This paper explores science teachers’ experiences, views, and preferences of what constitutes effective teacher professional development. The research method utilised both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The former was used with responses from closed-ended questions while responses to an open-ended question were analysed qualitatively. The questionnaire was administrated to science teachers in Saudi Arabia of both genders with a variety of teaching experiences, science specialisms and to those teaching in primary, middle and secondary stage schools. The findings indicate that teachers have concerns about continuing professional development (CPD) programmes offered to them. Teachers’ description of CPD showed that they were passive recipients of a pre-packed programme paving the way to how they form their professional identity. Teachers reflected on the aspects that can lead to effective CPD. Drawing on the findings, this paper presents a framework for effective CPD for science teachers where teachers are collaborative, proactive as leaders of reform and with positive professional identities in a context of reform.