Why iCPD Was Founded

Founded in 1995 by Jonathan Harris CBE FRICS, the Institute of Continuing Professional Development (ICPD) was established to reward individuals who go over and above with their professional development and learning. Today, the Institute welcomes individuals from all professional backgrounds, disciplines and employment statuses. Its main aim is to support and encourage anyone who wishes to publicly demonstrate their commitment to CPD.

Jonathan Harris CBE FInstCPD


Jonathan’s career has spanned 60 years and has earned him royal honours for his services to surveying and to further education. He is a qualified chartered surveyor, past President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and founder of the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning. It is this professional experience combined with his passion for lifelong learning that spurred Jonathan on to create the ICPD.

The Institute evolved from the concept that many individuals often complete far more CPD than required by their professional institute. There are also many in the workforce who are not members of a professional membership organisation, yet who are continually learning every day and would like to be recognised for their dedication.

Founded in the 1990s as part of the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning, the ICPD is a result of Jonathan’s lifelong work in creating learning opportunities for people from all walks of life.

Today, the ICPD is in continuous pursuit of widening its umbrella and catering to both conventional and contemporary careers. Its membership welcomes anyone and everyone, whatever their specialism, age or stage. The Institute strives to be exactly what it envisions for its members – excellent and relevant.

It is my firm belief that if you go over and above with your professional development, then you should be recognised

"When the ICPD was first set up there was a clear need and plenty of enthusiasm. Today, I believe a focus on learning is more important than ever. The world of work is changing at an astonishing pace and it is vital that each of us stays up to date.

The Institute itself was formed in 1995, however the seeds of the idea came earlier. By the mid-eighties, professional bodies in the UK had started asking their members to complete a minimum amount of training and development each year – what we now call ‘CPD’ or continuing professional development.

At the time, there were limited opportunities for professionals to actually complete that training. So, I began exploring the idea of an educational charitable trust to provide affordable lectures for professionals – from chartered surveyors, such as myself, to lawyers and accountants. This evolved into the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning, as it is called today. The lecture series was very successful – thousands were attending.

There was a clear appetite for CPD. At the same time, it was evident that a number of people were completing more than their minimum amount of CPD hours. Surely, they deserved to be rewarded in some way. So it was that the Institute of Continuing Professional Development was created.

Today, the ICPD has broadened its scope so that anyone who wants to show their commitment to professional development can be rewarded. This concept is relevant to all of us, at any age and from any background. As we journey along our career paths, there are many compelling reasons to focus on CPD. To have people in our society that are constantly learning and improving is in everybody’s interest.

It is always reassuring to know that the person you are doing business with is up to speed with the very latest developments in their field. And, ultimately, it helps to keep our society safe. Being committed to CPD also offers a point of difference for the individual. Members of the ICPD can go to a manager or prospective employer and prove that they have the latest skills. They can prove their passion for the job, and this helps to build trust."

Jonathan Harris CBE, Founder of the Institute of Continuing Professional Development

A Contribution to Education in Society

The ICPD is a philanthropic organisation, with many ongoing charitable initiatives. We help make continuous learning accessible and affordable for people from all walks of life, regardless of background, educational attainment, or economic status. 

To this end, 25% of all membership fees go to the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning which is a non-profit educational charitable trust. Your ICPD membership serves you, and others, helping each of us to be the best version of ourselves.