What is CPD Accreditation?

CPD is the acronym for “Continuing Professional Development”.

Accreditation is defined as:

“The fact of being officially recognised, accepted, or approved of, or the act of officially recognising, accepting, or approving of something”.

Combined, the term “CPD accreditation” describes the process for verifying the educational authority of training, online education and coaching providers. It ensures that the CPD learning activities offered conforms to third party, industry standards.

There are three types of accreditation:
Specific CPD Accreditation
Generic Accreditation

Multi-Disciplinary CPD Accreditation

This accreditation is specifically for educational providers working across multiple sectors, industries, and professions, so that they can receive a multi-disciplinary CPD accreditation which recognises their learning experiences as acceptable for formal CPD purposes.

The CPD Standards Office (CPDSO) was the first accreditation service to develop tandards for specific CPD learning activities in consultation with professional bodies, regulators, membership organisations, and employers.


Today these standards include different accreditation routes for:

  • F2F Training courses and events
  • Digital and online learning
  • Apprenticeships
  • Structured reading
  • Web apps
  • Independent speakers

Our mission is to support everyone involved in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to make it better, easier and more affordable. By providing independent accreditation, we improve the quality of continuing professional development (CPD) to ensure positive and successful CPD experiences.

Specific CPD Accreditations
For training organisations working within one particular sector, professional area, or industry, there are often (but not always) accreditations available from the professional bodies or regulators themselves. These are sometimes ‘woven’ into the CPD scheme for that area, or can be a general recognition available to training and education providers within the industry. As these accreditations are wide ranging, a few examples are listed below.*

*Please note that CPD schemes, and associated accreditation options, are often under review and are subject to change.


Financial Services Sector

The Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI)

Medical Sector

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)

Legal Sector

The Bar Standards Board (BSB)

The Institute of Leadership Management (ILM)

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) is part of the City and Guilds Group, and has independent awarding status.
It focuses on assessing the soft skills within Leadership and Management, and enables training providers to award established qualifications.
See www.i-l-m.com for more information.

Training Accreditation Programme (TAP)

TAP offers L&D practitioners a flexible pathway to a role relevant diploma as well as accreditation of events, online and new to training learning. It is a skills based, modular, role relevant Training Qualifications and Accreditation service. Their mission is to professionalise training is based on a patterned “L.E.A.R.N” technique which ensures that best practice principles are followed. TAP are excellent for an generalist badge which assesses the quality of training delivered