CPD Guidance

What is CPD?

CPD or Continuous Professional Development is the term that is applied to the ongoing training and development an individual undertakes during their working life. CPD can cover a multitude of training and development opportunities; these can include formal seminars and training courses, in-house and informal training, ‘tool-box talks’, the sharing of knowledge with team members, e-learning and webinars and other self-guided study such as reading.

Who has to do it and why does the AA require members to carry out CPD?

The AA requires all Technician, Professional and Fellow members to undertake a specified amount of CPD hours over three years as part of their ongoing commitment to their membership.

When you joined the AA we checked that you had level of knowledge and competency at a particular level to ensure you were suitable to represent the AA as a Technician, Professional or Fellow member. As time goes on we need to ensure that the level of knowledge you demonstrated when you applied is maintained and built upon as best practice is updated and the industry moves forwards. To verify this we randomly sample our members’ CPD every Autumn.

AA Registered Consultants must also complete annual CPD to maintain their status.

How much do I need to complete? 

Technician members should complete 30 hours over 3 years or 10 hours per year.
Professional members should complete 40 hours over 3 years, which is approximately 13 hours per year.
Fellow members should aim to complete at least 50 hours over 3 years, which is approximately 16-17 hours per year.
Registered Consultants should complete must complete at least 25 hours of CPD per year.

What’s in it for me?

CPD doesn’t just have to be a box you have to tick to continue your membership with us. CPD is a powerful tool you can utilise to develop your skill set and improve your knowledge.

Our forms allows you to plan your CPD and record it in a meaningful manner, aiding any future development and progression.

Having an up to date CPD record is incredibly useful when updating your CV, applying for new positions and tendering for work. It demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement and could really allow you to stand out as an individual.

Where do I start?

It’s up to you!

We don’t insist that you complete a certain quota of AA training courses every year, or that you attend a large amount of expensive formal training. What we want to see is development undertaken that is relevant to your requirements. If it’s effective, then it’s good CPD.

If you would like to use your CPD record to support an application to upgrade to a higer level of membership, try to ensure that you include CPD activities that demonstrate a level of complexity representative of the grade you wish to move to.

Your online CPD form

In Spring 2018 we launched our updated online CPD recording form. The new form allows you to upload evidence, such as certificates, and download copies of your CPD record between specific dates.  It also automatically adds on any courses completed with the AA, taking a lot of effort out of the process!

You can access our online CPD form by logging into your profile, you will then see a tab called CPD where you can start recording.

We are still happy to receive CPD records in other formats but please ensure that you have documented your learning outcomes fully.

Some ideas of where to look for ‘formal’ CPD opportunities (this is not an exhaustive list!):

Our AA training courses are always worth a first look as you do get some substantial discounts and the listings are always changing!

Our Training Courses  

Your local AA Branch is a great source of local, low cost events and trips.

Our Branches  

The ARB Show, APF and other trade shows are a great source of CPD with free workshops, publications and product demos. It’s worth checking the websites and planning in advance as shows are generally annual/bi-annual events.

The ARB Show  

APF Exhibition  


Conferences are a great option to top up CPD and you will cover a lot of topics within a short time span. As with shows or exhibitions these are generally annual so forward planning is worthwhile.

AA National Amenity Conference  

Barcham’s Big Barn Conference  

The Ancient Tree Forum  

ICF Conference  

Listed below are some of our sister organisations and notable others that offer one day courses, talks and seminars (again this is not an exhaustive list so please do explore other options too!)

Forest Research  

The Woodland Trust  

The Ancient Tree Forum  

Trees and Design Action Group  

(Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management)


Society for the Environment  

Bat Conservation Trust  

Countryside Jobs Service  

Snowdonia National Park  

Continual Educational Units (CEUs) explained