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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR157. Good Psychiatric Practice: Continuing Professional Development (2nd edn)

Price: £10.00

Approved: Jul 2009

Published: Jul 2010

Status: current

Number of pages: 34

Review by: 2014

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the process of self-assessment and self-directed, life-long learning that complements formal undergraduate and postgraduate education and training. It enables psychiatrists to acquire new knowledge and skills as well as to maintain and improve their standards across all areas of their practice. CPD should also encourage and support specific changes in practice and career development. Ultimately, these activities are closely associated with enhancing the quality of care provided to patients.

The College’s guidance on CPD has been in existence since 2001, but with changing expectations - from within and outside the profession - it has become necessary to revise key areas of the guidance.  (This report replaces CR90. Good Psychiatric Practice: CPD from 2001.)

The new policy is intended to engage with those members who are signed up for CPD but who do not currently submit returns, as well as making CPD much more structured and user-friendly for all those who are enrolled on the programme. It emphasises setting and reviewing learning objectives as part of the annual CPD cycle, ensuring that peer group structures are not only retained but are strengthened through recognition for time and activity, that e-learning is promoted, and that ‘portfolio’ psychiatrists do not feel excluded. These include psychiatrists who do valuable work in non-NHS managed organisations, private psychiatrists, those who work post-retirement from the NHS, and others.

The number of hours required to ensure compliance with the policy will remain at 50. A very significant change, though, is that the External/Internal classification gives way to a more practical distinction between Clinical, Academic and Professional activities. We would still recommend that psychiatrists bear in mind that participating in local CPD is important for them, their colleagues and trainees, but this change makes it much less restrictive on how they achieve their annual requirement.

This guidance applies to all psychiatrists, consultants, speciality doctors, associate specialists, senior clinical medical officers, staff grade doctors and other doctors in similar posts.


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