Continuing Professional Development.

Improving technical and general skills, knowledge and competence

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own individual learning and personal growth.

The IRO has a commitment to lifelong learning and has developed a range of CPD activities to identify, define, improve, develop and monitor relevant professional skills and work-related knowledge to support your on-going career.


Professional Operators Development (POD)

The IRO developed POD, for its members, as an effective method of recording, maintaining and regularly updating details of skills and knowledge of railway operating and the wider railway industry in general.

POD can be used to:
• Support your existing appraisal scheme
• Focus your learning
• Target areas to  learn about
• Record your professional learning as you go
• Upgrade your membership level at the IRO

View the POD online.


Mentor Scheme


To assist practitioners (“Mentees”) to develop their professional competence, achieve their learning objectives and develop their behaviours through mentoring provided by more experienced practitioners (“Mentors”).

Mentoring is an arrangement in which a Mentor offers on-going support and guidance to a Mentee to help the Mentee manage his or her own learning and career development (called the “Mentoring Scheme”).

Gordon F Shea, in his book ‘Mentoring – A Guide to Basics’ defines Mentoring as:
“…a process whereby mentor and mentee work together to discover and develop the mentee’s latent abilities, to provide the mentee with knowledge and skills as opportunities and needs arise, and for the mentor to serve as an effective tutor, counsellor, friend and foil who enables the mentee to sharpen skills and hone her or his thinking.”

View the Mentoring Scheme Framework and download the forms.




The IRO will provide you with networking opportunities which will supplement the CPD scheme, and provide certificates of attendance for IRO events to prove that attendees are making steps to increase their professional standing through their presence.

The IRO has a network of Area Groups that hold meetings on subjects closely associated with the day to day operation of the railway. Attending these Area Group meetings will provide you with a useful vehicle to progress your CPD.