AMA hints and tips

The AMA is the longest running professional development programme in the sector, widely acclaimed by the workforce and employers.

It has evolved and changed over time to meet the sector needs and also to incorporate feedback to improve the process and paperwork.

Here are some tips to help you along the way.


If you are struggling financially some assistance is available for help with CPD activities and AMA fees.

Support during your AMA

If you are struggling to find a mentor then make sure you are being open-minded in your search. Remember that the role of the mentor is to support you through the CPD process so it's more important to find someone who you can work well with rather than someone who shares your specialism.

AMA support groups are there to offer peer support through regular meetings and events specifically for AMA participants.

Fitting CPD within work

It is important to remember that your CPD doesn’t have to be extra to your work. We may do things in our jobs that contribute to our AMA journey. CPD activity doesn’t have to be new. CPD activity doesn’t have to be outside of your current job. The concept of CPD is that you look to improve your professional practice and for the AMA towards a particular goal or end-point.

Equally your CPD plan goals might need you to do something very different that sits very clearly outside your current job and that too is OK.

The key is to reflect on your learning experience and identify what worked and what you would do differently next time – this is the key to reflective learning which is at the heart of any CPD scheme.

Fitting CPD around work peaks and troughs

The AMA requires you to undertake 35 hours of CPD per year. When you are developing your CPD plan we ask you to give an expected timeline for development activities.

We are looking for you to create an achievable plan; this often not always ensures there is an equal phasing of development activity over the year.

The reason for this is we do not want you to feel overwhelmed with development. We don’t want to risk you thinking that the development and the AMA is just one more thing to add to your to do list.

We want your CPD to be joyful not a chore.

In terms of developing your CPD plan it needs to be achievable and only you know what your other commitments are. If you know there is a big project affecting your organisation that needs your attention in October and November then perhaps this is not the best time to have lots of development activities. If you know your focus is on visitors then perhaps summer holidays are out too. Think about what is achievable.

Top line timeline

  • 4 to 6 weeks after finding a mentor submit your first CPD plan for assessment
  • one year after submitting your first plan - submit your interim review and your project proposal
  • two years after submitting your first plan - come to professional review.

Putting your AMA on hold

One of the strengths of the AMA is that it ebbs and flows with the peaks and troughs of your work and home life.

You can put your AMA on hold for a number of reasons for example if you are changing jobs, if you have been made redundant or if you are on maternity, paternity or adoptive leave. Information about putting your AMA on hold can be found in the on hold policy.

If you have recently changed jobs we can put your AMA on hold for 3 month period while you settle in. You must let us know at the start of the period so we can update your record.

Links and downloads

AMA support groups

AMA on hold policy (pdf)