When you are asked to list what continual professional development (CPD) you have completed in the previous 12 months, where do you draw the line on what gets included?

  • I would think attending a seminar on teaching skills should be included.
  • A new degree, diploma, certificate, etc. would certainly be included
  • I would think that participating on this or any other website (Academia.se) would not be included.
  • I would think that discussions, no matter how long or involved, would not be included.
  • How about reading books?
  • How about watching a video series specific to the position?
  • How about audio books?
  • How about reading articles?
  • How about research for writing articles on the subject of teaching (if you are a teacher)?

I would also think as a general rule that things done to improve a teacher's teaching or subject knowledge would count.


Seconding Damien's answer - it depends on who you are reporting to, and it depends on what they want. Ask for guidelines.

I report to a committee of peers in my department who forward my report with recommendations to the dean. I am judged in several categories. Explicit guidelines on what counts (and what does not) in each category are provided. I would earn credit somewhere for everything on your list. Each category is weighted differently, so I do not received equal credit for all activities. I have taken your list of activities and placed them into the categories for which I would receive credit, and added some of my own.

Instructional Design and Development - Activities to improve the courses that I teach and the methods by which I teach them.

  • Attending a seminar on teaching skills
  • Video or webinar series on the position
  • Experimentation in teaching methodology
  • Developing new materials that better suit the needs of the course

Teaching Performance and Feedback to Students - Activities that improve my interacting with students in and out of the classroom.

  • Nothing from your list fits here
  • Reflecting on student evaluations and using them to improve your instruction
  • Faithfully keeping office hours and responding to students in a timely fashion
  • Advising students and writing letters of recommendation for them

Scholarly Activity / Professional Development - Activities to improve my knowledge of my discipline and which improve the discipline as a whole

  • A new degree, diploma, or certificate
  • Reading books, articles, letters, reviews, etc. in your field
  • Conducting research in your field, even if specific to education in your field
  • Attending, and especially presenting at, conferences
  • Submitting grant requests, and especially receiving grants

Service - Activities which forward the mission and goals of the department, the institution, the profession, or the community.

  • Participating in Stack Exchange
  • Serving on committees at the department and institution level
  • Serving as department chair
  • Being active (and especially holding an officer position) in professional organizations
  • Educational outreach to the community

Collegiality - Activities that improve my relationship with my colleagues and improves my colleagues' abilities to perform their jobs.

  • Discussions with colleagues focusing on best practices
  • Sharing of teaching materials with colleagues
  • Mentoring younger colleagues

Again, the specific answer to your question is held by the authority to whom you are responsible - your supervisor, department, department chair, dean, provost, vice president, etc. Ask for guidelines. If your supervisor wants you to be productive in the desirable way, you should receive guidelines.

  • Very detailed and exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! – earthling Sep 2 '13 at 10:37

This depends on the authority that you have to report your CPD to.

However, here in Queensland, most of what they decree as being CPD is on your list. Speaking to a rep, reading articles can and often do count towards CPD - and most certainly writing articles and courses, as long as they relate to your subject areas.

You are quite correct in that things done to improve the teacher's skills in all aspects of teaching and knowledge that would relate to the teaching area are, for here in any case, considered as CPD.

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