thames cpd blue favicon

Thames CPD FAQ

FAQ Table of Contents

Outline

The Port of London Authority (PLA), Thames Skills Academy (TSA) and Company of Watermen & Lightermen (CWL) have introduced the first Port-wide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme for all Masters in command of an Intra-port Commercial Vessel, whether newly qualified or with years of experience. The Programme is open to other navigational crew too.

From 1st January 2024 the PLA have mandated the requirement for Masters of Intra-port, Commercial Vessels to participate in the Thames Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme. A Master in relation to a Vessel, means any Person (except a Pilot) having or taking the command, charge or management of a Vessel, for the time being.

An Intra-port Vessel means a Vessel which is also a Commercial Vessel, operating between Teddington Lock and the Denton Limit. This is regulated through the PLA General Directions (GD no. 34).

The General Direction does not automatically exempt PEC holders. The GD applies to Masters of intra-port vessels, which does not include most PEC holders.

The Master of an intra-port vessel who also holds a PEC, would still be required to comply with the GD and participate in the CPD programme.

We encourage you to enrol straight away so you can gain CPD points from the training activities you are undertaking.

Yes. Everybody participating in the Thames CPD Programme is required to achieve a minimum of 10 points every year and a minimum of 150 points in each 5-year CPD cycle. The CPD Programme requirements can be achieved with less than 2.5 days of training per year over the five-year period. Please click on the following link to see two illustrative examples of different pathways to complete the CPD requirements and indicative costs and time required.

Thames CPD Pathway Examples

Enrolling on the Programme and submitting CPD activities

To participate in the Thames CPD programme you will need to enrol by filling out the form on the Enrol Now page.

All CPD activities must be evidenced by submitting a photograph or copy of the course certificate via your Thames CPD online account which is available (online and on your mobile phone) once you have enrolled on the Thames CPD Programme. Login details for your Thames CPD online account will be emailed to you after enrolling.

Alternatively you can submit a photograph or copy of the course certificate via email using the Thames CPD Record.

All activities submitted will be reviewed within 5 working days.

If you are using your Thames CPD online account, all your records will be saved and accessible via your online account. However, if you are using the paper-based Thames CPD Record and sending it to the Thames CPD Administrator when you undertake a training activity, you will be expected to maintain your own separate records to provide evidence of the CPD activities which you have undertaken.

Should you wish to undertake training activity not listed in the Thames CPD Programme of activities then a request should be made to the Thames CPD Governance Committee by using this form.

As a guide the Thames CPD Governance Committee will look at around 10 points per days training but will ‘weight’ the activity according to safety, delivery, assessment and accreditation.

Should your requested activity be undertaken before the Governance Committee meets, there is the potential for CPD points to be applied retrospectively. Requests must be made before the CPD activity is undertaken.

Points can only be accumulated from when you have enrolled on the Thames CPD Programme. However, you can add your CPD activities completed so far, dating back to 1st January 2023, if you are registered by 31st Dec 23.

The Thames CPD Programme has been tailored specifically to support the professional development of those working on the Thames. Completion of courses, training and other activities undertaken within the framework of an alternative CPD programme or undertaken abroad may be appropriate to provide points towards the Thames CPD programme. Confirmation of this should be obtained from the CPD Governance Committee by using this form.

When you submit your CPD activities they will be assessed and quality assured by the TSA as administrators of the Programme.

Participants in the Thames CPD Programme may be subject to audit at any time during the 5-year CPD cycle to confirm that the PLA GD has been or is being met in full. If you are selected for audit, you will be notified that you will be audited and given a reasonable time before the audit takes place.

Should you have difficulty in completing the required activities then you should first discuss this with your employer. Further guidance, particularly for those self-employed, can be obtained from the TSA who will be able to provide assistance in the first instance via the Contact Us page or call 07762 125 727.

Participation

All CPD points will be retained and still count towards the 5-year requirement for the cycle you are in. The CPD programme is linked to the individual not the company.

You would not be able to operate until 150 points have been accrued for the previous 5-year CPD period and will then still require 150 points for the 5-year CPD period you are now in. Companies may well want to see your CPD participation prior to employing you.

Failure to comply could result in a Master being unable to operate a vessel and could ultimately render them liable to prosecution.

See Question above. Long term absences will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Contact the TSA via the Contact Us page or call 07762 125 727.

No, your points will be retained for the cycle you are currently in.

It is down to you as an individual to comply, whoever you are working for, whether you are working for one employer, multiple employers or are a sole operator.

As a Master in command of an Intra-port, Commercial Vessel, you must enrol by 1st January 2024 or on the date you became a Master on the Thames. Your first 5-year CPD cycle will be until 31st December 2028 or 5 years from the date you became a Master.

The Thames CPD Programme is separate to the LKE, BML and other requirements on the river.

It is down to the individual to comply, but the cost of the training would be a joint decision between yourself and your employees.

You will still require 150 CPD points.

You will still require 150 CPD points. Long term absences will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The PLA may carry out annual CPD checks as part of their auditing activities. Using powers under the Port of London Act, the PLA will also carry out spot checks on Masters operating vessels on the river Thames.

The PLA will ask to see evidence of CPD at LKE and PEC renewals.

Your training records are protected by GDPR. The online software Thames CPD system makes it easy for you to show your CPD participation to your employer who may require it as part of your employment conditions. Also, with your permission, there is an option to allow your employer direct access to your CPD records.

The TSA, a not-for-profit organisation, as the administrator of the Thames CPD Programme will have oversight of your records. The TSA will provide the PLA with enough information, i.e. name and points achieved on a yearly basis for the PLA to monitor compliance with the GD.

As an employer you will need to require your staff to comply with the Thames CPD Programme so that the Masters working for you can operate on the Thames.

By enrolling onto Thames CPD you are agreeing that your personal data will be managed by the TSA and SwiftTrack and that a very limited amount of your data will be shared with the PLA. See Privacy Notice here.

All Thames CPD Programme information will be kept for 10 years.

From 1st January 2024 it is a legal requirement to participate in the Thames CPD Programme. Failure to comply could result in you as a Master being unable to operate a vessel and could ultimately render you liable to prosecution.

Should your requested activity be undertaken before the Governance Committee meets, there is the potential for CPD points to be applied retrospectively. Requests must be made before the CPD activity is undertaken.

No, you do not need to join the TSA. The Thames CPD Programme is a joint initiative of the PLA, CWL and TSA. Training activities can booked through any training provider.

Yes, as soon as you are the Master of a vessel you must enrol on the Thames CPD Programme and start your 5-year CPD cycle.

I have another question

If your query has not been answered here, please email the TSA who administer the Thames CPD Programme via the Contact Us page or call 07762 125 727.