Professional development

What is continuous professional development?

The broad definition of continuous professional development is “the means by which parenting practitioners maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives.”.

These pages look at training or activity which is suitable for a practitioner to undertake alongside or after a QCF level 3 or 4 qualification, or any other professional qualification.



CPD option 1: Training to deliver parenting programmes.

Programme specific training focuses on training practitioners to use a particular programme: these trainings are not designed or intended to provide you with foundation training in work with parents, but rather to deliver the programme in question. 

Training providers frequently expect you to have an existing foundation knowledge and experience in work with parents to implement the programme.

To deliver parenting programmes, you should have some theoretical knowledge of social learning theory, parenting styles theory, attachment theory, the human ecological model and systems theory. This theoretical knowledge about why and how parenting programmes work enables you to use them more effectively and with fidelity.

The parenting commissioning toolkit has helpful information on a range of parenting programmes. (N.B. This toolkit has not been updated since 2013)

CPD option 2: Other non-QCF training.

There is a wide range of training available for parenting practitioners which is not programme specific, or a QCF qualification.  

Our Training Directory lists some of the training courses available for practitioners who work with parents. If you would like your professional training to be included, please complete the online form.

Some of these courses offer some form of accreditation. Many of them offer a specialist focus, such as courses supporting the parents of adolescents, or courses for fathers.  The programmes are offered by a range of providers, at various levels including higher education institutions