Continuing professional development framework

The screen industries in the UK are thriving, thanks to you -a talented, dedicated and largely freelance workforce. Whether you are self-employed or contracted, you are responsible for developing your career. You need to keep your expertise up-to-date, staying informed and connected to the wider industry and stretching yourself to achieve your potential. In short, you are your own training department.

Continuing professional development framework
Image: Katherine Churcher with Damon Thomas on the set of Killing Eve © Gareth Gatrell

What is continuing professional development (CPD)?

Continuing professional development (CPD)is learning undertaken to improve your skills once in work. It means planning and applying learning that increases knowledge, skills and experience and results in improved performance and career progression. Continuing professional development is essential to the continued success of the UK screen industries. By developing our individual strengths and skills, CPD helps build confidence –in us as individuals and collectively in the screen industries. To support the process of introducing, accessing and applying continuing professional development, ScreenSkills has developed a CPD strategy. It defines what continuing professional development is, why it is important and how it makes a difference whether you are approaching personal and professional development as an individual, employer or a training provider designing a development programme.

At the heart of the strategy is a competency-based framework. A competency is defined as the skills required to do a job well. The framework clearly identifies what is expected of screen industry professionals, whatever their employment status, at each career stage, measured against four core competencies. It empowers us to identify skills and experience gaps that would benefit from development. By using the framework -alongside the suggestions on how to approach the process that can be found in the strategy -it is possible to work out how to access and apply continuing professional development in a way that minimises disruption to day-to-day work, rather than expecting you to take long periods of time out from earning.

About the CPD framework

The framework discusses:

  • Values: the principles that guide our conduct to ensure the ongoing success of the UK screen industries
  • Behaviours: best-practice professional conduct we all sign up to, regardless of career stage or status
  • Competencies: the skills required to do a job, which are critical to our success whether in creative, technical or commercial roles
  • Career stages: the four career stages we will all pass through (entry, early, experienced and expert)
  • Areas for development: recommended topics for further learning and development, should you identify a weakness or opportunity for growth within a particular competency
  • Examples of CPD activities: specific ideas on how to achieve or develop a certain skill within the relevant area for development

Please note the following about the framework:

  • It is deliberately broad, designed to empower individuals to self-identify and to interpret according to their understanding of their particular field or sector. It covers a wide range of roles and sectors in the industry across creative, technical and commercial roles.
  • The skills outlined are those required to work effectively at that career stage, rather than progress into or graduate from it. They are what is needed to operate at that particular career stage and are expected to be developed while working at that stage.
  • The skills build on, rather than, replace each other through the career stages; individuals are expected to continue to have and use the skills they developed previously.
  • No competency exists in isolation. In this framework, several skills are deliberately duplicated to provide a well-rounded picture of what is required for each competency. For example, in order to develop your professional expertise, you will need to be strong at problem-solving. This is also an important aspect of strategy, planning and delivery. In order to be competent at project management, you will need strong teamwork skills
  • It is not expected that every individual will become an expert in every competency or skill.
  • The examples given are for guidance only. Every role and each individual’s approach to their development is different. This means each person’s portfolio of evidence will be unique, demonstrating a variety of continuing professional development activities.

How to use the framework

We recommend you regularly work through the framework, assessing your behaviours and competencies against those expected of you at your career stage and noting examples where you have demonstrated development in these areas. Take time to reflect, analyse any appraisals or feedback you have had and discuss with your line manager or mentor.

If you identify a behaviour, competency or skill which you or your line manager or mentor feel requires further development in order to reach the required standard so that you can progress to the next career stage, then consider the relevant suggested areas for development. Do bear in mind that these are steers towards progressing a particular skill or competency area and are by no means definitive.

The CPD activities you undertake are up to you. The examples given are just that, examples. You will need to explore what works for you in your circumstances. Broadly speaking, there are three types of CPD activity:

  1. Commercial training or teaching from subject matter expert. This is usually paid for and can be delivered in person or online. Eg seminars, e-learning courses, accredited professional qualifications, tutorials, webinars, workshops, masterclasses and lectures.
  2. Workplace embedded professional development from leaders and colleagues within your organisation. This on-the-job learning is usually folded into your day-to-day work as part of your employment, so it tends to be free to entry once you are in work. You may need to instigate or initiate this yourself. Eg mentoring, masterclasses, action learning sets, shadowing, secondments, inductions and lunchtime learning sessions.
  3. Informal self-lead learning initiated by individuals themselves. This is usually low-or no-cost and is an independent commitment by you to develop in a particular area in your spare time. Eg reading books or articles, watching online videos, listening to podcasts, seeking advice, taking part in taster webinar and attending talks.


Values are the principles that guide our conduct as individuals, organisations and an industry. They are what we consider important and agree to sign up to and live by so that our industry thrives. The values we consider are:

To maintain the integrity of the UK screen industries, we are always open, transparent and trustworthy in our dealings with others.

To ensure our industry is truly diverse, we treat everyone equally and seek to value and encourage every talented person, regardless of their background or personal characteristics.

To support the reputation of our industry, we always work to the highest possible standards, particularly when it comes to prioritising the health, security and wellbeing of everyone in and around the industry.

To support the collaboration and teamwork essential to our success, we are fair, courteous and considerate to everyone in the industry.


To help us live our industry values, we recognise that the way we perform our roles is just as important to ensuring success as technical competence or creative ability.

To develop best practice behaviours, you may choose to seek out CPD activities in the recommended areas for development. These activities might be commercially-available formal training, workplace-embedded CPD or individual self-led learning, depending on your need and context. Find behaviours, areas for development and example CPD activities for each value here:


Competencies are the important skills required to carry out a job or fulfil a role successfully and efficiently. ScreenSkills has identified the following four core competencies as being the critical skills required for the screen industries in the UK to continue to thrive. The aim is to continually develop and hone these competencies in an ongoing process of professional development:

  • Professional expertise: the ability to approach increasingly complex creative, technical or craft tasks in a field of specialism, focusing on continuous learning and sharing knowledge and experience with others
  • Strategy, planning and delivery: the ability to plan and execute projects to achieve defined objectives, thinking strategically, budgeting and using resources appropriately and providing effective reporting
  • Working with others: the ability to collaborate with others to deliver successful projects to a shared vision, managing others fairly, communicating clearly and leading effectively
  • Personal development: the ability to manage and improve performance and behaviour, taking responsibility for ongoing self-awareness, recognising any skills gaps and overseeing career progression