Applications for CPD Approval

The College welcomes applications for CPD approval of courses and events.

There is no charge for NHS Trusts and hospital boards, registered charities, specialist societies and associations, and the benefits of CPD approval by the College include the following:
  • Event reviews are completed by specialist CPD Assessors, experienced in the subject area.
  • Approved events are included in the RCoA CPD Online Diary – which has over 8,000 registered users. The CPD Online Diary is available in desktop and web app versions.
  • Approved events are also included in the directory of approved national events on the College website. This is updated weekly and features a direct link for further information, where this has been supplied by the event provider.
  • The RCoA’s revalidation logo, which is a registered UK trademark, can be used in the promotional material and on the delegate attendance certificates for approved events.
  • The process of approving CPD activities is overseen by the CPD Board and underpinned by an annual quality assurance report.

Note – for the purposes of event approval, CPD credits are awarded on the basis of one credit per hour of educational content (i.e. contact / guided learning and excluding coffee breaks, lunches, etc) up to a maximum of 6 CPD credits per day. For multiple-day events, participants may only claim the number of CPD credits for the hours that they attend. Participants will also be required to reflect upon their attendance at all events, focusing on what they have learnt, the impact upon the patients and services in which they work, and any further learning needs.


The application and review process

The approval process is based on the Standards and Criteria for CPD Activities - A Framework for Accreditation, as published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges: Applicants will normally be informed by email as to the outcome within four weeks.

Providers of educational activities and events should use the online application form when seeking CPD approval. Alternately, a hard copy application form is available to download below. Please read the Guidance for Event Providers before making your application.

Please note that part of the online application form requires you to upload supporting documents including a copy of the event programme and a copy of the delegate evaluation form. When you click on the "Browse" button and then double click on the document to be attached from your desktop the online form will show (for example): "C:\Users\..." This is correct and means that the document has been uploaded - when you click on "Save and continue" it will be sent to the College Team as a PDF/Word/Excel document.

Please also note that on the second page of the online application form, if you wish to attach a supporting document(s) for your event that you would like to be visible in the CPD Online System, you must specify a title for the document before uploading it.


The CPD Assessors

The College welcomes applications from doctors interested in acting as a CPD Assessor. Full support is provided by the College Revalidation & CPD Team and the Team also sends each CPD Assessor an annual report detailing the event reviews they have completed, for use in their own CPD portfolios. For further information please contact


Quality assurance

The process of approving CPD activities at the RCoA is overseen by the CPD Board. The College Revalidation and CPD Team produces an annual quality assurance report for the CPD Board which includes statistics on the number of event applications for approval, a review of feedback from delegates attending CPD-approved events and data on how these events covered the College CPD Matrix.

View the report covering the period November 2016 to October 2017 here »


Application for CPD approval FAQs

Does my event need to be mapped to the CPD Matrix in order to get CPD approval?
No, this mapping does not need to be done. Whilst many doctors use the CPD Matrix to log their CPD and plan future activities, it is not compulsory for events to be mapped against the CPD Matrix in order for approval to be awarded. The online application form does require at least one code to be selected and should an event provider not wish to do the wider mapping there is the option to select either of the codes “3I00 Other Clinical” or “Unclassified”. A Word version of the application form is also available below as an alternative to the online application form.

I recently applied for and received CPD approval for my course. I plan to hold the same course again this year - do I need to submit another application in the same way?
When multiple versions of events are being held, one full evaluation needs to be completed by a CPD Assessor each year (this means that you would need to make a formal application either via the online form or the Word version). Thereafter, for the following 12 months it would only be necessary for you to email the advert / flyer for each subsequent version, as long as the programme content and speakers are the same, in order for these to be added into the College CPD Online Diary and CPD web app, and on the College website.

What is meant by Local events and Internal CPD Credits?
A Local event is targeted solely at doctors within a single trust or health board. Local events will be held within the place of employment (or nearby venue) and will count as such even if external speakers are used; the key criterion is the audience for whom the event is being delivered. Local events attract “Internal” CPD credits, which is why the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

Local clinical governance meetings – for example mortality and morbidity meetings, audit meetings, and critical incident reporting and case conferences – do not need to go through the CPD approval process. Attendance at these should be self-accredited, i.e. recording one CPD credit for each hour of activity, and accompanied by documented reflective learning.

Local formal teaching – i.e. department-wide clinical teaching, should also be self-accredited.

Is CPD approval available for events being held outside of the UK?
Where events are being held outside of the UK, CPD approval can be considered in the usual way if a UK-based organisation is hosting the event or has made a significant contribution to its development. However, where the event provider is also based overseas, the CPD Board has ruled that an application for CPD approval / recognition must first be made to the appropriate accreditation / regulatory authority in the country hosting the meeting. The recognition from this application should then be submitted as part of the application documentation to the College (which can be sent by email to In addition, the CPD Board has also ruled that consideration for CPD approval for an event of this nature can only be given if it can be demonstrated that the event will be catering for a specialist audience and has content of such a specialist nature that UK-based doctors would travel there specifically to attend. Information to demonstrate this should also be emailed to

Is the College willing to evaluate courses with a practical component such as intubation under local anaesthetic?
The College recognises that some courses include sessions where delegates practise their skills on each other; one example being intubation under local anaesthetic during fibreoptic endoscopy courses. The College is prepared to evaluate such courses for CPD approval. However, reassurance will be sought that local ethical and Trust indemnity, i.e. legal approval, has been obtained for these courses, that the local pharmacy is aware (as appropriate), and that the practical sessions will be carried out under direct supervision, with the opportunity for the procedure to be terminated by the supervisor should this be deemed necessary. Information will also be sought on the consent procedure for the course delegates.



Online Application for CPD Approval 


Chris Kennedy
CPD & Revalidation Co-ordinator
020 7092 1729

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