15 Jul 2021
by Carmen Swanwick Roa

Boost your CPD with your professional contribution

Did you know that professional contribution counts towards your annual CPD goal? If you are supporting the profession by organising events, serving on a committee or giving talks to industry or students you might already be well on your way to that 30-hour CPD target.

Many ITI members generously give their time as network and event coordinators, committee members, volunteers, visiting speakers and discussion group moderators. As a member of the ITI Board and ITI Medical Network committee, I know that the meetings, email chains and time spent planning initiatives can really add up. The good news is that these valuable efforts can be logged as CPD hours alongside conferences, courses and Call My Agent episodes.

So, what counts as professional contribution?

Many readers will know that serving on an ITI committee or volunteering for an ITI Network can be classed as professional contribution. Those of us who volunteer in this way often rack up the hours very quickly – alongside the meetings and emails, there are events to be planned, members’ questions to be answered and technological hitches to be tackled.

But did you know that running a Facebook group for translators and interpreters counts? Or writing a blog for colleagues about what you’ve learned this month? How about speaking to the local business community about language services? Giving a presentation to a school about the benefits of learning languages? Engaging in pro bono work to help a charitable organisation like Translators Without Borders?

Anything you do outside paid work that supports the translation and interpreting profession can be classed as professional contribution in the context of CPD.

'But how does an hour organising a hike for local translators stack up against an hour reading Proust or the British Medical Journal?'

While we need to stay on top of our subject areas and keep our working languages sharp, it’s also vital to continue developing the soft skills that make us better at what we do. Skills developed through these extracurricular activities – including time management, teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and communication skills – are crucial to our work and are often neglected in the rush to meet the next deadline.

Those of us who work alone don’t often get the opportunity to work on our interpersonal skills, and the experience of being stuck indoors for over a year has made it even more important for us to flex those muscles from time to time. What’s more, activities involving writing or speaking can also support the development of those hard skills we use every day in our work: for example, I’ll be logging the time I’ve spent writing this piece as it’s given me a chance to practice my English writing skills without being shackled to a source text.

This kind of CPD is also a way of giving something back to a community that has supported us – whether that’s the #ITICommunity, local businesses that may have found it harder to sell their goods and services during the pandemic, or students who have had their learning opportunities restricted over the past 18 months.

So why not take ten minutes this week to log your professional contribution activities? You might even find that you’re closer to achieving your annual CPD goal than you thought.


ITI has published information and resources to support ITI members who would like to get involved in outreach as part of their professional contribution. Follow the link below to find out how you can help spread the word about the profession in schools, universities and to business (member login required).