Copyright © 2020 PGA Publishing 2020

Changes to the new CPD system


As a professional association, it is vitally important we have a Membership that is engaged in Continuing Professional Development (CPD), remaining up-to-date, and at the forefront of our industry. The industry demands this and it is becoming increasingly evident as more and more employers, deployers and customers are looking to identify and engage with those industry professionals who are committed to developing themselves. Furthermore, regular engagement in targeted CPD should enable us all to do a better job, create new opportunities and have a rewarding career.

With these points in mind, we feel it is our duty to provide you with a CPD system and offer that is fit-for-purpose and enables you to stay at the top of your profession.

It was apparent from the Member Survey that PGA Members engage in various forms of CPD but for many there were certain aspects of the existing system that meant it was difficult for them to engage with it. There was also a clear divide between what Members were doing and how they were being recognised for their efforts.

In previous communications and at the 2019 Regional Members’ Meetings, we discussed these issues surrounding the current CPD system and put forward a proposal, which was well received. In light of this, on 1st October 2019, we launched a new CPD system that we feel will:

  • Be more rewarding and flexible.
  • Provide you with more choice and control over your CPD.
  • Encourage you to take greater ownership of your development.
  • Encourage you to carry out a greater and wider variety of learning and development activities on an annual basis.
  • Be streamlined and straightforward to complete.
  • Be built on trust.
  • Enable you to distinguish yourself more clearly from those who are not committed to CPD.

The rest of this page provides a summary of the significant changes to the CPD system and a brief overview of how the new CPD system will be introduced and operate.


Removal of CPD Points

The new system still requires you to meet or exceed a set level of CPD activity each year, however, the new system uses hours and standards as measures, rather than points.

Wider forms of CPD Activity

Within the new system, more varied forms of CPD activities are recognised. However, more emphasis is now be placed on ensuring that the CPD you undertake complements and enhances your practice.

The activities that are now recognised as ‘professional development activities’ are organised into four broad categories:

  • Formal Learning – qualifications, 1-day events, seminars etc.
  • Professional Activity – Lecturing, Refereeing, Examining etc.
  • Work-based Learning – On-job training, new projects etc.
  • Self-Directed Learning – reading books, listening to podcasts etc.

Accredited Register

An Accredited Register will be launched on 1st November 2020. The register will be an official list, maintained by the PGA Member Education Department, of all PGA Members who have indicated that they have met and continue to meet The PGA’s CPD standards on an annual basis.

In order for you to first join the register you must first submit a CPD record that meets The PGA’s CPD standards. However, those Members who achieved or maintained class ‘AA’ status at the October 2019 CPD classification regrade will automatically be added to the register in November 2020.

Self-Certification of CPD Status

Once on the register, your status will renew on a yearly basis as long as you annually declare that you have met the standards for the previous year.

Under the new system, you are responsible for maintaining your own CPD records. This change provides you with a greater opportunity to decide for yourself:

  • What constitutes valid CPD activity, and,
  • How much time to attribute and record for each CPD activity you undertake.

Although you are now be expected to maintain your own annual CPD record, you do not need to submit your records each year unless they are selected for a random audit.

To maintain integrity and confidence in the system, the Member Education Department will carry out a rigorous auditing process to ensure those joining and those on the register are meeting the PGA’s CPD Standards.

Introduction of the CPD Year

Rather than achieving the set minimum requirements over a rolling three-year period, Members engaging in the system are now asked to meet the standards each CPD year (1st November to 31st October the following year).

Phasing out of A/AA status

It is clearly apparent that the golf industry does not fully appreciate and understand the difference between class ‘A’ and class ‘AA’ status. Once the register is launched, class A/AA will be replaced by ‘Non-Accredited’ and ‘Accredited’ to differentiate between Members on the Accredited register from those Members who are not on the register. The 2019-20 CPD year will be the last year A/AA statuses are used.

Timing of Achieving Accredited Status

From 1st November 2020, you will not have to wait for an annual reclassification to join the register and gain Accredited status. As long as you declare and can demonstrate, through submission of a CPD portfolio that you have met the PGA’s CPD standards for the current year, you are eligible to join the register at that point.

New Learning Platform

In the near future we will be launching a new CPD platform to host a more comprehensive and convenient CPD offer and provide you with a way of recording the CPD you undertake.

Although we have no plans to scale back on the face-to-face learning we deliver, we hope the online offer will provide more options for Members to engage in CPD.


The PGA holds four CPD standards that registrants are expected to accomplish on an annual basis:

Standard One

Meet or exceed a set level of various forms of professional development activity that may improve or benefit their current or future professional practice.

Standard Two

Maintain a true and accurate CPD record of their professional development activity.

Standard Three

Retain and maintain satisfactory evidence to support their CPD record.

Standard Four

Take part in an audit if requested.

Members will need to engage in a minimum of 15 hours of professional development activity from at least two of the CPD categories each year.

The CPD year has been changed to end 1st November to coincide with the end of Membership renewal (31st October). Members will be encouraged to self-certify at the same time as renewing their subs

Currently class ‘A’ status after the 2019 1st October Regrade

If you’re currently a class ‘A’ status Member and would like to join the Accredited register on 1st November 2020, you must maintain and submit a CPD record for the 2019-20 CPD year (1st October 2019-31st October 2020) that meets the PGA’s CPD standards. The deadline for submissions is 15th October 2020.

Currently class ‘AA’ status after the 2019 1st October Regrade

If you’re currently a class ‘AA’ status Member you will automatically be added to the Accredited register on 1st November 2020. You will not need to submit a CPD record for the 2019-20 CPD year but you must still maintain a record for the year in case your records are audited in the future.

For more information about the new system, please click on the links below:

The New PGA CPD System – A Detailed Overview

The New PGA CPD System – Frequently Asked Questions