FAQs for Psychology Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

What is CPD in psychology?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in psychology refers to the ongoing process of learning and developing professional skills and knowledge beyond initial qualifications. It helps psychologists stay updated with the latest research, techniques, and best practices in their field.

Why is CPD important for psychologists?

CPD is essential for psychologists because it ensures they stay competent, relevant, and effective in their practice. It helps them provide the best possible care for their clients, remain current with advancements in psychology, and maintain their professional standards. In South Africa our Health Professions Council (HPCSA) requires practitioners to obtain CPD points annually in order to stay registered.

What activities count as CPD for psychologists?

CPD activities can include attending workshops, seminars, conferences, and webinars; participating in peer supervision or case consultations; conducting research; publishing papers; taking advanced courses; engaging in self-directed learning, and more.

How many CPD hours do I need to complete each year?

CPD requirements vary depending on the professional body and country. For instance, in some countries, psychologists may need to complete a specific number of CPD hours annually, typically ranging from 10 to 40 hours.  South African psychologists require 30 points per year (including a minimum of 5 ethic points).  The HPCSA now require practitioners to have 60 active points (including a minimum of 10 ethic points) at any given point in time which implies that practitioners need to be compliant for 2 years at all times.

Can I earn CPD credits online?

Yes, many CPD activities are available online, such as webinars, e-learning courses, and virtual conferences. These digital options offer flexibility and convenience for psychologists to earn CPD credits remotely and in their own time.

Can I carry forward excess CPD hours to the next year?

Again, this depends on the guidelines of the professional body. Some may allow carrying forward a limited number of excess CPD hours into the following year, while others may require you to start fresh each year.  The HPCSA guidelines state that you points have a 2 year “shelf-life” which implies that points can be carried over to the next year.  If, for example you require 30 points for 2023, but you completed 40 points in total, 10 of your points can be carried over and used towards your 2024 points.

How can CPD enhance my career as a psychologist?

First and foremost, in South Africa our Health Professions Council (HPCSA) requires practitioners to obtain CPD points annually in order to stay registered.  CPD can also significantly enhance your career by demonstrating your commitment to continuous learning and professional growth. It can open up opportunities for advancement, specialization, and recognition within the field.

Is there a difference between CPD for the various categories of psychology registration and can I also do CPD points accredited by another HPCSA professional board?

While the core principles of CPD apply to all psychologists, there may be specific courses or recommended activities tailored to different specializations within psychology. According to the HPCSA practitioners may obtain their units within their own discipline, speciality or sub-speciality or within another relevant discipline, speciality or sub-speciality that is relevant to their own professional practice. The HPCSA also accredits our courses for all categories of psychology registration, so you can do any of the courses to obtain your points (some topics may just be of less interest to you). If a CPD activity has been accredited by an Accreditor for a specific professional board, all health care professionals may attend that activity if it is relevant to their specific scope of practice. Health practitioners will therefore not need to apply for that activity to be re-accredited by their own professional board in order to claim the CEUs accrued for attending that activity.

How many points do I require if I have 2 different HPCSA registration numbers?

Health practitioners who are registered in two different professions or categories must meet the requirements of the boards that are applicable. Health practitioners registered in more than one category within the same professional board should only need to meet requirements for one category.

Can I get CPD credits for teaching or mentoring other psychologists?

Yes, in many cases, teaching or mentoring other psychologists can count as CPD. Sharing knowledge and expertise with peers contributes to your professional development and may earn you CPD credits.

What should I do if I fail to meet the required CPD hours for the year?

If you find yourself falling short of the required CPD hours for a particular year, the HPCSA does allow you to make up the points in the current year.  If, for example, you only acquired 10 points in 2023, you can do an additional 20 points in 2024 in order to make up the shortfall for 2023.  You will then have to do 50 points in 2024 to get up to date. The HPCSA will accept these points.  Providers are not allowed to give you access to their courses of a previous year as the courses are HPCSA accredit per year and the points will then no longer be valid.

How do I upload my points at the HPCSA?

New HPCSA regulations state that providers now submit points on behalf of practitioners.   Once submitted from a provider’s side, the HPCSA will confirm the upload with you via automated message.  Providers have now also been requested to no longer issue certificates as this leads to confusion / double submissions.

FAQs for NextCPD courses

How does the article packages work?

Article packages consist of various amounts of articles (depending on the number of points it is accredited for).  After reading an article, you can go ahead and complete the 15 question Multiple Choice Questionnaire which you need to pass with a mark of 70%. 

What happens if I do not obtain the required 70% for a particular questionnaire?

Your can redo the questionnaire if the required pass rate is not reached. 

Do I need to submit all my questionnaires in one session?

No, you can do the questionnaires in as many sessions as you prefer.  Your data of points accrued are safely stored on our online system – also providing proof of completion once you complete you package.

You have up to the closing date of a particular year to complete the package you registered for in that year.

Can I do more than one course at the same time?

There are no content overlap between our courses, so you are welcome to do as many courses as you prefer.  You can just not do the same course twice.

FAQs for my account

How do I purchase a course online?

Please register a profile by setting up your own username and password.  Once logged in you can purchase any of the courses you are interested in (the same procedure as normal online shopping).  At checkout, you can choose to either make a secure online payment of pay by EFT.  Once paid the course will be immediately available under your profile.  Sign in and complete the course in your own time and in as many sessions as you prefer.  

What do I do if my payment didn’t go through?

Please contact  cs@nsa.edu.za for assistance or EFT options.

What do I do if I can not remember my login details?

You can use your email address that you registered with as username and then request to reset your password. Alternatively you can also contact us to assist if needed.