Skip to main content

Principles of the RCOG’s CPD programme

The RCOG’s programme is aligned to the evolving nature of health service provision and the regulation of health professionals, while ensuring it continues to adhere to its existing principles. 

All doctors with a licence to practise are required to provide documentation that they’re participating in CPD to keep up to date and fit to practise and that they’re meeting the standards set by the relevant medical royal college.

An individual’s CPD and any other action required to maintain professional competence is their personal responsibility. Learning may reinforce existing good practice as well as providing new knowledge.

For information about who can participate in the RCOG’s CPD programme, please visit the CPD registration page.

How should you plan your participation?

The ultimate aim of CPD is to improve patient care. You should plan your individual CPD programme to link in with local requirements and to support areas that are lacking or need improvement. It’s essential that you keep up to date with recent technological developments, new drugs and changes to recommendations and legislation. You need to ensure that the balance of your CPD activity is appropriate to your clinical (or other) responsibilities.

You should define your needs by developing a personal development plan covering:

  • Maintenance of knowledge and skill
  • Enhancement of existing skills
  • Development of new potential

You’ll need to agree your personal development plan with your appraiser and be amenable to revising your plan according to workload and individual objectives. Your plan should identify broad areas for development; for example, it should set out broad objectives over a 6-month period rather than trying to define precisely in advance every aspect of participation over the 5-year CPD cycle.


  • CPD includes educational or professional activities that develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and personal effectiveness needed to improve your practice
  • Professional expertise demands continuing awareness of new concepts, values and technologies as well as the appreciation of many other new influences
  • It’s important to update yourself not only on facts but also on opinion and consensus, as only then will improvements in patient care and outcomes (and better job satisfaction) be possible

How are CPD credits registered?

Self-accreditation of educational activities requires evidence. This evidence may be produced as a documented reflection. Evidence of attendance at live events or of participation in all other CPD activities should also be provided.The RCOG provides all CPD participants with a CPD/Revalidation ePortfolio in which to record their CPD activities and store the related evidence and supporting information. Examples of evidence/supporting information include:

  • Confirmation or certificate of hands-on technical learning
  • Certificates of attendance at national and international meetings
  • Certificates of completion of case-based studies agreed with the RCOG
  • An internationally recognised reference of your publication
  • Findings of local or national audits (summary page)
  • Evidence of audit of personal clinical practice (summary page)
  • Certificate of completion of a postgraduate degree or diploma
  • Reflective learning forms, such as an analysis of a significant event (for more information, visit the reflection page)

Your CPD activities need to be linked to your current scope of work, so you must also store your job plans (or description of your scope of work) and personal development plans annually in your ePortfolio.

Find out more

This section of the site also contains information about:

For more information about the revalidation process, please visit the revalidation section of this site.

For more information about appraisal, please visit the appraisals page.

Contact us

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the website, or need additional information, please email the CPD Office or call +44 20 7772 6307.

Elsewhere on the site

Answers to frequently asked questions about the RCOG’s CPD programme
Guide to CPD
General information about CPD at the RCOG, including how to register and how to use the CPD/Revalidation ePortfolio