On March 1, 2019, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) amended the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Law with the addition of the Resolution No. 2019-1146. The new resolution is meant to amend the existing provisions of IRR of the Republic Act 10912 or the CPD Law of 2016.
What’s in the amended IRR of the CPD Law?
Under the CPD Law of 2016, professionals are required to earn CPD units by attending seminars, training, and other programs before they can renew their license card or the professional identification cards (PIC). Each profession has a specific number of required units, and most of them are self-paid.
The law was met with violent reactions from professionals who lament that the law is unnecessary and burdensome. The main reason for their displeasure: The expensive costs of seminars and training they have to pay for before they can earn the required CPD units.
With the revised IRR, the lawmakers who were originally trying to push for making the CPD requirement voluntary, had to acquiesce as PRC sticks to the mandatory nature, even in the amended CPD Law.
Some of the relevant revisions to the CPD Law of 2016 include:
- A “transition period” which will be provided by the PRC to allow the professional to comply with the unit requirements.
During this transition period, the CPD Law says that the following shall be observed:
- Professionals working overseas or migrant Filipino workers shall not be covered by the CPD requirement.
- Newly-licensed professionals shall not be covered by the CPD requirement for the first renewal cycle after they get their license.
- The CPD Councils shall reduce the required CPD credit units to a minimum, which shall not be more than 15, as provided for under applicable laws.
For professionals who have already renewed their license by executing an Undertaking, they will only need to fulfill the amended required number of units, equivalent to not more than 15 credit units.
- Both the Professional Regulation Boards (PRB) and the CPD councils will have to update their operational guidelines for the CPD Act.
- Both the PRB and the CPD Councils will have to link the CPD units with the career progression track in their respective professions and create modules for their CPD programs.
- The revised IRR mandates that the operational guidelines be enforced by the respective Accredited Integrated Professional Organization (AIPO) and Accredited Professional Organizations (APO).
According to PRC Commissioner Yolanda David Reyes the completion of the transition period will be implemented “by profession” and the timeframe will be different for the 43 professions they regulate. The difference will depend on their compliance to the “deliverables” stipulated in their amended Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the CPD Act.
Fair equivalent units
PRC Commissioner Jose Yabes Cueto Jr. had raised the importance of turning CPD units into something “outcomes-based” or dependent on the academic or skills achievements of professionals so it will be fair.
He pointed out that the current CPD units for each activity or requirements still relies on the discretion of each PRB and CPD.
In a statement, he cited a case wherein 15 CPD units for a three-day unit is higher compared to the 10 CPD unit for every year of post-graduate training.
He also said that as part of the transition process for the revised IRR, PRC would also provide capacity building for CPD councils and professional organizations on how to assess learning outcomes.
Addressed concerns with the revised CPD Law IRR
PRC issued the new CPD Act IRR following the hordes of complaints filed by stakeholders regarding the alleged cumbersome and costly implementation and compliance of the said law.
Because CPD units are typically gained through CPD programs and seminars implemented by the professions and related providers, both the PRC and the professionals seeking additional training or education to fulfill the requirement find it difficult to comply with the CPD Law.
The revision, according to PRC, is meant to target all of these concerns during the transitory period.
The new IRR is expected to benefit the over 4.5 million professionals registered by PRC, particularly the 2.8 million professionals with active Professional Identification Cards. These include all the registered Professional Teachers, Registered Nurses and Midwives who need to renew their Professional Identification Cards.
Acquiring and crediting CPD units from self-directed and lifelong learning
For CPD compliance, aside from credit units received from accredited CPD providers through training and seminars, professionals can also apply for crediting self-directed and lifelong learning based on the Matrix of CPD Activities.
A PRC Memorandum Order was issued for the guidelines for the processing of Application under Self Directed Learning.
Documentary requirements for crediting CPD unit from self-directed and lifelong learning
In accordance with Section 10.2 of the CPD Act, professionals who are renewing their professional ID cards must submit the document/s required to support the application.
These requirements can be found in detail in the Matrix of CPD Activities and/or in the Operational Guidelines of the specific professions for guidance. It is also available for viewing on the PRC website, under the Continuing Professional Development tab.
Some of the general documentary requirements include:
- A duly-filled out Application Form for Crediting Self Directed and/or Lifelong Learning
- Original and Photocopy of Certificate of Attendance
- The original and photocopy of certificates of credit units earned toward the required CPD units of the regulated profession.
- Original and Photocopy of Certificate of Attendance
- Program of Activities
- Diploma / TOR /Certificate of Completion, etc.
- Certificate of Patent
- Copy of published material/book
- Certificate of Entitlement /Appointment as Professorial Chair
- Others that may be required by the CPD Council
- Soft copy of the Application including supporting attachments in PDF format saved in CD.
- Pre-paid pouch (preferably from Philpost) for applications filed in Regional Offices only.
How to credit CPD units from self-directed and lifelong learning
Once you’ve prepared the requirements, then you are ready to apply for credits for your self-directed and lifelong learning to meet your profession’s CPD requirements.
To do so, you must follow these steps:
STEP 1: Secure an Application Form for Crediting Self Directed and/or Lifelong Learning.
If you are visiting the PRC office, then the Application Form for Crediting Self Directed and/or Lifelong Learning is available at Windows 15, 16, or 17 of the Registration Division at PRC-PICC. If not, then you may get it from any of the PRC Regional Offices, or download it online, at the PRC website.
STEP 2: Fill-out the Application Form.
Note that if you are submitting the required documents, you will need to provide one (1) extra set for the receiving copy.
STEP 3: Proceed to Window 15, 16, or 17 of the Registration Division, PRC-PICC, or at any of the Regional Offices for evaluation and assessment.
To make it easier for PRC to evaluate and assess whether your self-directed and lifelong learning deserve equivalent CPD credits, then make sure that you submit all the required documents that will support your application.
STEP 4: Pay prescribed fee.
The application fee can be paid in cash, via Postal MOney Order, with Manager’s Check, or with a Bank Draft. Just make sure that the amount of five hundred pesos (P 500.00) is payable to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
STEP 5: Affix documentary stamp on the application form.
STEP 6: Submit Application Form.
When you submit the Application Form for Crediting Self Directed and/or Lifelong Learning, make sure you include the attached documents and photocopy of the official receipt to Window 15, 16, or 17 of the Registration Division, PRC-PICC or at any of the Regional Offices.
STEP 7: Verify your application.
60 days from the time of submission, you may verify the status of your application by calling PRC via these numbers: 02-5-3101048 (PRC-Main) or 02-8-8108415 (PRC-PICC) or by sending an email to email@example.com. That is, if you do not receive an email about the status of your Application for Crediting Self-Directed and/or LifeLong Learning from the concerned CPD Council.
Tips to Remember When Applying for CPD Credits on Your Self-Directed and/or Lifelong Learning
There are a few things that you must remember when applying for crediting of your self-directed and lifelong learning towards your CPD requirements:
- When application for CPD Credit units for your Master’s degree or its equivalent and your Doctoral degree or its equivalent, make sure that the application is filed no later than five (5) years from completion of the said degrees.
- When sending a representative/s to file and claim your application/s for crediting of self directed and/or lifelong learning on your behalf, the representative must present a letter of authorization and valid identification cards of both the applicant and the representative.
- The period for processing the application for crediting of self directed and/or lifelong is 60 days.
- If, for example, you did not submit all the required documents, or if additional requirement/s is/are needed, a period of 15 days is given to submit the same. Failure to comply within this period shall be construed as abandonment of application, and the fees paid for the transaction shall be forfeited in favor of the government.
- If you are able to comply with the requirements, they will attach your approved application in the email sent by the concerned CPD Council 60 days after your application is submitted.
- The approved application will serve as your Proof of CPD Compliance issued by Non-Accredited CPD Providers.
- If the CPD-compliant seminars and training were taken through Accredited CPD Providers, then there is no need to apply for crediting of self-directed and/or lifelong learning for CPD compliance.
- Note that the PRC Board also accepts a signed Undertaking from professionals who were unable to complete the required number of CPD units prior to renewal of their PRC license. This, however, entails that the professional will have to complete the required credit units for the next compliance period. This undertaking can be availed off by fillimg-up the Undertaking portion in the Application form for PIC.
Once you receive the approved application, you may then submit the document proving the approved application for Crediting Self Directed and/or Lifelong Learning when you meet the required number of CPD units for when you apply for the renewal of your Professional Identification Card or PRC ID.
For information on applying for the renewal of your Professional Identification Card or PRC ID, check out this article on How to Renew Your PRC License Online in 2021.