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CPD FAQs: scope of work

This page provides answers to CPD FAQs based on your scope of work:

Doctors in training posts

I’m in a training post. Do I need to participate in CPD?

No, if you’re in a training post you’re not eligible to participate in the RCOG CPD programme.

Doctors in managerial and non-clinical roles

Non-clinical roles include Principal of Faculty of Medicine, Medical Director, CEO of a trust, Postgraduate Dean or a role at the Department of Health. For more information about these roles, please read the NHS Leadership Framework document published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), or visit the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management website

I work in a non-clinical role. Am I required to participate in CPD?

Yes. If you hold a licence to practise (which your employer may require even if you’re in a non-clinical role), you’ll need to participate in revalidation and appropriate CPD activities. If you participate in the RCOG’s CPD programme, you’ll need to fulfil all of its requirements.

I work in a managerial role with a small amount of clinical practice. How should I fulfil the requirements of the RCOG’s CPD programme?

You’ll need to participate in appropriate CPD activities. If you participate in the RCOG’s CPD programme, your CPD requirement will be the same as for those in full-time clinical practice. You’ll need to demonstrate that your CPD activities are linked to your scope of work, and undertake clinical educational activities relevant to the clinical area in which you practise and non-clinical educational activities relating to your non-clinical work.

I’m involved in research/teaching with no clinical work. What are my requirements for CPD?

If you hold a licence to practise (which your employer may require even if you’re in a non-clinical role), you’ll need to participate in revalidation and appropriate CPD activities. If you participate in the RCOG’s CPD programme, you’ll need to fulfil all of its requirements.

Doctors practising part-time, in limited/specialist roles and in general practice

I work part-time and am only entitled to a 50% study leave budget, but note that I need to fulfil the same CPD requirements as full-time doctors. What does the College recommend to doctors in my circumstances?

The College is aware that certain trusts have no study leave budget for any doctors, while others have various arrangements agreed locally. This is a matter of local concern and you should take it up with your local negotiating committee, who will represent you to the trust management staff who deal with study leave budgets.

I work in a limited/specialist area (e.g. part-time colposcopy, part-time IVF). Can I participate in proportionate CPD according to the amount of specialist practice I undertake, as I don’t carry out any general O&G?

No. There’s no special allowance for doctors practising in a limited/specialist area. Part-time doctors who are registered on the RCOG’s CPD programme need to fulfil the same CPD requirements as full-time doctors. You’ll need to demonstrate that your CPD activities are linked to your scope of work and discuss this at your appraisal.

I’m an RCOG member, but I practise genitourinary medicine and want to participate in the Royal College of Physicians’ CPD programme – is this acceptable?

Yes. You need to participate in CPD to cover your scope of work and can select the CPD programme that best reflects your practice. If you feel the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP’s) programme is more relevant to your practice than the RCOG’s programme, you should visit the RCP website for information on their programme.

I’m an RCOG member, but I practise in sexual and reproductive health only. I’m not following the RCOG’s CPD programme – I only follow the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare’s programme. What’s my position in terms of CPD and revalidation?

You need to participate in CPD to cover your scope of work and can select the CPD programme that best reflects your practice. Please visit the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) website for more information.

For general revalidation enquiries, please contact the General Medical Council (GMC). For specialty-specific revalidation enquiries, please use the RCOG and FSRH’s revalidation helpdesk.

I’m a general practitioner lead in O&G and am involved in some office gynaecology, community obstetrics and ultrasound. What’s my position in terms of CPD and revalidation?

You need to participate in appropriate CPD activities and can select the CPD programme that best reflects your main post. As you practise mainly as a GP, we recommend you follow the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) CPD programme. You’ll also need to demonstrate that you’re following the standards set for obstetricians and gynaecologists in your areas of practice and will need to take appropriate evidence to your appraisal, as required.

For general revalidation enquiries, please contact the General Medical Council (GMC). For O&G specialty-specific revalidation enquiries, please use the RCOG and FSRH’s revalidation helpdesk.

Staff and associate specialist (SAS) doctors, trust doctors and similar posts

I’m in an SAS post. Am I required to participate in CPD?

Yes. All doctors will need to revalidate and demonstrate that they are practising to the appropriate standards in the specialty in which they're working. The GMC’s CPD guidance states that all doctors are responsible for identifying their CPD needs, planning how those needs should be addressed and undertaking CPD that will support their professional development and practice.

The GMC also states that employers and contractors of doctors’ services are responsible for making sure their workforce is competent, up to date and able to meet the needs of the service. They should maintain and develop the skills of all of their medical staff whether they are consultants, staff grade, specialty or associate specialist (SAS) doctors, sessional general practitioners (GPs), locum doctors or trainees. They should also facilitate access to the resources (including the time to learn) that will support this.

It will be helpful for you to participate in the RCOG’s CPD programme. If you practise in a narrow area, you may prefer to select another professional body’s CPD programme which may be of more relevance to your practice.

You may also find it helpful to read the NHS Employer’s document Improving SAS appraisal: a guide for employers.

Doctors working in the independent sector

I practise full-time in the independent sector. I find it difficult to fulfil the requirements for CPD – can the College be flexible in terms of CPD requirements?

No. Doctors working in the independent sector who are registered on the RCOG’s CPD programme are required to fulfil of its requirements, including the requirement for 50 local category credits in each 5-year cycle (which may be seen as a difficult task for independent practitioners). You may achieve this by making a special arrangement with a local NHS hospital to attend their local educational meetings. Regional clinical meetings that are directly relevant to the specialty are also claimable in the local category.

You can also claim 5 credits in the local category for developing a local or regional audit against national standards, and 5 credits for undertaking an audit of personal clinical practice. For revalidation purposes, you should participate in at least one complete audit cycle (audit, practice review and re-audit) in every 5-year revalidation cycle. Please note that the GMC advises that, if audit isn’t possible, you should use other ways to demonstrate quality improvement activity for revalidation; for example, you could submit documented case reviews to demonstrate your commitment to quality improvement. You can record your reflection on the case reviews using the reflective learning form in your ePortfolio (1 credit per completed reflective learning form). The CPD programme has considerable built-in flexibility to accommodate all situations.

Find out more

This section of the site also includes answers to CPD FAQs about:

  • Special circumstances, including:
    • 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, including:
    • RCOG Fellows and Members practising outside the UK
    • Non-members of the RCOG
  • CPD categories and activities, including:
    • 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

Contact us

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

Elsewhere on the site

CPD guide
Read an introduction to our CPD programme, and an overview of what's involved
CPD programme
Find out more detail about the RCOG’s CPD programme