7.Continuing Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)


CPD is a purposeful process by which members of a profession are committed to maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, skills and competence throughout their careers to ensure they retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively, competently and legally within their evolving scope of practice.


Nurses have a professional obligation to maintain their competence and to aim for continuous improvement in the standard of service they provide .CPD is a critical mechanism to ensure that nurses have opportunities to pursue and achieve professional growth throughout their careers.

The knowledge, information and skills acquired by health care professionals as students become obsolete at some point in time. CPD programmes are designed to promote on-going, safe, ethical and competent practice for nurses and to ensure they remain up to date with today’s rapid technological advances, discoveries, health sector reforms and standards of nursing education and practice and are able to meet the demands and expectations of their patients which are continually expanding. CPD contributes to the personal development of the nurse; to the integrity of the profession; to quality health services; and to protection of the public.


Continuing professional development:


        is a continuous process.

        is self-directed,

        is based on learning needs identified by the individual, as well as by the institution, the employer, and the SNC.

        is based on activities planned in advance through a personal development plan,

        builds on an individual’s existing knowledge and experience to improve performance,

        acknowledges varying preferred teaching and learning methods and styles and includes a wide range of formal and informal activities,

        links an individual’s learning to their practice,

        includes an evaluation of the individual’s development,

        is relevant to the nurses context of practice and their current and future professional practice,

        applies adult education learning principles,

        is well planned, structured and budgeted for,

        applies to all clinical and non-clinical roles related to the delivery of nursing and health care services,  

        Actively seeks to improve a nurse’s skills, knowledge and performance.


 Nurses registered with Swaziland Nursing Council will be expected to undertake at least 10 hours of continuing professional development each year prior to renewing their practising license. One hour of active learning will equal one point of CPD. So, each nurse will be required to accrue 10 CPD points each year. CPD points will only be allocated on completion of the CPD activity. A record must be kept by the nurse of the CPD undertaken which is verified by the provider of the CPD. CPD activities will include both formal and informal learning.



 A wide range of activities, both formal and informal, classroom and workplace based, will be recognised toward meeting the CPD requirement. CPD activities must be relevant to current or future practice.


 All nurses are required to keep a record of all CPD activities they participated in that demonstrates they have met the CPD requirement. Documentation of CPD activities must include the date of the CPD activity; a brief description of the activity and the outcomes; and the number of hours spent in each activity. This evidence must be verified in writing by the provider of the CPD activity and their name, status and contact details recorded. Certificates for CPD activities undertaken may also be provided, however it must be stated on the certificate the contact hours for the activity.


It is the nurses’ responsibility to demonstrate that they participate in CPD activities. The Swaziland Nursing Council may examine, from time to time, an individual’s CPD record.