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Rationale behind participation in CPD

This page sets out the rationale behind participation in continuing professional development (CPD), particularly in relation to revalidation and appraisal.

Revalidation is the process that ensures licensed doctors remain up to date and fit to practise. The contribution of CPD to revalidation is set out in the Chief Medical Officer’s report Medical revalidation: principles and next steps, which states:

  • The General Medical Council (GMC) requires documented proof of CPD as an essential component of the information needed for successful appraisal and revalidation.
  • CPD is driven by the individual doctor, but there’s a need for organised collection of evidence of appropriate activity as well as audit of the adequacy of an individual’s programme. To facilitate these requirements, the colleges and faculties of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) have developed CPD schemes.
  • Increased linkage between CPD and appraisal is desirable. Appraisal focuses on meeting agreed educational objectives.
  • Monitored systems [taken to mean quality assurance mechanisms] that define college- or faculty-approved educational activities may help to meet these objectives.
  • Effective CPD schemes are flexible and largely based on self-evaluation. This lets doctors develop what they do in the context of their individual professional practice while providing evidence for external scrutiny.
  • The principles underpinning CPD schemes need to be as simple as possible while providing a good foundation on which doctors can build an appropriate portfolio that’s unique to them.

In the UK, the CPD programme informs the appraisal/revalidation process, which culminates in a recommendation to the GMC that the doctor should be revalidated. It’s therefore important for doctors to keep a record of their CPD activities and fulfil the requirements of the programme.

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 appraisal 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

CPD FAQs
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