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The CPD Register believes that it is imperative that CPD courses, training materials and training providers are maintaining high standards of education, ensuring a good learning experience for the end user. To achieve this CPD Accreditation Service Providers play an essential role, policing, monitoring and ensuring a high standard of learning is achieved for all whom consume CPD.
The CPD Accreditation Service Provider ranking table below has been put together by The CPD Register to give consumers a fair and honest overview of the most popular CPD Accreditation Service Providers available, outlining what to look for and how CPD Accreditation Service Providers operate within the world of CPD:
|Accreditation Body||CPD Reg Star Rating||No. of Providers||Sector||Companies House||ICO Registered||Physical Office||Website||Telephone||Live Chat||Pricing Published||Accreditation Criteria Published||Review Frequency||Activities Individually Reviewed||Individual Activities Verifiable on the CPD Register|
|The CPD Group Ltd|| 5
||5,567 ( 583)||All Sectors||Every 3 Years||All Activities Reviewed|
|The CPD Certification Service Ltd|| 3.5
||5,287 ( 204)||All Sectors||Remote Working||One Time Review||Sample|
|The CPD Standards Office||3
||947 ( 124)||All Sectors||One Time Review||Sample|
|Centre of CPD Excellence||1
||287||Beauty and Aesthetics||PO Box Address||Unknown||Unknown|
|The CPD Accreditation Service||1
||Unknown||Beauty and Aesthetics||Virtual Office||Unknown||Unknown|
|The CPD Accreditation Office||1
||Unknown||All Sectors||Virtual Office||Unknown||Unknown|
|CPD Quality Standards||1
||0||All Sectors||Virtual Office||Unknown||Unknown|
This is the number of CPD providers which the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation have accredited and which are published by the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation on their website. We check this every month to ensure our figures are accurate. The higher the number of providers is a good indication that the company provides a robust accreditation service and demonstrates it has a good overall reputation and market share.
We would expect a reputable CPD Accreditation Service Organisation to cover all sectors and have expertise and knowledge of all things CPD not just within one specific sector.
We recommend that when a CPD Training Provider is choosing a CPD Accreditation Service Organisation, it is registered with Companies House. This provides peace of mind that the company is a genuine company with appointed and responsible Directors, whom are required, by law, to act responsibly and file annual accounts on behalf of the company which you are able to review and check the financial stability of the company. If they are not listed registered on Companies House, this may indicate that the person(s) behind the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation do not wish to be named, have a poor business record, there is a conflict of interest which may bring the credibility of the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation into question or the company is not financially stable.
As a CPD Accreditation Service Organisation is responsible for collecting data, it is imperative and a legal requirement that they register with the ICO. Any Accreditation Service NOT registered with the ICO is to be avoided or questioned as to why not.
Being able to physically visit a CPD Accreditation Service Organisations office and meet the people and team behind the company is something we feel is important. We are seeing more frequently CPD Accreditation Services being setup but with no physical office and if something goes wrong or the service is not delivered, it is difficult to pursue these types of organisations if legal action is necessary.
It is important to have a clear and non-complicated website. When reviewing a CPD Accreditation Service Organisations website, ask yourself if it gives you the information that you are looking for easily and quickly without having to navigate several pages or find it difficult to get the information you are looking for.
We feel it is important to be able to speak with the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation directly. If the company does not have a main telephone number or support line, it may indicate that the company is only a small organisation or ran by a single person who is not always available to speak with. A reputable CPD Accreditation Service Organisation will have a Sales Department, Marketing Department, Assessment Department, Finance Department and Management Team whom we would expect to be available to speak with by telephone.
Most CPD Accreditation Service Organisations will have an email contact. We would expect an email response from a proactive and credible CPD Accreditation Service Organisation within 24hrs (48 allowing for weekends and public holidays). If you do not receive a response from an email you have sent, this again generally implies that the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation is only a small organisation or ran by a single person who is not always available to respond to your email enquiry.
Nowadays, most reputable and customer focused businesses have a live chat function where you can speak with a real person in real-time direct from their website. These live chats are generally available during office hours where you can speak with an individual from the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation and ask questions directly. If the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation does not have a live chat function, this may indicate that organisation does not have the staffing levels or technical knowhow.
We feel it is essential for a CPD Accreditation Service Organisation to publish its pricing to allow for a fair assessment and evaluation when looking for CPD Accreditation Services. Quite often an organisation requests you contact them via email or phone call first in order to get a quote, which can sometimes be a tactic to obtain your contact details in order to re-market to you on a regular basis. We feel pricing should be available and visible without having to give away your contact details.
This is very important as this outlines what the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation looks for when accrediting Training Providers and their training activities. Quite often the phrase ‘Internationally recognised CPD Standards’ are used to describe what a CPD Accreditation Service Organisation assesses… please ask what their CPD Standards are in detail and full. Most reputable CPD Accreditation Service Organisations will work from a framework or assessment criteria which outlines they key elements which they assess and look for to ensure CPD is of good quality. If this is not available or freely made available by the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation, then caution is advised as you will not know what your CPD materials are being measured against.
We feel that CPD Accreditation Service Organisations should regularly review the CPD materials and Organisations they Accredit and Approve on a regular basis. This ensures that standards remain high for the end user and that CPD materials are up-to-date, relevant and therefore ensures a thorough and high learning experience for them. Some CPD Accreditation Service Organisations review materials once, in the first year, then, as long as the CPD Provider is paying an annual fee, they can continue to state that the CPD materials are accredited for multiple years, without ever having the CPD materials being reviewed again. We feel CPD materials should be reviewed every 3 years at a minimum.
This is an important part of CPD Accreditation. We believe that each and every course/ activity must be assessed and reviewed as a stand alone CPD activity. Each Course/ Activity should be throughly checked and reviewed against the CPD Accreditation Service Organisations Accreditation Criteria (if in place, see above). This is something we would recommend all CPD Accreditation Service Organisations to do, in order to ensure high quality accreditation. Unfortunately many CPD Accreditation Service Organisations only assess a sample or small number of a CPD Training Providers CPD Materials, this is called ‘blanket accreditation’ and is bad practice as this demonstrates that a CPD Accreditation Service Organisation will accredit and put their name to CPD courses/ materials they have never physically reviewed. Always ensure and check that the CPD Accreditation Service Organisation review all CPD Training Materials and Activities thoroughly.
Following on from the review process CPD Accreditation Service Organisations should issue a unique Accreditation Number for every CPD Course/ Activity they have reviewed and accredited. This is important so as the end user can then verify that the CPD training course or Activity they have purchased is in date, of high quality and been fully reviewed by a reputable CPD Accreditation Service Organisation. This essentially gives the end user peace of mind that CPD materials are of a high standard. Not all CPD Accreditation Service Organisations issue a unique accreditation number for courses/ activities but issue one single accreditation number which covers everything. This is not recommended and we urge CPD Accreditation Service Organisations to issue a separate number for each CPD Course/ Activity and a separate accreditation number for the CPD Provider themselves, thus allowing the visitor to determine whether a CPD Provider has any courses/ activities accredited or not.
We believe this is a conflict of interest and does not demonstrate impartiality. Secondly it brings into question what a training provider will do with another CPD Training Providers training materials during the accreditation process. We feel that this is a risk to the intellectual property of the submitting CPD Training Provider and caution should be given.
This often means that the so-called accreditation service are being paid or receive incentives to promote products or services or may share data with 3rd parties. Again, we feel this does not demonstrate an independent organisation.
Last Updated: 1st September 2023