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Answers to frequently asked questions about continuing professional development (CPD) and the College’s CPD programme

Please also read the general principles of CPD at the bottom of this page, which may answer some of your questions.

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Delegate asking a question at an RCOG event


The FAQs are divided into the following sections: scope of work, special circumstances, non-RCOG members / non-UK participants, and CPD categories and activities.

Scope of work

  • Doctors in training posts
  • Those in managerial and non-clinical roles
  • Doctors practising part-time, in limited/specialist areas and in general practice
  • SAS doctors, trust doctors and similar posts
  • Those working in the independent sector

Special circumstances

  • Doctors excluded from work
  • Breaks in service, e.g. sick leave or maternity leave
  • Return to work
  • Retired doctors

Non-RCOG members and non-UK participants

  • RCOG Fellows and Members practising outside the UK
  • Non-members of the RCOG

CPD categories and activities

  • Impact of CPD
  • Knowledge-based assessment via The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG)
  • Audit
  • Analysis of significant clinical events
  • CPD allowance for examining and writing exam questions
  • Meetings and events
  • Maximum allowance of 25 CPD credits per type of activity
  • Difficulty meeting the RCOG’s CPD credit requirements
  • Evidence of CPD activities


General principles of CPD

These general principles of CPD may answer some of your questions.

  • If you decide to keep your licence to practise during a career break, the GMC expects you to keep up to date and participate in revalidation. To revalidate, you will need to show that you have undertaken appropriate CPD.
  • The GMC’s CPD guidance states that it’s the doctor’s responsibility to do enough appropriate CPD to remain up to date and fit to practise in their work and to be able to demonstrate this at their appraisals. This applies whether doctors are in full-time or less than full-time practice.
  • The 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 obstetrics and gynaecology or its subspecialty, in a non-training post, participate in the RCOG’s CPD programme. If you practise in a narrow field, you may prefer selecting another CPD programme which most reflects your practice.
  • If you participate in the RCOG’s CPD programme, you must satisfy its requirements. The programme needs to ensure that clinicians stay up to date in their current areas of practice and develop in the areas they wish to progress.
  • The GMC’s Good Medical Practice requires you to reflect regularly on your standards of medical practice. You should only claim for CPD activities that have impacted on your practice, i.e. that have improved patient care and safety, your relationship with colleagues and allied health professionals, and organisational systems and processes.
  • If you're unable to meet the requirements of the RCOG’s CPD programme, the summary you download from your ePortfolio will reflect this and you should have a conversation with your appraiser before your appraisal. Your appraiser may be willing to confirm the appropriateness of your CPD activities even if you haven’t met the key requirements of the RCOG’s CPD programme. In these cases, the College recommends that you upload a reflection in your ePortfolio explaining the reasons you’ve been unable to comply with the requirements of the programme.
  • If you’re experiencing difficulties in any aspects of your CPD, please email for further advice.


Contact us

If you can’t find the answer to your question on the website, or need more information, please email or call +44 20 7772 6307.



If you have any queries about revalidation, please visit the revalidation section of this site or read the General Medical Council (GMC) FAQs about revalidation. The College has also set up a revalidation helpdesk for O&G-specific enquiries.


Elsewhere on the site

Guide to CPD
Read our introduction to CPD and an overview of what CPD entails
CPD programme
Find out more about the RCOG’s CPD programme