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Introduction to CPD

This page provides a general overview of continuing professional development (CPD)

CPD is any learning outside of undergraduate education or postgraduate training that helps you maintain and improve your performance, with the ultimate aim of improving patient care. CPD covers the development of your knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours across all areas of your professional practice. It includes both formal and informal learning activities.

Doctors have the responsibility, wherever they practise, always to remain competent and therefore up to date. If you wish to revalidate in the UK, it's your responsibility to do enough appropriate CPD to remain up to date and fit to practise in your work and to be able to demonstrate this at your appraisal. This applies whether you’re in full-time or less than full-time practice, if you’re a locum or if you work wholly in private practice.

The RCOG provides a CPD programme for obstetricians and gynaecologists working in non-training posts.

The General Medical Council (GMC) doesn’t require you to be a member of a college or faculty CPD scheme, to undertake a specific number of hours of CPD each year or to acquire a particular number of CPD credits. However, you may find that participating in such a scheme is helpful, both in keeping up to date and in being able to show that you are practising to the appropriate standards in your specialty.

The RCOG recommends that doctors practising mainly in the area of O&G or its subspecialties, in a non-training post, participate in the RCOG’s CPD programme. If you practise in a narrow field, you may prefer to select another CPD programme that most reflects your practice.

The RCOG’s CPD programme is open to UK Fellows and Members of the RCOG and non-members of the RCOG practising O&G in the UK in non-training posts. It’s also open to doctors working outside the UK (including international Fellows and Members of the RCOG, and also non-members). For more information about the benefits included in the CPD annual fee, and for details of how to register, please visit the registration page.

The GMC guidance on Good Medical Practice requires doctors to keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their working life and to maintain and improve their performance. CPD is a key way for doctors to meet these professional standards and is one of the sources of information required for appraisal and revalidation. It’s therefore important for doctors to keep a record of their CPD activities and fulfil the requirements of the RCOG’s CPD programme.

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