AXELOS CPD Scheme Explained

cpd AXELOS

CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, is a commonly used term that describes learning activities professionals undertake to maintain and develop / enhance their abilities.  The idea is that learning becomes more conscious and proactive rather than being passive and reactive.  Many different activities can count as ‘CPD’ from formal training courses to attending conferences and webinars, and even coaching others in best practice because that activity re-enforces your own knowledge.

AXELOS, the owners of the Best Practice Portfolio (that includes PRINCE2®, MSP® & ITIL®), have now decided to include CPD as a way of keeping your qualifications current.

With PRINCE2 – pre 2017 – to retain your practitioner qualification (and stay on the Successful Candidate Register) you would have to sit a re-registration exam every 5 years, or even re-take the full practitioner exam.  There has never been a need to re-take the foundation level qualification as its ‘good for life’.

With the introduction of PRINCE2 2017 AXELOS have decided to provide delegates with 2 options:

  1. Re-take the (full) practitioner exam every 3 years (a shorter e-registration exam is no longer available)
  2. Sign up for AXELOS membership and maintain your qualification by completing (and entering) 20 CPD points every year – your qualification will then automatically ‘roll over’ and you will stay on the Successful Candidate Register.

At Balance Global we see many advantages to option 2 above, which include:

  • Cost!  Going the membership route is likely to work out cheaper, maybe quite a bit cheaper depending upon how you attain your CPD points.  AXELOS membership is currently £50 per annum plus VAT, so over 3 years that’s £150 plus VAT, and some of the CPD activities can even be free, whereas attending a PRINCE2 refresher course and re-taking the practitioner exam, at current prices is going to cost somewhere between £400 – £800 plus VAT.
  • Better Value For Money – you are going to have to spend something to keep your skills up to date.  Rather than spending money on essentially re-visiting the same thing, we think that money can be better spent on learning something new and adding to your profile.
  • Career Enhancement – learning new subjects that are related to your profession, or studying subjects to a greater depth can of course assist your career progression.  Perhaps there will be an opportunity with a current employer, improved prospects for freelancing, or moving to a new employer?  Committing to a CDP scheme demonstrates to employers that you are taking your career seriously and putting time in to keep your skills and knowledge current.

At the moment you can become a member for PRINCE2, MSP and ITIL.  £50 for the first membership, and £30 p/a for each additional subject.

So, how does the AXELOS membership scheme work?

Firstly you need to sign up for membership within a year of taking your practitioner exam.  You then need to ensure that you register your 20 CPD points each year / every year before the anniversary of sitting your exam and you will get a digital badge.  If you miss registering your points in any given year then your qualification will lapse – so set a diary reminder!  After 3 years of active membership (logging the required 60 points / 20 per annum) – your qualification will be renewed for a further 3 years.

What is a CPD point?  Well – it generally relates to an hour of activity.

There are a few ‘rules’ to the AXELOS scheme – the CPD points fall into different categories (listed below) – you must register 5 each year for the compulsory section (that demonstrate application of your knowledge / professional experience in the workplace).  Where the other 15 points per annum come from is up to you.


  • Compulsory / Professional Experience – 5 points (only) must be registered here annually
    o Applying best practice in the workplace
    o Coaching colleagues in relation to best practice
    o Mentoring individuals or groups to support their development
    o Work shadowing senior colleagues

  • Optional / Training – 15 point Maximum registered in this category per annum
    o Attending a formal training course / programme – such as provided by an ATO (Approved Training Provider)
    o Achievement of another qualification from an accredited organisation e.g. AXELOS, APM, PMI
    o Training can be classroom, eLearning, virtual classroom
    o Corporate in-house training can apply here too

Balance Global can provide formal training courses in other (but related) subjects that can contribute here.  For example our Change Management foundation course or PRINCE2 Agile course would provide you with 15 points.  We also have a programme of 1 hour webinar events that can significantly broaden your knowledge base, and give you an insight into areas that you might want to pursue in more depth.  These webinar events are hosted by industry professionals who can give you practical guidance based on hard experience to compliment any text book / theoretical learning.


  • Optional / Community Participation (active or passive) – 15 point Maximum per annum
    o Attending professional industry events
    o Contributing to community discussion forums
    o Authoring industry thought leadership articles / books / blogs

Again, Balance Global can help – you can get involved in discussion forums or potentially host one of our events yourself if you have some experience / lessons to pass on.


  • Optional / Self Study – 5 points Maximum per annum
    o Relevant books / manuals / publications
    o Journal articles, white papers, case studies
    o Webcasts, podcasts, websites
    o Corporate Intranet articles
    o Blog posts/RSS feeds

For further information you can download the following AXELOS publication  CPD-Table-of-Activities

Balance Global are committed to helping our students / clients retain their qualifications and keep their knowledge current in the most accessible and cost-effective methods.  You can call us on 0207 148 4782 to register interest in any of our courses / events or even just to ask for our advice.  We also have a growing Facebook group / community that will provide on-going information abour CPD events.

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