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Continuing professional development (CPD)

As the chartered body for the project profession, APM aims to raise standards through the creation of a robustly assessed register of project professionals who are committed to ongoing professional development and a code of conduct. Continuing professional development (CPD) is part of the APM FIVE Dimensions of Professionalism and fundamental to today’s business environment.  It ensures that you have the breadth of knowledge to illustrate your commitment to lifelong learning in a rapidly changing environment.

APM expect professionals to undertake 35 hours of formal and informal professional development every year. This is a professional obligation to clients and employers. As a committed project management professional, you are responsible for your own CPD activities and you are expected to complete the required hours every year.

APM is pleased to be a research partner of the Professional Development Consortium who exist to support all those involved with Continuing Professional Development. Find out more about the latest guidance and good practice for CPD.

Initial review

To create an APM CPD log, you should assess yourself against the APM Competence Framework; alternatively you may wish to use the high level version for CPD purposes.

This will help you identify current and future needs in developing your project competence, help clarify your professional development requirements and assist you in establishing your objectives for the coming year.





Plan and do

Your initial review will help identify the competence areas you may wish to develop and/or maintain. You can use this as a base to decide the areas you would like to develop over the next year. 

You should develop specific objectives, decide the activities that will support your development and record them on your CPD log. These activities should be chosen to:

  • contribute your 35 hours of CPD annually;
  • enhance your project related knowledge, skills and competence;
  • provide variety in your CPD activities, by demonstrating more than one type of CPD activity per year meet your objectives. 

Once you have completed your review and planned your activities, it is now time to complete some of those activities. There may be other opportunities to support your development that you have not planned for, so be aware of these.

Record your CPD activities on your APM CPD log and make a note of your outcomes. This is an opportunity to reflect on how have these activities have helped develop your project capabilities.


Review your APM CPD log at least annually. Consider your new-found knowledge and experience, revisit your final review and re-plan your next 12 months. For further information you can download guidance on writing about your reflection.

The APM CPD scheme for members runs from the date your membership commences and the annual CPD requirement should be undertaken before the renewal of your annual membership. Ensure that all of your activities are within the past 12 months and do not include any unfinished, on-going or future CPD activities.

APM does not expect you to undertake any CPD whilst on long term leave (whether long term sick leave, paternity, maternity, adoption or other). However, we would recommend that anyone intending to return to work do what they can to keep themselves up to date. CPD may be acquired during the previous 12 working months.

CPD activities

Undertaking a structured activity which has one or more specific learning objectives, either explicit or implicit. For example:

  • Validated and Accredited Qualifications;
  • APM Branch & SIG events;
  • formal distance and open learning courses;
  • attending relevant courses;
  • attending relevant conferences and/or seminars;
  • attending relevant workshops;
  • job secondment;
  • in-house presentations.

Partaking in an activity that has the potential to provide a measurable learning outcome. For example:

  • learning on the job;
  • peer guidance and discussion;
  • structured reading;
  • work shadowing;
  • preparation of CPD presentations to colleagues and other professionals;
  • exposure to new situations at work which require action;
  • participating in careers conventions and seminars;
  • listening to podcasts, webinars, webcasts and other learning for research purposes and technical information;
  • reading blogs, articles, e-books, journals that increase your project related knowledge or skills ;
  • participating in APM activities such as membership of committees where new ideas and initiatives are discussed;
  • sharing knowledge and experience with others;
  • acting as a coach or mentor for a fellow professional;
  • being coached or mentored by a fellow professional;
  • self study through reading text books or study pack;
  • volunteering;
  • relevant out-of work activities.
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