Handy guide: What is CPD and how to find nutrition CPD

Post it note pinned onto a cork board which says CPD - what you need to know about nutrition CPD.

CPD stands for continuing professional development. What does that mean? It is learning undertaken to extend your knowledge, understanding, skills or experience in your given profession.

Notice it isn’t just knowledge. So for example it could be work shadowing to extend your proficiency or training in a particular skill like anthropometry. It might not be specific to nutrition either, so as well as attending a webinar on vitamin D for example you can count training in equality and diversity as CPD.

What counts as CPD?

CPD can take various forms. The Association for Nutrition (AfN) allow a number of different things to count as CPD within the 30 hours registrants are required to do each year.

Formal CPD

This is things like webinars, conferences, and formal training.

You can find formal CPD on lists like the AfN CPD endorsed training list, NHD magazine events list, MyNutriweb, Nutrition Society and my own training in consultations, workshops and AI

Informal CPD

Informal CPD can be all sorts of things. Here is a list of some of the things which can count:

  • Reading – this can be papers, books or it can be articles (e.g. in CN Magazine, NHD magazine) – this should be from reputable nutrition or suitably qualified professional
  • Shadowing or volunteering – Zoe Griffith’s has a list of opportunities
  • Supervision meetings (formal mentoring)
  • Listening to podcasts/radio
  • Watching documentaries, TV programmes

How do I find CPD?

I have put a number of links in the above types of CPD which hopefully help you find CPD.

Reading newsletters from AfN, as well as other nutrition organisations (eg Food Active or Sustain) can also guide you to CPD, as well as following university departments and fellow nutritionists on social media.

When you are attending formal CPD events, listen out for references in the talks because this is a great way of extending your learning in that area. Follow the speakers on social media and they may also share new developments.

You can also ask colleagues through the AfN Facebook group or use your own social media to ask for recommendations – that’s how most people find my training!

How to pick CPD?

There are so many CPD opportunities available, it would be easy not to get any actual work done! Be choosy. Look at what you currently know and what you think your gaps are in your knowledge and identify CPD to fill those gaps. Also look out for updates in the field you are in such as changes in NICE guidance or SACN recommendations.

Most of our CPD should extend our knowledge/skills/experience in our current work area. Some should extend our knowledge/skills/experience in an area we might like to consider going into in the future. And a small amount should be able the nutrition profession more generally so we keep an overview of the profession (for example for me as a non sports nutrition expert, I might do a little CPD about sports nutrition so I can better understand the profession and signpost people to the experts in that area).

Does it have to be AfN endorsed CPD?

No, the CPD doesn’t have to be endorsed or certified or accredited by the AfN to count as CPD. Their scheme is a way of saying it is of a suitable level to be CPD. However as long as it is from a reputable source and you have done your reflection (see below), it can count as CPD.

What next?

After you have done a CPD exercise, don’t forget to reflect on it. This isn’t just important because it’s an AfN requirement; it’s also important because it helps us become better nutritionists.

How to reflect on CPD as a nutritionist

4 things:

What you did – type of CPD, date, title, author/speaker/journal etc

What you learnt – key learning points

How you might apply this learning to your practice

What further CPD has it identified – e.g. further reading or doing other CPD to get more depth of information.

Further resources

Please check out the resources on the hub including some free resources you can count as CPD and some paid courses. Feel free to get in touch if you have a specific request for CPD.

Please share this article with any nutritionist or nutrition student who would benefit from it.

Published by Aliya Porter

An experienced Registered Nutritionist helping you to live healthily without breaking the bank or chaining you to the kitchen.

2 thoughts on “Handy guide: What is CPD and how to find nutrition CPD

  1. This is very helpful especially for people like me who just got my graduated and don’t know what to do next

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