10 Dec 2021
by Kari Koonin

Demystifying logging your CPD: Your questions answered

Chair of the Professional Development Committee, Kari Koonin, answers some frequently asked questions about logging your CPD.

The Professional Development Committee often receives questions from members about what constitutes CPD, how many hours to log for certain activities, whether activities such as holidays abroad or studying count as CPD, and so on. We have selected some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them in this article. We hope this helps demystify the process of logging your CPD.

Do webinars count as formal or informal CPD?

Formal CPD covers any form of structured or certified training, so webinars on any subject relevant to your professional practice count as formal CPD.

How many hours should I log for time spent reading blogs, articles, books etc?

Any reading that you do to enhance your subject knowledge, language proficiency, business skills and so on counts as CPD. You should therefore always keep a record of the time you spend reading so that you can log it. If you spend around an hour a month reading a monthly trade journal, for example, you can log 12 hours for the year. Likewise, six hours spent reading a textbook on your specialist field, spread over any length of time, can be logged as six hours’ CPD.

Can I backdate my CPD? If I miss out some, can the ITI office backdate it for me?

Members can't backdate their own CPD records to previous membership years. You should therefore make sure you log your CPD during the membership year concerned. However, in exceptional cases, you can ask the ITI office to backdate CPD, provided you can show evidence of having undertaken it.

I have undertaken some training in my part-time job that is relevant to my work as a professional translator. Can I count this as CPD?

Yes, any training you undertake for another employer or a voluntary organisation that helps you improve your skills or knowledge as a translator or interpreter counts as CPD. The training could relate to your subject expertise, business skills, IT skills, and so on. This is logged as formal CPD.

I have entered a lot of CPD but I haven’t received my badge. Why not?

You need to achieve 30 hours of CPD to receive your badge. You can easily check how many hours you have logged in My CPD summary within My ITI (login required).

I am taking a Master’s degree in a subject relating to my specialism. How do I record this and how many hours would I enter?

Any formal training such as a Master’s degree, diploma etc. in a subject that contributes to improving some aspect of your practice as a professional translator/interpreter counts as formal CPD. Keep a record of the number of hours per week you spend on studying and preparing for your exams and log that – however large the number may be!

Note that an undergraduate or Master’s degree in languages and/or translation/interpreting studies does not count as CPD as this constitutes preliminary training for entry into the profession.

Does preparation for professional qualifications count as CPD?

Yes. If you are preparing for the MITI Assessment or for the Diploma in Translation, like in the example above, this would constitute training to improve a particular aspect of your professional competence, i.e. your language skills. Again, keep a record of the hours you spend preparing for the exam and the time you spend on the exam itself.

I volunteer for a charity and carry out pro bono work on their behalf. Can I put this towards my CPD hours?

Many translators and interpreters undertake pro bono work either to gain experience or to give back to a cause they support. Any time spent on pro bono work can be logged as CPD.

Do holidays in the countries of your working languages count as CPD?

Clearly, a two-week beach holiday in your source language country won’t constitute CPD! But many translators and interpreters combine a holiday with visits to clients, conferences, trade shows, etc. The time you spend doing these activities can be logged as CPD.

In addition, if you specifically earmark time to improve your language skills by watching local news programmes, listening to the radio, reading local newspapers etc., those activities can be logged as CPD, just as they would be if you did them from home. Keep a record of the time you spend doing these activities.

During a recent translation project, I spent a lot of time reading articles and websites as research for the project. Can I log that as CPD?

No, research undertaken as part of your paid work does not count as CPD as this is something every professional translator/interpreter is expected to do anyway.

I would like to apply for FITI status but I have not logged my CPD in the CPD tool. Is this a problem?

Not at all. As long as you have a record of the CPD you have undertaken during the three years prior to applying, it does not matter whether the record is kept in your own system (e.g. in an Excel spreadsheet) or using the ITI CPD logging tool. The important thing is that this CPD is logged as it will have to be evidenced.

If you have any questions about CPD at any time, please do submit them to [email protected].

Ready to start logging your CPD? ITI's easy to use CPD logging tool is the best way to keep track of what you have achieved.

CPD

Authors

Kari Koonin

Kari Koonin

 Kari Koonin FITI is a freelance Dutch, German and Afrikaans to English translator specialising in horticulture and agriculture. She is chair of the ITI Professional Development Committee and is also a tutor on the online SUFT course.