Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is about maintaining and enhancing your knowledge and expertise throughout your career.

CPD is about staying current, engaging in life-long learning that enhances your professional development, challenging preconceptions, and achieving good outcomes for the people you work with.

CPD follows a plan that addresses your training and education needs, as identified by yourself, your employer, and/or your supervisor. The goal for your CPD is to ensure you plan to meet the SWRB’s ten core competence standards.

The CPD log, which now must be updated each year, is expected to show that:

  • you have a plan of CPD activities connected to the ten core competencies, and have undertaken at least 2 core competencies each year
  • one component of your CPD is related to competence to work with Māori. This might include education/training specifically focused on competence to work with Māori
  • you have utilised at least two types of CPD, at least one of which should involve engagement with others
  • you have completed a minimum of 20 hours
  • you have critically reflected on your CPD learning and the relevance of the learning for your practice
  • there is a sign-off from your supervisor. You can find our supervision policy here, then scroll down. We are in the process of updating this.

The CPD log is aligned with your Practising Certificate year which runs from July to June.

The SWRB will be auditing (randomly) 5 % of CPD logs each year, and it is essential you keep yours up to date and ready to be audited.

Examples of CPD

Training, education and professional development opportunities that may address the SWRB ten core competence standards include:

  • Post graduate study
  • Conferences
  • Workshops
  • Courses
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Research
  • Structured visits to explore social work issues in another field, region or country
  • Acting-up or taking on another role for a short period
  • Scoping & developing a new programme of work or initiative
  • Undertaking a service evaluation/audit
  • Supervising student placements
  • Engaging in journal clubs
  • Planning & presenting a lecture / course / seminar / webinar / workshop
  • Writing articles or books
  • Reviewing books or articles
  • Reading articles
  • Listening to video or audio resources for example Ted talks or podcasts.
  • Recording your practice (seek permission from your clients and agency first) and getting feedback
  • Simulating social work practice
  • Working Groups for example developing position statements; policy development, best practice guidelines or research.
  • Discussions about practise development or approaches to social work with social work colleagues.

The following are not CPD activities:

  • Supervision received or delivered.   
  • Training or education that does not address the SWRB ten core competence standards.

Logging my CPD

You can log your CPD using the SWRB Continuing Professional Development Log template:

CPD log

Continuing Professional Development Log example

If you are a member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers you can also use the online CPD Log. Use either of these logs.

Continuing Professional Development Social Workers Registration Board

 “Skills and knowledge identified …”  use this column and include a brief description of your professional development goals. Meet with your supervisor or manager and plan your CPD goals for the year. Other CPD opportunities will arise during the year and these can also be included.

Continuing Professional Development Social Workers Registration Board

The third column of the log asks you to critically reflect on your learning and development and relate this to the SWRB competence standards. We use critical reflection to engage with new knowledge and skills so learning is always linked to action, and theory to practice. We have included some questions below that could guide your reflection.

Questions to guide critical reflection

What have I learned from the experience?    
What do I remember as being important?
What could have been improved?                              
What feedback did I get?
Will this benefit the people I work with?                         
How can I use what I have learned in my practice?
Has my attitude, perception or awareness changed?    
Has my knowledge been updated and/or refreshed?
How have I enhanced my knowledge base?                   
What new skills have I developed?
What do I need to do next?                                               
Has my thinking changed?

How has this professional development changed the way I practice?
Have I applied new knowledge/skills and continued to use these in my work?

Refer briefly to the SWRB 10 core competence standards to identify which competence standards are relevant to the CPD you have undertaken.

The CPD log audit

Each year, the SWRB will be writing to 5% of all registered social workers asking to see their CPD log. The log must include the previous year’s record (1st July- 30th June) of CPD with reflections.

The logs will be sent to an external panel of registered social workers who will look through each log checking that CPD has been undertaken, is relevant to the competences, and includes critical reflection.

A satisfactory log will include:

  • a plan of CPD activities, connected to the ten core competencies, and have undertaken at least 2 core competencies each year
  • one component of your CPD is related to competence to work with Māori
  • utilising at least two types of CPD, at least one of which should involve engagement with others
  • completed a minimum of 20 hours CPD each year
  • critical reflection on your CPD learning and the relevance of the learning for your practice
  • a sign-off from your supervisor
CPD log FAQs

Q: Why have I been selected for audit?

It is a random selection from the SWRB database of 5% of all practising registered social workers.

Q: When will I know if I have been selected to have my CPD audited?

If you are selected, the SWRB will email you requesting your CPD log in the early part of February.

Q: If I am audited, when is my CPD log due to be submitted?

The final date for submitting your CPD log will be at the end of February.  The sooner you submit your CPD log the sooner the registration team can start the process.

Q: How much do I need to pay for the CPD log audit?

There is no fee for the CPD log audit.

Q: Can I be exempted from the audit?

No, registered social worker cannot be exempt from the CPD log audit.

Q: What happens if I do not provide my CPD log?

If you are selected to be audited, it is a requirement to provide your CPD log. If the registration team do not receive a social worker’s CPD log they will refer the social worker to our professional standards team.

Q: Can I request my CPD log is assessed by tangata whenua?

Yes, this is an option available to you

Q: Can I submit my CPD log in any other language?

We will accept your CPD log in any of the official languages of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Q: How long will it take to receive an outcome?

It can take up to one month to receive an outcome from our reviewers. However, your CPD log outcome will be returned to you as soon as it is available.

Q: Is there a template for the CPD log?

Yes, we accept both the SWRB template on our website and the online CPD log template provided by the ANZASW.

Q: Can I email my CPD log?

Yes, your CPD log needs to be emailed in a PDF format to comp@swrb.govt.nz

Q: What should my CPD log look like?

Please click the following link:https://swrb.govt.nz/for-social-workers/continuing-professional-development/to see an example of a CPD log.

Q: What type of CPD do we accept?

  • Post graduate study
  • Conferences
  • Workshops
  • Courses
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Research
  • Structured visits to explore social work issues in another field, region or country
  • Acting-up or taking on another role for a short period
  • Scoping & developing a new programme of work or initiative
  • Undertaking a service evaluation/audit
  • Supervising student placements
  • Engaging in journal clubs
  • Planning & presenting a lecture / course / seminar / webinar / workshop
  • Writing articles or books
  • Reviewing books or articles
  • Reading articles
  • Listening to video or audio resources for example Ted talks or podcasts.
  • Recording your practice (seek permission from your clients and agency first) and getting feedback
  • Simulating social work practice
  • Working Groups for example developing position statements; policy development, best practice guidelines or research.
  • Discussions about practise development or approaches to social work with social work colleagues.
CPD logs and advice for supervisors

The SWRB recognises the important role of professional social work supervisors in upholding the competence standards of their supervisees. Each year we expect that supervisors will:
·         assist their supervisees to set goals for CPD
·         sign off and review the completed log at the end of the year
·         work within a contract negotiated with the supervisee

The SWRB ten core competence standards are the foundation of social work practice in New Zealand. In order to assist in maintaining competence, the supervisor and social worker will need to consider how all the competence standards can be maintained.

Q: What do I do as a supervisor if I am not comfortable signing off a CPD log?

If you do not feel that a social worker is competent please do not sign off their CPD log. Please contact the SWRB with your concerns at comp@swrb.govt.nz.

The CPD audit is one of a portfolio of activities including professional supervision, qualification, and practice experience that support competence. The CPD log on its own is not a means of competence assessment, it is one of a number of measures of competence. If a social worker fails to provide a satisfactory CPD log, this may indicate a concern about competence or possibly conduct.