CPD requirements and the impact of COVID-19

We wish to offer clarification and reassurance regarding the CPD credit requirements in the current climate. We are aware that some of you will be in the unfortunate position of having had your CPD activity cancelled or postponed due to the developing COVID-19 situation as we reach the end of the 2019/20 CPD year. In addition, the situation for the next CPD year, 2020/21, is now looking uncertain.

With regard to the usual CPD rules, we should like to emphasise the following:

  • The Federation annual credit requirements (50 overall with 25 external) are recommendations only. The GMC as the regulator does not require a fixed number of CPD credits.
  • Within the Federation guidelines if there is a shortfall in one year this can normally be addressed in other years as long as the 5 year recommendations are met (250 over the 5 years, half external)

However, in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we propose varying these requirements. We are waiving all numerical CPD credit targets. We will support a flexible approach to CPD requirements for the remainder of the current CPD year and, in addition, for the next CPD year. Of greater importance than the number of credits obtained will be that Physicians show evidence of engagement with the CPD process and with reflection. This will of course be judged by appraisers, but we hope that appraisers will very much take this statement into account when assessing CPD.

No requirement to ‘make up’ credits

We should also like to emphasise that there will not be a requirement to ‘make up’ credits relating to the time of the pandemic in future years.

Personal credits

The diary allows physicians to record as many personal credits as they wish and the overall total is included on the annual CPD certificate but only 10 personal credits can count towards the usual recommended total of 50. As stated above the requirement for 50 credits has been waived for the 2019-20 and the 2020-21 diary years, but for technical IT reasons it is difficult to arrange a temporary change to reflect this in the CPD system as the ‘rule’ is embedded in the system in a number of ways. However, we are requesting that appraisers acknowledge the extent and value of both personal CPD and distance learning during the 2 CPD years in question.

Work in progress

We have a number of other initiatives designed to help colleagues during this difficult time. These include the following:

  • We are adding an additional statement to the annual CPD certificates alerting appraisers to our advice during the pandemic and advising them that physicians may make more use of distance learning and personal CPD during this time.
  • We are working to increase availability and approval of various forms of distance learning including streamed events, webinars and more e-learning options.

We will endeavour to fast-track COVID-19 applications for approval.

Providing certainty in uncertain times - Innovating our education delivery

We are redesigning all of our courses and conferences to meet the changing needs of our members. Our approach means that you can still benefit from high-quality College CPD education with minimal risk to everyone attending or teaching the course. Read more here.

The College is dedicated to supporting members through education, training and Continuing Professional Development.

We have developed a comprehensive range of CPD-approved clinical and non-clinical courses and symposia.

As part of our commitment to reducing the cost of medical training, members of the College receive discounts of up to 60% off educational events, which offer up to 12 external CPD credits.

Browse upcoming events

My College Online offers an extensive range of CPD-accredited eLearning modules. Each module provides up-to-date, high quality educational content which can be accessed in your own time, from your workplace or at home.

Browse eLearning products

CPD diary

Our Members, Fellows and SAS grade Associate members have free access to the online CPD diary and the app, offered by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians. The diary helps you maintain a personal, validated record of activities on an annual basis.

Please register before accessing the diary for the first time. Click below for more information.

If you wish to propose a new educational event or have a CPD-related enquiry, please contact cpd@rcpsg.ac.uk.

Physician’s CPD app

The Royal College of Physicians’ CPD app was developed to complement the diary to give physicians flexibility to record their activity while ‘on the go.’ The Physician’s CPD app is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Key features include:

  • Access a list of over 5000 approved activities
  • Voice transcription
  • Offline synching capability

I remain committed to patient welfare and wellbeing and driving clinical excellence through research, innovation and international collaborations for the most complex of cases.

Eyad Mohammed Osman Elhassan Gadour

Mythbusters: addressing common misunderstandings about appraisal and revalidation

The Royal Colleges have developed this document to guide physicians through the process of gathering and preparing information for appraisal. It covers a range of relevant topics. Physicians in the later stages of their career and those who are retired but still need a GMC licence may find this useful.

Download the document

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