What is CPD? 

CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. It should be undertaken by every professional to ensure their practices and learnings are up to date and safe.

CPD can consist of:

  • face to face learning or updating events
  • online learning or updating events
  • reading articles, cases, updates, journals, guidance etc
  • watching videos
  • attending webinars or briefings

which are relevant to your work and field.


How much CPD should I do? 

This is a great question. The short answer is, it varies. Every profession will have a different tariff for the number of hours, or how you should undertake CPD.

Teachers are required to undertake 30 hours CPD every year. Clinical psychologists are required to undertake 40 hours per year (over a 3 year period).

Presently there is no statutory CPD requirement for Designated Safeguarding Leads.

Our suggested number of hours per year is 35.


Why do you recommend 35 hours per year CPD for DSLs? 

We recommend 35 hours per year due to the complexity of the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

The role, as set out in Keeping Children Safe in Education, covers a large number of areas:

  • Managing referrals
  • Support for staff
  • Training provider
  • Lead liaison with third parties (Local Authority, Police, Third sector agencies, health providers etc)
  • Liaison with parents/carers

to name a few.

These roles require DSL’s to wear a number of hats and to have a number of skills, for example:

  • Management
  • Leadership
  • Conflict management
  • Mediation
  • Counselling skills (though not practice)


These skills, and more, are required to ensure the DSL is continuously effective in their role.

As such, the DSL needs to keep up to date with:

  • Changes in legislation and case law
  • Local safeguarding practices (as these change from area to area)
  • Key changes to national practice
  • Developments in safeguarding practices
  • Updates to assessment processes
  • Issues affecting SEND students/apprentices
  • Data Protection & GDPR changes
  • Prevent duty updates and amendments
  • Online safety practices for students, apprentices & staff
  •  Local referral processes and procedures

The role is complex, and requires a person of seniority to be in post.

We recommend 35 hours CPD due to this complexity and changing nature of the work involved.

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