CPD Guidance

What is CPD?

CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development, and 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.

Please note that some organisations, such as the International Society for Arboriculture (ISA), refer to CPD as CEUs (Continuous Educational Units).

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

When you joined the Association we checked that you had level of knowledge and competency at a particular level to ensure you were suitable to represent the Association 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.

Arboricultural Association 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 must complete at least 25 hours of CPD per year.

Chartered Environmentalists comply with the Society for the Environment’s Code of Professional Conduct and the requirements of the Arboricultural Association relating to continuing professional development (CPD).

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 Association 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

Our online CPD 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 Association, 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.


The Association offers a variety of CPD opportunities both local and nationwide. Plus a wide range of online and in-person training courses, and Branch events.

Continual Educational Units (CEUs) explained

CPD Policy