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The Importance of CPD for Translators

14 May 2019 - by Hélène Walters-Steinberg

What is CPD?

CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development. It is a process of intentional learning, through which learning and development is recorded and reflected on.


Why do translators need CPD?

Translators need to refine and expand their existing translation skills and subject knowledge to continuously produce high quality translations. This can be done by taking courses (online and in person), attending conferences and language shows, learning new technologies, reading reference books and subscribing to news from industry experts to keep up to date with commercial and linguistic developments.


Are all translators required to undertake CPD?

While there is no specific obligation to undertake CPD, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting recommends that all its members undertake 30 hours of CPD.

The training platform eCPD webinar has published a CPD manifesto for freelance translators that sums up the fundamental commitments they should make towards CPD:

  •          I believe in the highest standards of professional conduct in my translation or interpreting business.
  •          I am committed to a process of life-long learning in my chosen profession.
  •          I comply with the generally accepted rules of professional conduct.
  •          I plan my CPD on an annual basis and take responsibility for maintaining my learning objectives and career goals.
  •        I keep a record of the CPD I undertake and am happy to provide details to my clients.
  •         I think about each course, workshop, and presentation that I attend and assess its value within my CPD plan.
  •          I reflect on the opportunities that the course, workshop or presentation in question has opened up to me.
  •          Each year I review and reflect upon the CPD I have undertaken during the year, and build on what I have learned to plan my next learning objectives.
  •          I incorporate the knowledge I gain from my CPD activities into my work and ensure that my clients benefit from my enhanced expertise.
  •          I strive to enhance my own standards through consistent CPD.
  •          I believe that my commitment to CPD is beneficial to my clients because they know that I am a committed professional who is constantly maintaining and enhancing expertise.


What is your stance on CPD?

I firmly believe that CPD is necessary for all professional translators as it is the only way to continuously provide high quality translations. The CPD manifesto is included in Authentic Translation’s Code of Conduct.

Click here to download a list of the CPD activities I have personally undertaken for 2018-2019.

Why do translators need a CPD plan?

A CPD plan allows translators to outline their goals for CPD over the upcoming year. For instance, last year my CPD plan focused largely on technology and my objective was to master new tools to make my business more efficient. This year, my CPD plan focuses on legal translation as I will be undertaking a ten-part webinar series on legal translation as well as attending in-person training for legal translators.


How can translators prove they have undertaken CPD?

Translators who are members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting will receive a CPD Award if they log 30 hours or more of CPD in a financial year (April to April). You can download mine here.


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