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SMi Group are pleased to announce the 4th annual Unmanned Maritime Systems Technology (VIRTUAL/ONLINE ACCESS ONLY) conference, taking place in London, between the 12th and 13th of May 2021.

Unmanned systems are becoming an increasingly essential part of the world’s fleets as modern navies seek new ways to complete dangerous tasks faster, easier, and with fewer sailors and marines in harm’s way. To enable this, leading navies have recently been increasing their investment in unmanned technology, so it has never been more crucial to explore the latest advances and opportunities and to align priorities between allied nations.

Unmanned Maritime Systems Technology 2021 is a crucial forum for the discussion of current and future projects and programmes delivering unmanned and autonomous technology. Bringing together key planners and decision makers from across the NATO-aligned world, this is the only event providing holistic coverage of unmanned systems across the full maritime domain, including undersea, surface, and aerial environments. As the world's leading event, this conference is the global meeting point for the naval unmanned systems community.

Key topics to be discussed include: Autonomy for MCM and ASW operations, updates on key unmanned platform programmes, preparing and supporting unmanned systems for operations, UMS interoperability initiatives, unmanned hydrography and oceanography, and many more.

 The SMi Virtual Conference Platform will deliver the following benefits:

  • Live and On-Demand speaker content: Get online access to the latest strategies and case studies from your market!
  • Network with all event attendees: Connect, see who’s attending, chat and share contact details with all online delegates, speakers and sponsors.
  • Exhibit a Virtual Booth: Pack your customized booth full of documents and videos, and even show who is manning the booth during the event and who is hosting meetings.
  • Host & Join Meetings & Socials: Join preferred speaking sessions, host your own meetings and even host virtual networking socials with inbuilt Zoom functionality.
  • The only event with a holistic focus on unmanned naval systems across the air, surface and undersea domains
  • Listen to briefings on the world's leading unmanned systems programmes and learn about new ways to incorporate autonomous technology into the fleets
  • Hear industry presentations from key commercial partners on their latest products and technology
  • Explore key topics in the field, including manned/unmanned teaming, ease of use, and autonomy/artificial intelligence


ASELSAN A.S.; Atlas-Elektronik; AutoNaut; Babcock International ; Belgian Navy; BMT; Canadian High Commission; Chrisar Software Technologies; City, University of London; DE&S Commercially Supported Shipping; DGA Naval Systems; DSTL; ECA Robotics; German Navy; Hydroid Inc; Inmarsat; Leonardo; Leonardo Helicopters UK; MOD NL; NATO CMRE; Naval Criminal Investigative Service; Naval Group; Nortek; Northrop Grumman; OSI Maritime Systems; Rolls Royce ; Royal Navy; Royal Navy UK; Schiebel Technology, Inc.; SEA Ltd; Sirius Constellation; STM Savunma Teknolojileri Müh. ve Tic A.S.; STM Savunma Teknolojileri Muhendislik ve Ticaret A.S; Thales UK; Thinke Company Ltd; UAV Point Recovery Solutions For Ships and Land; United States Defense Attache Office;

Conference programme

All timings are in British Summer Time (GMT+1)

8:50 Chairman's Opening Remarks

Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE

Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE, Former Commander Devonport Flotilla , Royal Navy

9:00 Technological Challenges of Unmanned Maritime Systems in a Fully Digitalized World

Vice Admiral Manuel Antonio Martinez-Ruiz

Vice Admiral Manuel Antonio Martinez-Ruiz, Director of Engineering and Naval Shipbuilding, Spanish Navy

  • New technologies are at the same time capabilities and threats
  • Digitalization of UMS
  • Artificial Intelligence for UMS: is it realistic?
  • 9:30 RNLN Unmanned Capabilities in Underwater Warfare

    Commander Paul Dröge

    Commander Paul Dröge, Branch Head Underwater Warfare Technology, Maritime Systems Department, Defence Material Organisation, Netherlands MoD

  • How to deal with growing data flow from MUS?
  • Which technology can support operator and command in operating MUS?
  • How to deal with counter MUS actions of opponent?
  • 10:00 Session Reserved For Gold Sponsor - The ECA Group

    10:30 Morning Networking Break on the SMi Conference Portal

    11:00 Future Trends in Autonomous Warfare and AI

    Commander Paul Hornsby

    Commander Paul Hornsby, Lead, Autonomous Warfare Systems, Royal Australian Navy

  • Autonomy and AI in warfare: current state v where we need to be
  • Considering the use of autonomy in warfare: future use-cases and requirements for achieving operational capability
  • Royal Australian Navy autonomous systems development pathway and future force development
  • 11:30 Enrolling Autonomy in Modern Underwater Warfare

    Mr Matteo Perrone

    Mr Matteo Perrone, Project Manager R&D Underwater Systems, FMV

  • Integration of autonomous underwater systems as scalable capability enabler
  • Autonomous decision-making: which is the best way forward?
  • Role of autonomous system in the future tactical development
  • 12:00 Session Reserved for Navantia

    Senior Representative

    Senior Representative, , Navantia S.A.

    12:30 Lunch Break

    13:30 Session Reserved for Ocean Infinity

    Mr Dan Hook

    Mr Dan Hook, Managing Director, Ocean Infinity

    14:00 Preparing for Unmanned Systems in the US Navy

    Mr Reid McAllister

    Mr Reid McAllister, Director, Integrate Maritime Mobility Systems at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, US Navy

  • Theme 1: The technological elephant in the room
  • Analysis of the current technological environment and future trends
  • The ever-growing gap between Moore and Martec’s Law
  • Theme 2: How to thrive in a technological transformation era
  • The concept of Operational Experimentation (OPEX) and the Lean approach to it
  • The Technological Guerrilla Mindset (focus on UxS rapid prototyping, testing and OPEX for the development of innovative CONOPS, TTP and competitive user-oriented defense industry products)
  • 14:30 AWHero Rotary UAS, Multi Domain/Multi-National Persistent Maritime Wide Area Surveillance Demonstration within the OCEAN2020 Project

    • OCEAN2020 Project
    • Multi Domain/Multi-National persistent maritime wide area surveillance demonstration
    • Leonardo AWHero rotary UAS

    Mr Roberto Pretolani

    Mr Roberto Pretolani, Rotary UAS Marketing Manager, Leonardo

    15:00 Afternoon Networking Break on the SMi Conference Portal

    15:30 Session Reserved For Cloudastructure

    16:00 Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS) Contribution to NATO Maritime Operations

    Commander Antonio Anjinho Mourinha

    Commander Antonio Anjinho Mourinha, Maritime Situational Awareness SME, NATO MARCOM

  • MUS in support of NATO Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA)
  • MUS in support of NATO maritime operations
  • MUS development and experimentation
  • 16:30 AUVs for ASW Training – Current and Future Capabilities and Level of Autonomy

    Mr Johan Wahren

    Mr Johan Wahren, Project Manager Underwater Warfare Weapon Systems, FMV

  • Brief overview of the Swedish AUV program for ASW training
  • Developing new capabilities for multi role use of modular AUV-systems
  • Enhancing autonomous behavior – man on the loop, in the loop or outside the loop
  • 17:00 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day One

    Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE

    Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE, Former Commander Devonport Flotilla , Royal Navy

    8:50 Chairman's Opening Remarks

    Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE

    Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE, Former Commander Devonport Flotilla , Royal Navy

    9:00 NATO MUS Initiative to Enhance NATO Maritime Capability

    Commander Ian Danbury

    Commander Ian Danbury, Deputy Director NATO MUS Innovation and Coordination Cell, NATO

  • Outline of the NATO MUS Initiative and the rationale of its existence
  • Progress to-date, including challenges, standardization and operational experimentation
  • Engagement with industry partners
  • Looking ahead to the future of the initiative
  • 9:30 Interoperability; Essential for an Effective MCM Capability by Autonomous Systems

    Commander Herman Lammers

    Commander Herman Lammers, Director, NATO Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence (NMW COE)

  • Naval Mine Warfare operations are a combination of effort that requires more than the technical ability to work together.
  • In order to counter the present and future mine threat and make use of sea mines for NATO’s own strategic operational or tactical purposes, there must be cooperation between Multinational, Joint and Combined Forces as well as maritime industry, research and educational institutions.
  • Autonomous does not mean without humans. With present and future autonomous systems, human interaction with these systems is still vital in order to make it an effective MCM capability.
  • 10:00 Morning Networking Break on the SMi Conference Portal

    10:30 Leading-Edge S&T As An Enabler For Future Autonomous Mine Countermeasures

    Dr Samantha Dugelay

    Dr Samantha Dugelay, Program Manager Autonomous Mine Countermeasures, NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation

  • The use of artificial intelligence for automatic target recognition has demonstrated a step-change in performance as an aide for operators. This talk will provide details of these performances during exercises and offer a view into future technological potential
  • Automatic seabed characterization is achievable and is learning on the fly. The more data is collected the better the vehicle is at recognizing the environmental picture
  • The development of high resolution and high performance sensors combined with the advance of computing power and GPUs enables an autonomous vehicle to turn large amounts of data into actionable information by the vehicle, the MCM operator and the command and control
  • 11:00 Denmark Mine Warfare: Tactical Experience and Operational Lessons Identified

    Commander Andreas Johansen

    Commander Andreas Johansen, Subject Matter Expert NMW, Maritime Capabilty and Development Branch, Denmark Defence Command

  • Overview of the Danish Navy’s Mine Warfare doctrine and approach with unmanned drones
  • Tactical experience and lessons identified through using unmanned systems
  • Specific challenges and advantages for future unmanned systems
  • 11:30 Lunch Break

    12:30 Long Range Marine Autonomous System Operations for Marine Science

    Dr Maaten Furlong

    Dr Maaten Furlong, Head of Marine Autonomous and Robotics Systems, National Oceanography Centre

  • Current vehicle capabilities, limitations and typical mission types
  • Building the long range fleet command and control infrastructure and data pipeline
  • Next steps in extending the vehicle’s capabilities: improving onboard control, adding new sensors, and automating vehicle piloting
  • 13:00 Marine Autonomous Systems: Research and Applications

    Dr Sanjay Sharma

    Dr Sanjay Sharma, Head of Autonomous Marine Systems Research Group and Associate (Reader) Professor in Intelligent Autonomous Control Systems, University of Plymouth

  • Research in Autonomous Marine Systems Research Group, Plymouth in AI techniques
  • Future Autonomy at Sea Technology (FAST) Cluster and our involvement
  • Some of the key issues in marine autonomy and future works
  • 13:30 Afternoon Networking Break on the SMi Conference Portal

    14:00 Digital Sailor

    Mr Andy Fawkes

    Mr Andy Fawkes, Director, Thinke Company Limited

    • The human challenges of unmanned maritime operations
    • Training differently or training at all?
    • The contribution of simulation and gaming

    14:30 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day Two

    Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE

    Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE, Former Commander Devonport Flotilla , Royal Navy



    Commander Ian Danbury

    Commander Ian Danbury

    Deputy Director NATO MUS Innovation and Coordination Cell, NATO
    Mr Reid McAllister

    Mr Reid McAllister

    Director, Integrate Maritime Mobility Systems at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, US Navy
    Vice Admiral Manuel Antonio Martinez-Ruiz

    Vice Admiral Manuel Antonio Martinez-Ruiz

    Director of Engineering and Naval Shipbuilding, Spanish Navy

    Commander Andreas Johansen

    Subject Matter Expert NMW, Maritime Capabilty and Development Branch, Denmark Defence Command
    Commander Andreas Johansen

    Commander Antonio Anjinho Mourinha

    Maritime Situational Awareness SME, NATO MARCOM
    Commander Antonio Anjinho Mourinha

    Commander Herman Lammers

    Director, NATO Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence (NMW COE)
    Commander Herman Lammers

    Commander Ian Danbury

    Deputy Director NATO MUS Innovation and Coordination Cell, NATO
    Commander Ian Danbury

    Commander Paul Dröge

    Branch Head Underwater Warfare Technology, Maritime Systems Department, Defence Material Organisation, Netherlands MoD
    Commander Paul Dröge

    Commander Paul Hornsby

    Lead, Autonomous Warfare Systems, Royal Australian Navy
    Commander Paul Hornsby

    Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE

    Former Commander Devonport Flotilla , Royal Navy
    Commodore (Ret'd) Richard Farrington CBE

    Dr Maaten Furlong

    Head of Marine Autonomous and Robotics Systems, National Oceanography Centre
    Dr Maaten Furlong

    Dr Samantha Dugelay

    Program Manager Autonomous Mine Countermeasures, NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation
    Dr Samantha Dugelay

    Dr Sanjay Sharma

    Head of Autonomous Marine Systems Research Group and Associate (Reader) Professor in Intelligent Autonomous Control Systems, University of Plymouth
    Dr Sanjay Sharma

    Mr Andy Fawkes

    Director, Thinke Company Limited
    Mr Andy Fawkes

    Mr Dan Hook

    Managing Director, Ocean Infinity
    Mr Dan Hook

    Mr Johan Wahren

    Project Manager Underwater Warfare Weapon Systems, FMV
    Mr Johan Wahren

    Mr Matteo Perrone

    Project Manager R&D Underwater Systems, FMV
    Mr Matteo Perrone

    Mr Reid McAllister

    Director, Integrate Maritime Mobility Systems at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, US Navy
    Mr Reid McAllister

    Mr Roberto Pretolani

    Rotary UAS Marketing Manager, Leonardo
    Mr Roberto Pretolani

    Vice Admiral Manuel Antonio Martinez-Ruiz

    Director of Engineering and Naval Shipbuilding, Spanish Navy
    Vice Admiral Manuel Antonio Martinez-Ruiz

    Sponsors and Exhibitors



    Online Virtual Event

    Online Virtual Event , Online Virtual Event , United Kingdom

    A number of our clients have been approached by third party organisations offering to book hotel rooms. We would advise that you do not book through them as they are not representing the SMi Group. SMi Group books all hotel rooms directly. If you are approached by a third party organisation then please contact us before making any bookings. If you have already booked a hotel room using a third party organisation, we would highly recommend contacting the hotel you were booked into to ensure a booking has been made for you. We would also advise you to please check the terms and conditions of the booking carefully.

    Unmanned Maritime Systems Technology 2021 Brochure


    Short Programme


    Full Programme


    Past Attendee List


    Sponsors and Exhibitors


    Sponsors and Exhibitors

    Leonardo is a world player in Helicopters, Aeronautics, Electronics, Defence & Security Systems. From advanced components to fully integrated systems and platforms, Leonardo masters the full cycle of development of rotary and fixed wing platforms and of sensors and effectors to deliver a full range of proprietary solutions and managed services. With field-proven tactical fixed wing and rotary wing UAS, optionally piloted helicopters, a complete range of sensors, Leonardo is at the forefront of autonomous flight.


    Sponsors and Exhibitors

    Spanish state-owned company reference in providing top advanced technology services and products that meet its clients´ needs in the defence sector, mainly in the naval domain. It is an international company that exports to over 20 countries, exporting 10,000 million euros in the last 10 years and successfully developing transfer of technology projects. In addition to their proven engineering designs, Navantia can be proud of having the capability to integrate all kinds of equipment and systems for all types of ships and non-naval units. Our facilities and personnel in the shipyards of Ferrol, Cádiz and Cartagena become key elements for Navantia to provide, for each customer, the best possible global solution tailored to specific requirements and particularities. The Systems division of Navantia has gained extensive experience in the design, development, production and integration of: Combat Management Systems, Gun Fire Control Systems, Integrated Communications Systems, Integrated Navigation and Bridge Systems and Integrated Platform Management Systems for any type of ship: patrol vessels, frigates, submarines, aircraft carriers, amphibious vessels, minehunters, survey vessels and support ships. Navantia also provides other solutions for the Army, like Battlefield Management Systems, Gun Fire Control Systems, Forward Observer Systems and Surveillance systems, intended to provide security for both military and civilian strategic infrastructures such as: military bases, coastlines, ports, harbours and offshore platforms. From the point of view of unmanned vehicles, Navantia holds specific product lines devoted to land and surface, with different solutions in service. Navantia’s unmanned solutions are designed to successfully achieve the mission for which it was conceived.

    Ocean Infinity

    Sponsors and Exhibitors

    We operate in the oceans worldwide: acquiring, analysing and expanding our unrivalled knowledge of the ocean floor. Whether our client's questions are time critical, at scale or precision focused – we will ensure they are answered in the safest and highest value way possible. Our leading experts are equipped with the world's most advanced autonomous vehicles and pioneering ocean technology. We are Ocean Infinity – providing answers. www.oceaninfinity.com

    Media Partners

    Robotics Tomorrow


    RoboticsTomorrow.com is an Online Trade Magazine featuring Products, Companies, News, Articles and Events for the Industrial Automation, Robotics and Unmanned Vehicle industries. With an emphasis on the state of the art and on the horizon technologies that have strong prospects of commercialization, our philosophy is to create an outlet where the industry can share information and report on itself.

    Military Systems and Technology


    Military Systems & Technology is a comprehensive web portal, design agency and publication designed for the International Defence & Aerospace Industry. It is a source of daily information for Manufacturers, OEM’S, System Integrators and Contractors. We even have Government & Military Readers. The portal encompasses all aspects of Military equipment, technology, design and services. www.militarysystems-tech.com info@militarysystems-tech.com +44 (0)1392 881545

    Unmanned Systems Technology Magazine


    Unmanned Systems Technology magazine is focused entirely on the innovative engineering that's successfully pushing boundaries on land, in the air, at sea and even through the universe. Published bi-monthly, UST provides independent coverage of the engineering at the heart of unmanned vehicles. Subscribe today!



    SEGURANÇA & DEFESA (“Security & Defense”), the recognized leader among South American defense magazines. In the market for 29 years, its staff includes the best experts in the field. Sold on newstands and by subscriptions, it is sent free of charge to key names and addresses in the defense sector.

    Defense Express


    Limited Liability Company “DEFENSE EXPRESS MEDIA AND CONSULTING” highlights events in security, defense and military cooperation areas. Regular information products of the company: - Daily News Wire and Analysis on http://www.defense-ua.com; - Weekly newsletter “Ukrainian Defense Survey”; - “DEFENSE EXPRESS” Magazine; - “Ukrainian Defense Review” Magazine (in English); - Book series “Weapons of Ukraine”. Company also provides advice and assistance based on deep analytical skills and knowledge of the conditions and characteristics of Ukrainian military market to companies, government bodies and intermediaries in the implementation of their strategy, relating to finding new partners and interests promoting.

    Counter-IED Report


    Counter-IED Report is a leading international subscription-based publication, which covers the latest developments in the fight against the IED threat. We aim to identify technological advances as well as strategies and tactics for countering threat networks, reduce IED manufacture and placement, assist post-conflict humanitarian demining and capacity building efforts worldwide. For more information please visit website: www.counteriedreport.com

    CSO Alliance Ltd


    At CSO Alliance Ltd our aim is to be your one-stop-shop for your maritime security risk management needs. We can achieve this by providing you with an online platform to facilitate the secure reporting of incidents, a reliable and a secure collaboration tool and an advanced database that can push relevant information and alerts directly to the user. This is supported by our analysis team with decades of experience in the maritime intelligence and security fields. By improving awareness of the threat and providing best management practice we can help mitigate the risks to Company and Port Security officials within the maritime industry. Working as one we provide security through community. This is the aim of the CSO Alliance. The new Superyacht Alliance will be rolled out later in 2019 aimed at Superyacht captains, managers and owners. Delegates can register to receive our weekly threat and activity report on the website.

    Actualidad Maritima y Portuaria


    Oferta diaria de empleos en los sectores marítimo-portuario y logístico Noticias, Buques, Empresas, Puertos, Aduanas, Eventos … Daily Offer of jobs into the maritime, port and logistics sectors News, Vessels, Companies, Ports, Customs, Events … Más información: www.actualidadmp.com (http://www.actualidadmp.com/)

    Homeland Security Research Corporation


    HSRC provides premium off-the-shelf market reports on present and emerging technologies and industry expertise, enabling global clients to gain time-critical insight into business opportunities. All reports include in-depth information and analysis of emerging markets, technologies, and industries broken down by geography, market, vertical, technology, product, and revenue stream. Our reports support Homeland Security & Public Safety communities worldwide in their strategic decision-making process, providing up-to-date market knowledge, analysis, and insights. HSRC offers customized research services geared towards providing our clients with clear, actionable recommendations designed to empower decision-making and to help exploit emerging opportunities in the market. The customized research services provide a deep analysis of specific markets and eco-systems, target geographies, strategic segments and verticals, competitor analysis and technological benchmarks. The custom research services are provided as an ad hoc assignment or as an ongoing service.

    Israel Defense


    Israel Defense is a media company specializing in print and digital content, conference and exhibition management, and the publication of books and magazines in the field of cyber, defense, security, and technology. Publications include the groundbreaking "Israel Defense" magazine, a bi-monthly publication providing expert analysis and review of current events from the Israeli and global defense and cyber world.

    Soldier Modernisation


    Soldier Modernisation (SoldierMod.Com) is an authoritative policy and technology publication for the international defense community, serving the integrated equipment needs of the dismounted soldier and marine in operations today and the fielding of Soldier Modernisation Programmes over the next few years. SoldierMod.Com is designed to provide insights into how decision makers plan to transform operations in the areas of survivability, sustainability, C4I, lethality and mobility; managing the balance between the promise of 'leap-ahead technology balance and mature cost effective solutions. SoldierMod is distributed in many formats which will include an 50 page journal 10,000 copies BPA Audited, twice annually , in January and June Our Website www.soldiermod.com , Has a 24 hour news service , anytime ( currently at over 20,000 individual visits per month ) . We also have an online technical forum where anyone in the industry can ask us strategic or technological questions , our partners and experts will respond directly back.

    Port News


    IAA PortNews is the leading and most popular Russian media resource providing sea and river transport news, as well as a tool of interaction between businesses, government and the media. Every day, around 8,000 readers visit the Russian and English pages of the media agency’s web portal.



    SecurityClearedJobs.com is an on-line job board designed and marketed to attract candidates who work within Defence, Government and Nuclear sectors. We advertise 1000’s of job opportunities both on a Permanent and Contract basis covering opportunities within all industry sectors. Visit our site www.SecurityClearedJobs.com to search for your next job opportunity.

    European Sting


    The European Sting is the new online, Brussels based, European media that was born to bring a different critical and truly independent angle to European News and Affairs. The Sting is giving every day the fierce fight for a better and stronger European Union through constructive criticism and unique insights. We are treating daily in a unique way European Politics, Economics, Foreign Affairs, Business and ICT Agenda. We are committed to bridge the gap between Brussels and the EU member states by freely voicing the views of every European citizen. Tired of reading the basics? Visit http://www.europeansting.com and be part of the Hive that disrupts European Media.



    Epicos is a global, multifaceted portal providing Aerospace and Defense industries around the world with business intelligence and active support to access opportunities on international procurements, industrial cooperation and offsets. Epicos has carried out extensive industry analysis and mapping of capabilities of A&D Industries and offers this knowledge to its members helping them to identify business opportunities and to build strategic alliances. Additionally, Epicos supports the global A&D industry through a wide range of on-line services and products including but not limited to: a large online procurement database, an updated Business Directory, an e-library with extensive information regarding procurement and offsets processes systems and an up to the minute news database.

    Homeland Security Technology


    The Nautical Institute


    The Nautical Institute is the international professional body for qualified seafarers and others with an interest in nautical matters. It provides a wide range of services to enhance the professional standing and knowledge of members who are drawn from all sectors of the maritime world. Founded in 1972, it has nearly 50 branches worldwide and some 7,000 members in 120 countries.



    Army Technology


    Army-technology.com brings you up-to-date international news and features on the defence industry, covering military projects, trends, products, services and more in the army sector. With a team of journalists around the world, army-technology.com, along with sister sites naval-technology.com and airforce-technology.com, is the only business service that focuses on the technologies required by military personnel and companies working in this important field. When you combine this with one of the most comprehensive and detailed listings of military equipment suppliers, products and services, free white paper downloads and company press releases, you see why army-technology.com is the key point of reference for the defence industry.


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    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

    ‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

    CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

    Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


    There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

    For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

    CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


    Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

    ‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

    ‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

    The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

    As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SMI Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

    CPD Certificates

    We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@smi-online.co.uk

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