The ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®) Continuing Professional Development (CDP) Program and its Professional Development Points (PDPs) requirements are designed to be as dynamic as the automation profession the CAP certification program represents and credentials and to assure and enforce continued, relevant professional development in our dynamic professional context.
Professional Development Points (PDPs) are used as a common denominator because there is such a broad range of educational and professional opportunities relating to automation/instrumentation in which credits for professional development activities can be obtained. The following text will define the PDP equivalencies of the various accepted activities. The CAP CPD Program institutes a PDP reporting process that includes minimum professional development benchmarks. These minimum requirements do not constitute nor do they imply a competency level that is adequate for all certified individuals. To maintain relevancy and competency, it is recommended that you assess your own professional development needs while planning and executing your unique CPD program as you practices in the automation profession. In assessing your individual needs, input from mentors, supervisors, and colleagues may be helpful.
View the CAP CPD Program Document (PDF)
CAP CPD Program Requirements
- Obtain a total of at least 150 PDPs during your three-year certification period
- Include activities in at least three of the six CPD categories
- Claim no more than the maximum PDPs allowed in each CPD category
- Maintain documentation of all CPD activities
- Report your CPD activities every three years (during certification renewal) on your CAP CDP Activity Record
- Submit documentation for your CDP Activity upon request (if selected for audit)
View the AP CPD Formal-Informal Activity Category Explanation (PDF). Refer to the Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary table below for PDPs allowed for activities in this category.
1. Professional Practice Category
Active professional practice in automation is a significant factor in maintaining and improving your knowledge and skills. You may be an actual automation practitioner or one that is "influencing" the practice of the automation. In this context, "influencing" means having some effect on how the automation profession is practiced without necessarily performing technical work (i.e., management, teaching).
Professional Practice is further defined as:
- The directing, designing, preparation of plans and/or specifications, constructing, inspecting, or the operations and maintenance of any automation related structure, work, or process. Examples of automation-related work or processes may include instrumentation, instruments and control, process control, process automation, control systems, automation and control, manufacturing control, manufacturing automation, on-line process data analysis, and system integration.
- Performing formal, technical instruction on automation-related subject matter
2. Formal Automation-Related Activity Category
Formal Automation-related Activities should be included in your CPD program. Formal Automation-related Activities are typically educationally associated and may include an exam or other evaluation process. When no evaluation process is offered, credit may still be claimed in this category for activities that are over four hours in length. Non-evaluated activities of less than four hours should be categorized as Informal Automation-related Activities (see the next section, below).
Examples of Formal Automation-related Activities include:
- Professional development programs, courses, and seminars
- Additional certification/licensing in related areas (Certification must be recognized and administered by a professional organization similar to ISA. "Certifications" offered by vendors fall into other categories.)
- Courses offered by universities, continuing education vendors, technical institutes, colleges, suppliers, employers, or technical societies. Courses must be greater than four hours in length and/or include an evaluation process. Courses may be offered in traditional classroom settings, by correspondence, by video, or online
- Serving as an instructor for an automation-related training course or seminar that is over four hours in length
3. Informal Automation-Related Activity Category
Unlike Formal Automation-related Activities, Informal Automation-related Activities are shorter in duration and do not involve any evaluation process.
Examples of Informal Automation-related Activities include:
- Documented, self-directed study
- Attendance at conferences and/or industry tradeshows
- Training seminars, technical presentations, talks, or workshops that are less than four hours in duration and do not include an evaluation mechanism
- Membership in technical, professional, or managerial associations or societies, including ISA
- Attendance at meetings of technical, professional, or managerial associations or societies
- Documented and structured discussions on technical or professional issues with your peers
4. Participation Category
Participation activities are those that promote peer interaction and provide exposure to new ideas and technologies. These activities enhance the automation profession and serve the public interest.
Examples of Participation activities include:
- Service as a Mentor to a less-experienced automation professional or technologist or as an advisor to a school/school group, including FIRST® Robotics teams
- Service on public bodies that draw on professional expertise (e.g. planning boards, development appeal boards, investigative commissions, review panels, community building committees)
- Service on professional or technical committees of professional or managerial associations and societies
- Community Service: Any activities that contribute to the community which require professional and ethical behavior, but not necessarily the application of technical knowledge. This includes active service for charitable, community, or service organizations; or elected public service on a municipal, provincial, or federal level or on a school board
5. Presentation Category
Eligible presentations are those of a technical or professional nature that are discretionary (outside of your normal job functions). Presentations must be developed by the CAP receiving the PDPs. Presentations developed by others will not qualify for PDPs.
Examples of Presentations include:
- Delivery of a paper, authored or co-authored by the CAP, to an audience at a scheduled meeting
- Technical presentations at a conference, meeting, course, workshop, or seminar
- Technical presentations within a company or at an event sponsored by a technical or professional organization
6. Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge Category
Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge activities are those that expand or develop the technical knowledge base of the automation profession.
Examples of Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge activities include:
- Development of automation-related codes and standards
- Patents (credit can be claimed once per patent)
- Publication of papers in a peer-reviewed technical journal
- A thesis at the Master's or Ph.D. level (on a one time basis, upon successful defense and approval)
- Publication of a technical automation-related book
- Publication of technical papers/articles in non-reviewed journals or an internal company report
- Reviewing articles for publication
- Editing papers for publication
- Reviewing of papers/presentations for a technical conference
- Serving on program committee for a technical conference
Professional Development Points (PDPs) Summary
You must earn 150 PDPs total across three of the categories below during your three-year certification period. You may not exceed the maximums allowed in each category.
CPD Activities and PDP Values
per Category per Year
per Three-Year Certification Period
|Professional Practice Hours
16 Hours = 1 PDP
|35 PDPs||105 PDPs|
Formal Automation-Related Activity
|General Formal Automation-Related Activities
1 Hour = 1 PDP
0.1 CEU = 1 PDP
1 Semester Hour = 15 PDPs
1 Quarter Hour = 10 PDPs
Instructor for an automation-related training course/seminar over four hours in length
Additional Certification/License in related areas
|20 PDPs||60 PDPs|
Informal Automation-Related Activity
General Informal Automation-Related Activities
Membership/Participation in a Professional Society
|20 PDPs||60 PDPs|
1 Hour = 0.5 PDPs
|15 PDPs||45 PDPs|
Delivery of a Paper to an Audince at a Scheduled Meeting
Delivery of a Paper to an Audience at a Scheduled Meeting
|15 PDPs||45 PDPs|
Contributions to the Automation Body of Knowledge
Development of automation-related codes and standards
Patents (claim once per patent)
Publication of reviewed papers
Publication of non-reviewed papers (limit 2/year)
Article Review (limit 10 per year)
Paper Editing (limit 5/year)
Reviewing of Papers/Presentations for Technical Conference (limit 10/year)
Serving in Program Committee for Technical Conference (limit 2 terms/year)
|20 PDPs||60 PDPs|
CPD Activity Record
Your CAP CPD Activity Record must include the following information for each CPD activity submitted for certification renewal. For audit purposes, you must have and be able to provide upon request documentation for all recorded activities claimed for renewal.
- A description of the activity
- The date(s) the activity occurred
- The organizer/provider of the activity
- The CPD category for the activity (see below for more details)
- The number of PDPs being claimed for the activity
CAP CPD Activity Record (PDF)
This Record should be submitted with the Renewal Application if you are following by the ISA CAP Continuing Professional Development Program renewal guidelines. Please remember to leave page 2 of the Renewal Application blank if you submit this Record with your application.
Use the web form below to see if your earned PDPs are enough to qualify for CAP renewal (150 PDPs required over 3-year certification period).