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Gain independent recognition of your continuing professional development (CPD)

The IDM Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Award scheme is an important means of ongoing recognition and advancement for marketing practitioners. It is available for use by members and graduates of the IDM.

Claire Baumforth Dip IDM, Dip DigM, F IDM (IDM CPD Award 2015) talks about CPD


Already an IDM member? Your account is online and available now. Log in and record your CPD hours

Maintaining your CPD helps you acquire the personal qualities required throughout your professional life by supporting and recognising your ongoing professional advancement. It can increase the personal satisfaction you gain from your work and help improve the contribution you make to the success of your organisation.

The IDM CPD Award also proves the currency of your formal membership and/or qualification honorific.

There are never enough hours in the marketing day. So, the most valuable aspect of the IDM CPD scheme to me is that it provides focus and gives me a very good reason to commit time to studying and improving my knowledge.

I have used the opportunity provided by the IDM CPD scheme to both enhance my existing skills and for new learning."

Christopher Smith Dip DM, F IDM

Holding my IDM CPD Awards enables me to gain two benefits - the CPD awards on my CV show to current and future employers that despite 16 years in the industry I'm still committed to learning and developing within the marketing discipline. And furthermore, studying for my CPD gives me year round structure to my development and coaching activities ensuring I get the best from the limited time I have available to me."

Lisa Rooke Dip DM, F IDM

Frequently asked questions

We hope the following FAQs address most of your questions about CPD online. If your query is not answered here, please call the membership team on +44 (0)20 8614 0277 or email Thank you.

Who is this CPD Award scheme aimed at?

The scheme is aimed at all marketing professionals, who would like to demonstrate their continual development. If you are an IDM member (Fellows, Members, Associate Members and Affiliates), as well as graduates of the IDM's marketing qualifications*, can achieve the IDM CPD Award.

You can start accumulating your CPD points as soon as you have enrolled as a member or attained an IDM qualification. You receive your first IDM CPD Award on completion of one year's CPD between January and December of that year. After achieving your first CPD award, you maintain it by achieving the requisite number of CPD points each year thereafter. (*post-graduate qualifications; excludes under-graduate Certificate)

Who benefits from CPD?

You do. Marketing is not a formally regulated profession, in contrast, for example, to the legal and accounting professions. CPD is therefore an optional and individual decision. This serves to mark out, even more so than in other professions, those who participate in the IDM's CPD Award scheme. It demonstrates your personal commitment to improvement and advancement.

General CPD principles

Learning doesn't stop once you've qualified for IDM membership or attained an IDM qualification. Your ongoing development must be a high priority, managed by you in a structured, progressive way. Maintaining your CPD status is an individual decision marking your personal commitment to self-improvement. Regular investment of your time should be made in order to achieve tangible, specific and relevant learning goals. CPD should not be seen as an additional set of activities to your normal duties and desired learning achievements. CPD isn’t about formal education; it’s about your awareness and attention to what’s important to you – in order that you can achieve the highest standards in your work and ultimately to fulfil your career potential. How you apply your learning and the resulting impact on your work and life is more important than the mere act of acquiring it.

What do I get?

Once you have achieved your first CPD award, and for every year you maintain your CPD records, you will be entitled to use the IDM CPD Award credential on your business card and correspondence:

IDM CPD Award 2015

This credential will demonstrate your commitment to self-improvement and ongoing development. It will provide peers, employers, clients and associates with evidence of your desire to achieve the highest standards in your work. It will be a highly valued, individual attribute. The credential that you are awarded will be dated and you will be entitled to use it for 12 months after its award. If you are an IDM member you might use it like this:

John Smith M IDM (IDM CPD Award 2015)

If you are an IDM Diploma graduate and member, it would look like this:

John Smith Dip IDM, M IDM (IDM CPD Award 2015)

The IDM CPD Award proves – and maintains – the currency of your formal membership and/or qualification honorific.

A formal letter, logo and certificate documents your achievement, and your CPD status will be identified on the Directory of Members. The real reward, however, is the satisfaction of refreshing and acquiring new skills and knowledge and feeling confident that you are up to date.

How do I get started?

Once you have enrolled to IDM membership or have graduated in an IDM professional qualification (excluding undergraduate Certificate), you should register yourself on to the IDM CPD Award scheme. Registering is quick and easy:

An IDM member? Your personal online CPD account has already been created. Simply log in and register for free and immediate access at

An IDM graduate? Start by contacting our membership team on +44 (0)20 8614 0277 or email

What’s my commitment?

By registering you are not committing yourself to anything. Simply submit your record online for the IDM to view and accredit. If you are successful, you can then submit annual records thereafter to maintain your CPD status. You are free to choose not to submit your records at the end of a year, but you will lose your CPD accreditation.

What’s the cost?

If you are an IDM member, registration and annual accreditation of your records is free. If you are a non-member graduate, there is a registration fee of £45 plus VAT (standard rate).This includes accreditation of your first award. After this, there is an annual accreditation fee.

How can I fit CPD in with all I have to do?

Although you may not recognise it you are almost certainly already doing CPD. In order to be able to perform your duties competently you are most likely keeping up to date with changes in a variety of relevant aspects e.g. legislation, best practice, technology etc. Alternatively, you may be training others or taking part in an appraisal or training programme. This is valuable CPD activity. For it to be accommodated within the framework of the scheme it simply needs to be properly recorded and evidenced. The scheme enables this to be done with a minimum of effort; the entire process is now online, allowing you to view and update your record whereever and whenever you choose.

I no longer work in a “hands-on” technical marketing role. Is CPD still relevant for me?

CPD should support you in your current employment, and likely future direction whatever that might be. If you are in a senior position relying on the expertise of others, CPD should sustain your capability to know what to ask, and how to evaluate your staff's performance. Whatever your role we believe that marketers should regularly review and update the skills and knowledge they need to perform effectively and competently.

I only work part time: how does this affect CPD?

Usually the level of competence required for a job is the same whether it is performed on a full or part-time basis, including as a job share.

What can I do if my circumstances change?

We appreciate that there may be special circumstances such as maternity/paternity leave, illness, redundancy or relocation, which could affect your CPD plans. These would be reviewed by the IDM on request.

Which IDM qualifications make me eligible for this CPD scheme?

I'm not looking for promotion so why should I do CPD?

Participation in a CPD scheme is about maintenance of knowledge and skills as much as developing new ones. Even if you are not seeking promotion, or do not expect to move from your present job, you will be affected by changes in the workplace e.g. new legislation, working practices or company culture. Participation in the CPD scheme recognises your response and management of changes affecting your role.

Opportunities for advancing my career are limited, how can CPD help me?

The framework of planning and recording your development provides the opportunity for you to consider how your career is progressing and, if you wish to make any changes, to identify the knowledge and skills which you need to develop.

I participate in my employer's work based scheme. Why should I participate in the IDM scheme as well?

Subject to prior agreement with employers, the IDM may consider allowing you to present paperwork completed as part of your employer's scheme in place of its own. Please contact the membership team for guidance.

How do I record and submit my CPD activities?

On registration you will be given access to your CPD online account. This easy-to-use account ensures your development activities can be recorded whenever and from wherever you choose. At the end of the year, the IDM will review your online record and award your accreditation.

What counts as CPD?

There are many different ways to gain new knowledge and skills, and to accumulate the expertise and experience that help you in your work and advance your career, for example:

  • Professional, work-based activities
  • Self-directed and informal learning
  • Personal activities outside your direct work responsibilities
  • Formal training and tuition.

The demands of your job and the extent of your personal ambition will determine how much CPD you plan to do. The most important aspect of CPD is the amount of relevant knowledge or skill you acquire, and how you make constructive use of what you learn to achieve your personal and work goals. We recommend that your CPD reflects a balanced mix of activities.

How many points do I have to accumulate?

In the Institute’s view, it is unlikely that you will be able to maintain sufficiently high standards of professional competence on less than 35 hours CPD per year, and this is the minimum that the IDM requires of you. Given the broad range of activities that may provide learning opportunities, this figure is a very modest amount. Many marketers routinely do far more.

Am I able to suspend my participation in the scheme?

In special circumstances, members and graduates on a career break or on long-term sick leave will be able to suspend their participation in the scheme. Cases will be considered on an individual basis. Upon return to employment members will be asked to give full consideration to their development needs by resuming their participation in the scheme.

What support services are available?

The IDM invests significant resources to ensure that its information services, qualifications, training, conference and event programmes support the needs of their members and customers. Many of these are now available 24/7 at We welcome suggestions for new content, topics and contributions from expert practitioners.

When do I submit my records?

The CPD year runs from January to December. Ensure you have recorded sufficient CPD hours
in your CPD online account by December (or by a designated date in the January of the New Year at the latest) to receive your IDM CPD Award for the ensuing calendar year. For example, for CPD hours accumulated from January to December 2014, submit your records at the end of the year, December 2014 (or at the latest by early January 2015). You will then receive your award and be able to use your IDM CPD Award notation throughout 2015.
Please note, additional hours over and above those required for the IDM CPD Award qualifying period, cannot be carried forward to the following year.

Can I backdate my hours?

Upon first registering, you can claim CPD hours retrospectively from the beginning of that calendar year, provided you can document the claimed development activities to the satisfaction of the IDM’s CPD adjudicators. You’ll then need to complete any outstanding hours during the remainder of the year to achieve your first award. 

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

Additional hours over and above those required for the IDM CPD Award qualifying period cannot be carried forward to the following year.

Will my records be checked?

A random sample of members and graduates are monitored each year. If you are one of these, please make sure that you adhere to the timescales given. On occasion, the Institute may require supporting documentation to meet the evidence requirements of the CPD programme. You should therefore keep copies of any certificates or papers which record that you have passed an examination, completed a course of study, attended a conference, and so on. Evidence will not be required for IDM qualifications, training, conferences and events.

Use the listings below to plan your annual CPD activities and to allocate the correct number of hours earned in each category.

Development activityAllowable hours
1. Qualification studies
Undertaking further education studies including recognised qualifications at degree, award, certificate, diploma and masters levels.

Up to 35 hours may be claimed each year
2. Training courses
Attending open (short course) and in-company training plus other modes of training with the IDM or other recognised training organisations.

Up to 35 hours may be claimed each year
3. Coaching and mentoring programmes
Receiving coaching and mentoring as part of a structured personal development plan. Also coaching and mentoring others to impart own expertise and experience as part of a structured programme.

Up to 20 hours may be claimed each year
4. Event participation
Attending events, excluding social or strictly networking meetings but including conferences, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, briefings, topical evening meetings, etc.

Up to 15 hours may be claimed each year
5. Promotion and appraisal
Recognition will be given for your growing responsibilities and performance as you progress through your career. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis, subject to relevant evidence from your employer.

Up to 10 hours may be claimed each year
6. Imparting knowledge
Teaching, tutoring, lecturing and speaking including public presentations to conference and event audiences. Also includes authoring books, papers and articles for public publication, as well as coaching and mentoring.

Up to 10 hours may be claimed each year
7. Technology training
Studies towards a recognised award, training and other structured extra-curricular development of knowledge and understanding of marketing-related technologies.

Up to 10 hours may be claimed each year
8. Community contributions
Active involvement in IDM working groups, examinations boards, advisory councils, regional boards, project groups and committees. Also includes participation in similar activities for other organisations and community groups (e.g. charitable trusts, school associations) where your marketing and related management skills are deployed.

Up to 5 hours may be claimed each year
9. Related private studies
Extra-curricular studies or research contributing to your professional development over and above the routine demands of your work.

Up to 5 hours may be claimed each year

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