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The RCOG’s CPD programme

The RCOG’s CPD programme gives you the flexibility to decide the educational value of the activities you undertake. This is because each doctor will have different preferred learning methods.

The programme requires you to stay up to date in your current areas of practice and develop the areas in which you wish to progress. Therefore, your CPD activities need to be in line with your job plans and professional aspirations, as well as with your wider activities for the benefit of your specialty and the wider health service.

CPD forms part of the annual appraisal process and is a vital element of revalidation.

This page provides information about:

  • CPD categories
  • Credit requirements for CPD
  • Educational activities that qualify for CPD
  • Activities that aren’t eligible for CPD credits

CPD categories

The RCOG’s CPD programme requires you to collect at least 250 credits in each 5-year CPD cycle (minimum of 50 credits per year) across 4 areas of learning:

  • Local: local job-plan-related clinical and non-clinical educational activities, most of which will be discussed locally through the appraisal process
  • National/international: contributions to the national or international agenda, or learning from the national or international scene
  • Personal/professional: activities that develop you professionally, or specialty-related activities that derive from a personal interest
  • Knowledge-based assessment

The CPD categories are flexible to ensure coverage of the whole spectrum of your individual practice, and also to assist those working within limited areas of practice. For example, attendance at a specialty-related meeting or course can be claimed in either the national/international or personal/professional category.

For a more detailed breakdown of each category, including credit requirements and types of activity, please visit the CPD categories page.

CPD credit requirements

  • Annual requirement: minimum of 50 CPD credits
  • Cycle requirement: minimum of 250 CPD credits
  • Category requirement: minimum of 50 credits in each category in each 5-year cycle (credits in excess of 50 accrued in the knowledge-based assessment category can be used as a wild card, i.e. you can count them towards the minimum requirements in the other 3 categories as you deem appropriate)

To ensure a balance is retained in the CPD programme, you can claim a maximum of 25 credits per type of activity in each 5-year CPD cycle. For example:

  • Within the local category, you could claim a maximum of 25 credits for each type of local/regional meetings
  • Within the national/international category, you could claim a maximum of 25 credits for attending national/international meetings
  • Within the personal/professional category, you could also claim a maximum of 25 credits for attending national/international meetings

Educational activities that qualify for CPD

Each individual doctor is best placed to decide on the most suitable educational activities to meet their own needs. We ask doctors to make a judgement on the value of a particular activity and to claim credits only for the educationally useful element of such activity. The rate of claim is normally 1 credit per educationally useful hour achieved, unless otherwise stated. A list of suitable educational activities is given on the CPD categories page; please note this isn’t all-inclusive.

There are also mandatory educational meetings for generalists and subspecialists. Again, this list isn’t exhaustive and you may find other high-quality meetings that are more relevant to your clinical practice. It’s anticipated that all CPD participants will attend at least 1 national meeting during a 5-year cycle.

You can claim CPD credits using StratOG, the RCOG’s interactive eLearning resource. Find out more about eLearning for CPD.

The CPD programme encourages reflective practice.  For further information on how to document your reflection please see the reflection page

Activities not eligible for CPD credits

Some activities have educational components that are difficult to quantify (e.g. watching a medical video, reading medical journals or books). Other activities may be part of your day-to-day work (e.g. attending committee meetings). Such activities are outside the scope of the CPD programme.

Examples of activities for which CPD credits aren’t claimable include:

  • Watching medical videos
  • Reading medical journals or books
  • Meetings solely sponsored by or promoting products of drug companies or instrument manufacturers
  • Committee meetings
  • Attending a clinic as an observer
  • Medico-legal work, except participation in national enquiries

The above list isn’t exhaustive and, should an inappropriate claim be made, the College reserves the right to decide its eligibility towards the CPD programme credit total.

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