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Introducing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for Ireland’s IT professionals

All about CPD for IT professionals

Go further.
Reach higher.
Track your career progress with CPD


Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a combination of learning and development approaches that plays a key role globally in areas such as IT, engineering, accounting, medicine, law and marketing.

For professionals, CPD is about managing your own learning and career progression so that you can deliver results to your stakeholders – such as clients, management and other business functions.

Set Goals

Take ownership of your career development.


Enter your CPD activities for verification.


Monitor and review your CPD progress.


Display your CPD progress on social media.

CPD for IT professionals
Now in Ireland. Now for you.


Announcing a new career progression pathway for Ireland's IT professionals that is:

In addition, the Irish Computer Society has developed for its members a free-to-use, online system to support their recording, tracking and sharing of their professional development.

How CPD benefits everyone

CPD benefits the professional

CPD or building your skills is not a reactionary process in response to a promotion or new role; it should be ongoing and thought out. In doing so your performance in your current role will improve and make you more attractive for your new role or promotion. CPD benefits include:

Improves your employability and helps you advance in your career.

Builds skills required to work with better employers and better projects.

Improves your professional credibility, confidence and job-satisfaction.

Builds your professional network with others – online and at conferences, training and events

CPD benefits organisations

Employers too can benefit from the availability of a clearly-defined, structured and progressive framework for both measuring and encouraging the professional development of those performing IT and IT management roles, both within their organisations and throughout the economy generally.

Improves staff performance by fostering the continuous building of skills and abilities.

A robust professional development structure can be an attractive feature of talented new hires.

Improves staff morale, retention and company image, and exposes staff to industry best practices.

When linked to performance appraisals, CPD can help employees focus their achievements.

CPD benefits the profession

IT professionals play an increasingly critical role at all levels in organisations of every type and size. It is important that their contribution and development is recognised and valued.

An abundance of well trained, experienced and competent professionals enhances the status of the ICT profession

Progressive CPD promotes research and evidence based practice increasing professional recognition.

CPD provides stakeholders with evidence of the professions commitment to a high quality service

Ireland’s IT professionals: the numbers

Information Technology accounts for one-third of Ireland's exports by value and one-quarter of the economy by turnover.

SOURCE: CEPIS Survey of Professional e-Competence in Europe: Ireland Report


of IT managers have a
degree or higher


IT companies
In Ireland


of Irish exports
by value


additional professionals needed by 2018

The four types of CPD

Continuous Professional Development is about more than atttending training courses. A wide range of activities can count towards earning CPD points.

See the four-part CPD model below.


Intentional, structured activities leading to formal recognition.

Professional or academic qualifications relevant to your profession.



Intentional and structured, but not leading to formal certification.

Attendance at conferences and events, keeping up with latest developments



Everyday activities that enhance your professional expertise.

Job shadowing, secondments and working on new/stretching projects



Supporting the profession, the wider community and society.

Mentoring,contributing to and helping with not-for-profit events


CPD over your career span

CPD is a unique journey for each professional – the skills and methods you develop and apply will evolve as your career does. As you grow in experience and expertise, you may focus on some CPD weightings more than others.

An IT student will typically allocate most of their time and effort to formal education and study. As you can see in the example below, some 80% of the individual effort is allocated to formal CPD.





An IT professional may allocate more of their time to on-the-job development and less to formal learning. Attending conferences and other events will further boost their non-formal CPD points.





An IT leader may decide to give back to the community or mentor junior professionals. They may also return to formal learning by pursuing a leadership development programme.





CPD Category #1: Formal

Formal learning is typically provided by education or training institutions, with structured learning objectives, learning time, and learning support. It is intentional on the part of the learner and leads to certification.

Examples include:

  • Academic qualifications: university, college, IoTs.
  • Professional qualifications: vendor specific training.
  • ICS certifications: ECDL, CTP, Data Protection, IT Architecture, Business Analysis, Prince2, ITIL, Scrum, HITS.
  • E-learning: blended or distance learning programme provided by institution with award.

RIGHT: Business Analyis Certificate graduates

CPD Category #2: Non-formal

Non-formal learning is not provided by an education or training institution and typically does not lead to certification. It is intentional on the part of the learner and has structured objectives, times and support.

Examples include activities and events such as:

  • Keeping up with latest IT news and developments.
  • Short events, lunch & learn, breakfast briefings, etc.
  • Short training/workshops
  • Personal development training
  • Conferences and exhibitions

CPD Category #3: Informal

Informal learning results from daily activities related to work, family life or leisure. It is not structured and usually does not lead to certification. In most cases, it is unintentional on the part of the learner. Examples include:

  • Role related activities, such as job shadowing, secondment, working on a new/stretching project/role and on-the-job training
  • Imparting knowledge, such as lecturing/speaking engagements, staff appraisal: being appraised or appraising others, content development and delivery, and professional networking.
  • Private study, such as self-directed learning, reading technical reports, articles and journals, and watching/listening to good quality video or audio content.

CPD Category #4: Contribution

Members should be recognised for their efforts to support the profession, their colleagues and aspiring ICT professionals. This includes judging Scratch, F1 in schools, speaking at ICS events/conferences and mentoring.

Examples include activities such as:

  • Signing up to ICS code of conduct.
  • Research & publishing
  • Volunteering
  • Becoming an ICS Fellow or CITP
  • Being a CITP assessor
  • Supporting ICS initiatives

Managing your CPD online

As an ICT professional, it is your responsibility to keep your knowledge and competence up to date. In turn, CPD helps you to develop your skills and achieve your career goals.

Why record your CPD:

  • It helps you review your achievements.
  • It can showcase your competencies and achievements.
  • It provides tangible and marketable evidence for your career progression.

Recording your CPD:

  • Log in to the ICS website.
  • Click CPD.
  • Record your CPD duration and description in the relevant category.

As you record each new CPD entry, you will see your total CPD points grow.

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