by 31 December. You have until 31 January to record your completed activities online.

CPD requirements for members

  1. All members must undertake a minimum of 20 hours CPD each calendar year (January to December).
  2. Of the 20 hours at least 10 hours must be formal CPD. The remainder can be informal CPD. (For guidance, see below and download examples.)
  3. All members must maintain a relevant and current understanding of our professional and ethical standards during a rolling three-year period. Any learning undertaken in order to meet this requirement may count as formal CPD.
  4. Members must record their CPD activity online by 31 January.

In certain circumstances it may be difficult to meet the minimum CPD requirements. This may include the following groups:

  • members on maternity, paternity, adoption or family raising leave
  • members who are unemployed
  • those who are on long term sick or may currently be non-practising for other compassionate reasons.

In these circumstances we would ask that members keep up to date at least informally and that they consider their learning and development needs prior to returning so that they are ready and competent to return to work when able to do so. Members who feel that they may have difficulty in meeting the requirements should contact us as soon as possible Our Frequently Asked Questions may also help.

Formal CPD

Formal CPD can be any form of structured learning that has clear learning objectives and outcomes, such as a professional course, structured online training, technical authorship, learning that includes an assessment measure. This can include self-managed learning as long as it has a clear learning outcome which is clearly linked to the member’s development needs. We may request to see evidence of any formal CPD activity; this may include demonstration of learning outcomes together with any supporting documentation.

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, on-the-job training, attendance at informal seminars or events where the focus is on knowledge sharing.

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Activities that do not count as CPD

Any CPD activity, whether formal or informal, should be planned wherever possible and be relevant to your role or specialism. Any activity that does not have a clear learning objective that relates to your role and specialism cannot be considered as appropriate CPD. Activities such as networking, social events, informal team building or planning events and involvement on boards, committees or clubs that have little or no relevance to your professional role will not count towards your CPD requirements.

Mandatory CPD

All members are required to undertake learning in relation to our Global Professional and Ethical Standards at least once every three years.

In keeping with current arrangements, members who are affiliated with statutory or RICS schemes are still required to comply with these schemes' specific CPD obligations. Scheme-specific CPD is counted as formal CPD.

Obligations for firms

Regulated firms have obligations to ensure that staff meets the following requirements. The requirements in the Rules of Conduct for Firms are as follows:

  1. Competence: 'a firm shall carry out its professional work with due skill, care and diligence and with proper regard for the technical standards expected of it'.
  2. Training: 'a firm shall have in place the necessary procedures to ensure that all its staff are properly trained and competent to do their work'.

For their own benefit as well as to meet the requirements of the Rules of Conduct, firms are well advised to have an active involvement in the training of employees to ensure they remain competent. A good appraisal system will include the ability to identify and rectify gaps in knowledge and skills, and allow employees to record the learning activities that they have undertaken. A firm should also be supportive of employees' personal development, for example through allowing study and training time during working hours or through annual leave, or through helping employees financially to undertake learning.

Training for firms

Ensuring staff keep their skills and knowledge up to date and that they remain competent to perform their duties is vital for firms. A comprehensive training programme benefits not only the firm, but also its members of staff and customers. A comprehensive training policy is important for the following reasons:

  • competent, well-trained staff are an important part of offering a good service to customers and meeting our  expectations of a regulated firm
  • a clear policy on ensuring competence of staff can help to attract customers and win contracts
  • maintaining employees' competence can go a long way towards defending claims of negligence by clients or complaints made to us and avoid costly insurance claims
  • offering training and chances for career development can help attract a high calibre of staff to your firm and improve the retention of employees.

Meeting training requirements

As part of their annual return, firms are currently asked whether they have procedures in place to comply with this rule. It's important that your firm can answer 'yes'. There are many ways that firms can fulfil their training obligations to ensure employees remain competent.

Assist employees in their learning

Employees should be supported in their personal learning: this is an important part of being a responsible employer. Members of staff may be offered financial support for learning, allowed time off work in order to study or attend courses, or allowed study time in work.

Provide a training and development system

It is best practice to have a policy in place to offer training and development to employees. This might be through providing in-house training or through sourcing courses externally. Members should consider different ways of providing training. It need not be limited to technical skills, but may also include 'soft' skills such as report writing or IT. Apart from courses, effective training methods might include lunchtime seminars provided by expert members of staff, mentoring or online learning.

Identify and rectify gaps in performance

The firm should have a procedure in place to identify any gaps in performance at a corporate, departmental or individual level. Managers should identify areas in which individuals require training and this should be linked to the firms' appraisal process as part of their training and development policy.

Provide a system for employees to record their learning activities

Our market research reveals that a quarter of members use their firm's system to record their CPD. A firm-wide recording system is a valuable tool for staff to record their learning, appraisals and development, as well as allowing firms to keep track of what training has been provided. You may wish to allow individuals to record their own personal learning as well as corporately provided learning. A recording system should enable individuals to plan learning goals, state actions taken, assess results of their learning, and consider what other skills need to be improved.

Employee access to information relating to learning undertaken

If you have encouraged staff to use the firm's learning recording system, you should allow them access to their records upon request and ensure that those who have left the firm have copies of their learning records.

How we monitor CPD

RICS Regulation can use the online CPD management portal to check compliance statistics and CPD records.  This information may be shared with your employer if they are a regulated firm. Each year RICS Regulation will select a random sample of CPD records for comprehensive review.

Difficulties with CPD

Your CPD activities should be recorded on the online CPD management portal on an ongoing basis. If you have difficulties undertaking CPD or recording your activities online, please inform RICS Regulation at the earliest opportunity:

  • in the first instance we will provide guidance on how to overcome any issues
  • we reserve the right to take sanctions against members who fail to meet their CPD requirements. However, we will only look to penalise members for non-compliance as a last resort.

Deadlines and penalties

If you have failed to record sufficient CPD in a year to meet the requirements of the rule, you will receive a caution in accordance with Rule 4(c) of the Disciplinary, Registration and Appeal Panel Rules 2009. The caution (called a Fixed Penalty caution) will remain on your disciplinary record for 10 years. Should further breaches of the CPD requirements occur, you will face further disciplinary action as follows:

  • second CPD breach: further caution and a fixed penalty of £150 or local equivalent. We will also publish a list of members who are non-compliant for a second time on the RICS website. Non-payment of the fixed penalty fine within 28 days of notification will lead to the fine being increased to £250. If the fine remains unpaid debt recovery action will be taken and the matter will be referred to a disciplinary panel.
  • third CPD breach: referral to a disciplinary panel which may result in expulsion from membership and likelihood of costs being awarded against you.

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