Professional standards

PACEY is a professional association. We have a set of professional standards which help members demonstrate and improve their own professionalism.

All childcare professionals - that is those paid to provide a childcare and early education service - have to meet standards set out by government and other regulators.

PACEY's professional standards have been designed to go over and above these regulatory requirements. They outline the things that individuals should understand and demonstrate to show that they are working at a professional level. They challenge members to provide the highest standards of care and learning for the children they look after.

As a professional association we both set standards for our members and support them to understand, plan and access the continuous professional development (CPD) they need to work as professionals.

PACEY's professional standards are grouped into four key areas:

  • Children first
  • Enabling environments
  • My professional role
  • Childcare service

All our members commit to uphold PACEY’s Professional Standards. This means taking an ethical approach to their childcare practice, policies and procedures and by providing a positive role model for children, parents and carers. You can read PACEY's code of ethics here.


By joining PACEY, childcare professionals commit to meeting these professional standards and, within 90 days of joining the association, have to sign up to them and complete an online audit of their skills, knowledge and experience. This audit assigns them to one of three membership categories:

  • Member Level
  • Affiliate Level
  • Fellow Level

Additionally, members who volunteer their time to support members in other ways e.g. via peer support or engaging members in national and regional policy discussions, can be assigned to the Ambassador Level.

All members agree to undertake a minimum of 15 hours of relevant training or continuous professional development (CPD) a year, to help keep their practice up to date. Whilst this can be formal qualifications or training, many members achieve their CPD requirement whilst delivering their childcare role.

CPD activity also includes conference attendance, peer support from colleagues or keeping up to date by reading PACEY resources and publications. Preparation for inspection and self-reflective practice are also recognised by PACEY as forms of CPD.

All members can access CPD opportunities through their membership, and it's by reflecting on and recording details of their development that they can move through the professional standards, gaining in confidence and skill to better support the families and children in their care.

All of the training and resources that PACEY provides can be mapped across our professional standards, helping members demonstrate their professional growth in all areas.