Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is defined in the General Medical Council's Guidance on Continuing Professional Development, April 2004 as
'A continuing learning process that complements formal undergraduate and postgraduate education and training. CPD requires doctors to maintain and improve their standards across all areas of their practice. CPD should also encourage and support specific changes in practice and career development. It has a role to play in helping doctors to keep up to date when they are not practicing'
The CPD strategy will adhere to the 10 principles of good practice in CPD evolved by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC).
Ten Principles for CPD as agreed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
THE TEN PRINCIPLES FOR COLLEGE/FACULTY CPD SCHEMES
- An individual's CPD activities should be planned in advance through a personal development plan, and should reflect and be relevant to his or her current and future profile of professional practice and performance. These activities should include continuing professional development outside narrower specialty interests.
- CPD should include activities both within and outside the employing institution, where there is one, and a balance of learning methods which include a component of active learning. Participants will need to collect evidence to record this process, normally using a structured portfolio cataloguing the different activities. This portfolio will be reviewed as part of appraisal and revalidation.
- College/Faculty CPD schemes should be available to all members and fellows and, at reasonable cost, to non-members and fellows who practise in a relevant specialty.
- Normally, credits given by Colleges/Faculties for CPD should be based on one credit equating to one hour of educational activity. The minimum required should be an average of 50 per year. Credits for un-timed activities such as writing, reading and e-learning should be justified by the participant or should be agreed between College/Faculty directors of CPD.
- a) Self-accreditation of relevant activities and documented reflective learning should be allowed and encouraged.
b) Formal approval/accreditation of the quality of educational activities for CPD by Colleges/Faculties should be achieved with minimum bureaucracy and with complete reciprocity between Colleges/Faculties for all approved activities. The approval/accreditation process and criteria should be such as to ensure the quality and likely effectiveness of the activity.
- Self-accreditation of educational activities will require evidence. This may be produced as a documented reflection. Formal CPD certificates of attendance at meetings will not be a requirement, but evidence of attendance should be provided, as determined by each individual College or Faculty.
- Participation in College/Faculty based CPD schemes should normally be confirmed by a regular statement issued to participants which should be based on annually submitted returns, and should be signed off at appraisal.
- In order to quality assure their CPD system, Colleges/Faculties should fully audit participants' activities on a random basis. Such peer-based audit should verify that claimed activities have been undertaken and are appropriate. Participants will need to collect evidence to enable this process.
- Until alternative quality assurance processes are established, the proportion of participants involved in random audit each year should be of a size to give confidence that it is representative and effective. This proportion will vary according to the number of participants in a given scheme.
- Failure to produce sufficient evidence to support claimed credits will result in an individual's annual statement being endorsed accordingly for the year involved and the individual subsequently being subject to audit annually for a defined period. Suspected falsification of evidence for claimed CPD activities will call into question the individual's fitness for revalidation, and may result in referral to the GMC/GDC.