Guidance on supporting information for appraisal and revalidation

Your supporting information – continuing professional development

The purpose of carrying out and reflecting on continuing professional development (CPD)

  • To help you keep up to date and competent in all the work you do
  • To maintain and enhance the quality of your professional work across your whole practice.
  • To encourage and support specific improvements in practice.

The GMC's requirements

a You must carry out CPD activities every year.

b Your CPD activities must cover the whole of your practice, and be tailored to your scope of practice and needs.

c Your learning needs and plans for your CPD should be reflected in your personal development plan for the coming year.

CPD should focus on outcomes or outputs rather than on inputs. You must reflect on what you have learned from the activity and how this could help maintain or improve the quality of your practice.

e You must reflect on your CPD activities and discuss them at each annual whole practice appraisal.

Our guidance on CPD

36 CPD helps doctors maintain and improve their performance. It covers the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours across all areas of professional practice. Effective CPD will help you to anticipate and respond to the needs of your patients and the service, and changes in society’s expectations in the ways doctors work. It will enable you to keep up to date and fit to practise and maintain the professional standards required of you throughout your career. It can also support specific changes in your practice, which may enhance your career opportunities and enhance job satisfaction.

37 Good medical practice requires you to keep your knowledge and skills up to date and encourages you to take part in activities that maintain and develop your competence and performance (paragraph 8 and 9).

38 Our CPD: Guidance for all doctors will help you plan and reflect on your learning opportunities and be prepared when you discuss your CPD at your annual appraisal.

CPD must be tailored to your scope of practice and needs

39 You must carry out CPD activities annually, and these must cover your whole practice. Your CPD activities must:

a be based on your day to day work and what you think you will need in the future to carry out all the roles and responsibilities that are (or are likely to become) part of your scope of practice

b be relevant to the current and emerging knowledge and skills needed for your specialty or area of practice, professional responsibilities and areas of development and work

c prepare you for the unpredictable and changing nature of medical practice

d meet the needs of your patients, colleagues and employers, where appropriate.

40 You should think broadly about the types of CPD activities you can do. You should make sure they are influenced by your participation in clinical governance processes, or quality improvement activities (including individual, organisational and national audit), workplace-based assessments and other ways you learn and get feedback about your professional and work practices.

41 Because your CPD activities need to be tailored to your scope of practice and needs, we do not mandate the number of CPD points you should collect for revalidation. Most medical royal colleges and faculties have published advice on how doctors working in their specialties can demonstrate appropriate CPD across the curriculum for that specialty or general practice. This includes their recommendation of what relevant levels of CPD might look like. If you are unclear about the CPD required for your revalidation, you can discuss this with relevant colleagues, your appraiser or responsible officer.