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SteamDesk CPD Recording System

The SteamDesk/BPS CPD system, which is now in its fourth version, has been developed over the past 9 years in partnership with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Throughout this period SteamDesk provided the programming and user interface development, while the BPS advised on nomenclature and the fundamentals of health professionals’ logging/reporting requirements.

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development is an internationally recognised way of keeping up to date with the ever developing business environment we work in. Enhancing skills, broadening knowledge and becoming more effective in our day to day work are goals we all strive for.

By conscious self-improvement we can easily accomplish these goals and extract the most from our career now and in the future. CPD shouldn’t be seen as a chore; instead CPD should be seen as a stimulating and rewarding experience, a display of our professional ambition.

Although primarily a personal opportunity, CPD can also be required by professional bodies as evidence of an individual’s efforts to maintain their professional status. This in turn allows CPD to form part of an employer’s management plan to ensure employees are confident and competent. CPD can also be an effective tool in reviewing company procedure and processes, possibly leading to increased efficiency and profitability.

Methods of Continuing Professional Development include:

  • Training courses
  • Lectures
  • Personal reading/research
  • Group projects
  • Qualifications
  • Assessment
  • Part time teaching
  • Seminars
  • Open learning

CPD Development

The British Psychological Society

BPS provides the system free of charge to its subscriber members. At it’s peak in 2007 there were approximately 30,000 active users. At this time the BPS had strict requirements under the statutory regulation of health terms, and the society chose to make the use of the CPD system mandatory for all practising Psychologists in order them to qualify for renewal of their Practising Certificate. Each year a random 5% sample of annual reports logged in the CPD system was checked for compliance. When the mandatory use of the system was dropped, the system was given a functional and cosmetic overhaul, and it is a tribute to the new, optional system that it has remained popular with BPS members, and is still actively used by over 16,000 psychology professionals today.

Version 3 of the system allowed for detailed administrative reporting which let administrator identify users with particular skill omissions. This was based on the older NOS (National Occupational Standards) categories. The switch from NOS to KSF happened at the same time that BPS’ requirement for mandatory CPD logging ended, so these features were not redeveloped to handle KSF reporting, however this is a development area that we intend to invest heavily in.

How it Works

The system is designed to accommodate two different styles of CPD recording/planning;

  • Those who choose to plan ahead are provided with tools to specify their development needs and to pre-plan CPD activities. The system then generates automatic email reminders for users as they approach and pass activity target dates, prompting them to record the date of completion of the activity in the system plus any feedback, KSF skills exercise, and so on.
  • For those who prefer to record after the event, and for ad-hoc (unplanned) activities, the system allows them to record details in a similar way.

Reporting features allow individual users to generate reports of their CPD activities over chosen time periods. System administrators can view these reports and interact with the users.

CPD Recording In Action


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