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The impact of continuing professional development on doctors performance and patient outcomes

What were the findings?

  • Continuing professional development tends to be better integrated with appraisal in primary care. It is more fragmented in secondary care with more limited integration and alignment with appraisal and organisational priorities.

  • When undertaking continuing professional development, the emphasis tends to be on the activity itself with comparatively little thought given to subsequent implementation and action, though primary care organisations are better able to evidence the outcomes arising from the implementation of discrete continuing professional development activities.

  • The employer usually provides only limited quality assurance and quality enhancement of continuing professional development activities.

  • Doctors recognised the importance of reflection to good continuing professional development. But many struggled to know how to do this effectively. We will do further work to help doctors with this.

Read the full report

Assessing the impact of continuing professional development (full report)

Assessing the impact of continuing professional development (case studies)