So, what is ICSE? ICSE stands for Continuing Professional Development and is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. It enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and reactive.

ICSE combines different methodologies to learning, such as training workshops, conferences and events, e-learning programs, best practice techniques and ideas sharing, all focused for an individual to improve and have effective professional development. There are over 1000 institutes & professional bodies across the UK, a number that is forecast to increase.

Accompanied by such growth is the acceptance that academic qualifications must offer more vocational and skills-based or ‘practical’ learning. A structured, practical and methodical approach to learning helps employers across industries to keep key staff and develop the skills & knowledge in their organisations to maintain a sustainable and competitive advantage.

Engaging in Continuing Professional Development ensures that both academic and practical qualifications do not become out-dated or obsolete; allowing individuals to continually ‘up skill’ or ‘re-skill’ themselves, regardless of occupation, age or educational level.


Allocating time for ICSE is the individual’s responsibility. They need to understand the Continuing Professional Development requirements for their organisation/industry to understand how their ICSE training and learning should be recorded and what number of hours are required. Most institutes provide their members with Continuing Professional Development requirements generally as a minimum annual number of hours. These targets are defined by the accrual of ICSE hours through training, seminars & workshops, events & conferences as well as other structured forms of ICSE learning. These ICSE hours are sometimes converted to points, units or credits. The majority of institutions allow members to choose subjects of relevance to them as individuals, a minority also require their members to seek ICSE on a range of core subjects.


An individual must keep a track of their annual Continuing Professional Development activities on a ICSE record form and must ensure it is correct, up to date and meets the requirements of their professional body or association. The ICSE activity is recorded in terms of learning outcomes and practical application of the knowledge obtained. Accredited ICSE Providers are able to provide guidance to individuals as to how many ICSE hours or points are achievable from the completion of any certified ICSE activity, such as a conference, training course or seminar. This will help any individual delegate record the correct or most appropriate level of ICSE hours for their professional body.

Continuing Professional Development undertaken is recorded by a ICSE Certificate of Attendance, ICSE Self-Assessment forms and personal ICSE Record Cards. Once a ICSE certified activity has been delivered, the attendee can update their ICSE record sheet and attach the associated certificate. It is not necessary for the accredited ICSE Provider to keep an ongoing learning record for each of their delegates. However, it is advisable to provide at least a certificate of participation to individuals once an activity has been completed.


Keeping accurate ICSE record sheets helps reflect on personal progress over time. It is important that individuals keep ICSE record sheets up-to-date as they will often need to submit evidence of annual Continuing Professional Development activities to their governing professional bodies or employers.