CPD: Recognising and capturing informal learning

Our Speakers

Sarah and Deb

Sarah Lawson and Deb Hearle talk to us about identifying and capturing professional development experiences – which may in fact also come from personal experiences or professional experiences outside your usual practice. It is how you consider these experiences that can make the learning important for your practice as an occupational therapist – and then how you record them for your HCPC portfolio.

Sarah is an Occupational Therapist, Sarah is now a Lecturer to undergraduate Occupational Therapy students at Wrexham Glyndŵr University after spending 8 years working for a local authority. Sarah is co-author of A Strategic Guide to Continuing Professional Development for Health and Care Professionals: The TRAMm Model. She began her Post Graduate studies in January 2017, her research is exploring occupational therapists’ use of the TRAMm Model as a framework to encourage their engagement in CPD.

Sarah is also part of a small team who have been awarded a Royal College of Occupational Therapy (RCOT) Research Foundation, Research Career Development Grant 2020 for a project entitled An exploration of occupational therapists’ engagement in continuing professional development activities to attain, maintain and develop research confidence and capability. The team have also been awarded a grant from the Elizabeth Casson Trust for future stages of the same project.

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @SLawsonOT and read more about her work on TRAMmCPD, Researchgate or LinkedIn


Deb is an occupational therapist and an experienced educator and manager. She has been teaching healthcare students (including aspects of professional development) at both undergraduate and postgraduate level for 30 years and runs study days and postgraduate courses which contribute to CPD.

Deb also accredits professional courses for the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (alongside the Health and Care Professions Council) and conducts approval visits for CORU (the Irish equivalent of the HCPC) where CPD engagement is a requirement as part of all standards expected. Deb is a co-founder of the TRAMmCPD team and explored CPD engagement as part of her doctoral studies.

You can follow Deb on Twitter @HearleD and read more about her work on TRAMmCPD or Researchgate.

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