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.