Guidance for Continuing Professional Development

Issued January 2013

Keeping up to date with professional developments is an integral part of good medical practice and is an important component of revalidation.  Taking part in continuing professional development (CPD) is necessary to ensure that patients get the best possible treatment.

Five years ago, the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), along with other Colleges and Faculties, issued guidelines that described how doctors should plan and organise their CPD.  This was very useful, but some doctors found that they were difficult to apply to their individual circumstances.  The RCoA has now issued new guidance which is intended to be less prescriptive and more flexible and pragmatic.  At the heart of the guidance lies a core principle – that doctors need to remain up to date in their own areas of clinical practice.

The College expects every doctor to undertake a minimum of 50 hours CPD (equating to 50 CPD credits) per year, though most doctors do more than this.  To ensure a balanced approach, it is also recommended that of the 50 hours per year a minimum of 20 per year should be achieved in each of external and internal activities.

There is also advice available from the GMC.

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