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Maintaining your professional registration

Advance your knowledge and raise standards

Why maintain your professional registration?

Professional registration is a highly regarded peer-reviewed assessment. It provides external validation and recognition of your achievements, skills, knowledge, experience and values, as a professional in your field.

To retain your registration and professional excellence you are required to demonstrate your ongoing commitment to developing new skills and knowledge through continuing professional development (CPD).

The benefits of retaining your registration are

  • Exemplifying your ongoing commitment to professional development for the benefit of yourself and others
  • Maintaining your credibility amongst peers, stakeholders, and the wider community
  • Increasing your visibility to aid career progression and wider professional opportunities
  • Recognising your commitment to maintaining high ethical standards in all that you do

CPD for professional registration

What is CPD?

Continuing professional development (CPD) refers to regularly engaging in learning and developmental activities that contribute to retaining your professional excellence. This could mean maintaining, developing or learning new skills. This can help you to retain your expertise, enhance your credibility, facilitate further career progression and new opportunities.

Reflective CPD record

Holders of a professional registration, who are professionally active, are required to maintain a reflective CPD record and submit this for review, when requested to. A reflective record focuses on outcomes, benefits to you and others, and your ongoing professional development. 

CPD recording tools

The IOP provide members with tools and guidance to maintain a reflective CPD record. Members can access the MyCPD tool in our Career Development Hub to record their activity and reflections. Alternatively, you can record your CPD in an Excel file. Further information can be found below.

Guidance on maintaining your registration

CPD policy

In line with the IOP’s continuing professional development (CPD) policy, all members are expected to regularly engage in CPD activities as outlined in the IOP’s Code of Conduct. However, if you are a holder of a professional registration and are professionally active, you will be required to provide a reflective CPD record. This contains evidence of the activities undertaken and your reflections on them. If you are no longer professionally active, you can still retain your registration provided you regularly engage in and record your CPD activities. However, you will not be required to submit a reflective CPD record. 

Professionally active

You use your physics, engineering, or science knowledge in a professional capacity for the benefit of others. This can include full or part-time employment, paid or unpaid activities, volunteering activities, and consultancy work (this can be on an ad-hoc basis).

Break from practice

A break in practice can include maternity/paternity/adoption leave, ill-health, a sabbatical, or taking time out of work to care for a dependant and therefore you can request an exemption. However, we will also consider circumstances that may fall outside of the above on a case-by-case basis.

A break in practice can be up to three years, after which you will be asked to submit a CPD record. Three years is currently the maximum period of time stipulated by several professional and regulatory bodies.

Not professionally active

You no longer engage in any activities where your professional skills and knowledge are used for the benefit of others. While you may be accessing resources, such as listening to podcasts, attending webinars and reading articles of interest, you are not transferring your knowledge.

CPD commitment

As a member and holder of a professional registration, you have committed to regularly undertake CPD activities that will help you advance your knowledge, skills, and competence to keep pace with your role and developments in your field. The IOP will ensure that the integrity of all registers are maintained through regular monitoring of CPD records, and that members are undertaking a range of CPD activities in support of their professional development.

About the CPD monitoring process

When will I be monitored?

You will be contacted via email, or letter, to provide evidence that you regularly engage in CPD activities. 

What evidence do I need to submit?

You will be asked to provide evidence that you regularly engage in CPD activities. When producing your CPD record for monitoring, you will only be required to provide evidence of activities undertaken in the last 12 months, with reflection on these activities. For example, if you are called upon in November 2023 to submit your CPD record, you are only required to present evidence of your learning activities for the period November 2022 – November 2023.

How long will I have to submit my evidence?

You will then have three months to produce a CPD record or inform us that you are not professionally active.

What happens if I do not engage with the monitoring process when contacted?

Please do not ignore the email and contact us to discuss the process - we are here to help you. If we do not receive any communication, you will, ultimately, be removed from the professional register.

CPD requirements

What are the CPD requirements for professionally active members?

Professionally active members will be expected to produce a CPD record that provides evidence of:

Continuous learning – While the assessors would like to see a range of CPD activities spread throughout the submission period, you are encouraged to limit your submission to between five and 15 activities. This is usually sufficient to demonstrate continuous learning.

Reflection – this is an essential part of the IOP’s CPD monitoring process, and we have designed the CPD questions to allow you to reflect on each individual activity that you have recorded. Read more about the reflective CPD record.

Engagement in a variety of CPD activities – learning activities that can contribute towards your CPD record are extensive. Therefore, you are encouraged to vary your learning activities as this supports your personal and professional development. Learning activities include: reading Physics World, listening to podcasts, radio or webinars, completing online courses, attending lectures, exchanging knowledge and ideas, collaborating, or volunteering in a professional capacity.

What are the CPD requirements if I'm not professionally active?

You are still expected to keep a record of your professional activities but the record just needs to capture the type/title of activity and date of each individual activity. For example, Read Physics World – November 2023. The IOP reserves the right to conduct random sampling of members who are not professionally active to ensure they are regularly undertaking CPD.

IOP CPD tools and resources

CPD recording tool

The IOP has a range of tools and resources to support you in planning, reflecting, recording and undertaking your CPD activities. Please note, you can use any format you choose to record your activities.

MyCPD Tool and ‘How to guide’

You can use the MyCPD tool accessed through our Career Development Hub to log your CPD activities, accessible 

For step-by-step guidance on how to access and record your learning please view our MyCPD tool 'How to guide'.

CPD questions

It’s essential that you answer the CPD questions which are designed to encourage you to reflect on each CPD activity you record. Please view our CPD reflective questions and example responses.

Excel File

You can record your CPD activities using this Excel template.

CPD guidance document

This is a comprehensive guide that explains the CPD monitoring process; learning categories; how to plan, reflect, record, and undertake your CPD activities. 

For an example CPD record, please view our CPD guidance document (PDF, 498KB)

CPD drop-in sessions

The CPD drop-in sessions are especially useful if you are new to the CPD monitoring process, or you have a specific question about the process. Please view the dates and times for the drop-in sessions.


We have created CPD FAQs to address questions such as: Do I have to give up my professional registration if I am not professionally active? What happens if I have extenuating circumstances? What happens if I am on a break from practice?

CPD support for IOP members

Maintaining your professional registration

CPD drop-ins

Join us for one of our online CPD drop-in sessions, exclusively for members who hold a professional registration with the IOP. These sessions are designed to support with maintaining your registration.

CPD drop-ins

Maintaining your professional registration


Our CPD FAQs were created to answer all of your questions regarding CPD activities, maintaining your CPD record and keeping a reflective record.


Maintaining your professional registration

CPD activities

The IOP is committed to providing a range of CPD activities for our members to achieve their career goals and increase the professionalism of physicists.

CPD activities

How can we help?