Continuing professional development
Good medical practice requires you to keep your knowledge and skills up to date and encourages you to ‘take part in educational activities that maintain and further develop’ your competence and performance.
The learning must be relevant to the current and emerging knowledge and skills required for your specialty or practice, professional responsibilities and areas of development and work.
CPD is not an end in itself.
You should plan and participate in a wide range of CPD covering the scope of your practice.
You are required you to reflect on your practice and whether you are working to the relevant standards.
CPD should focus on outcomes or outputs rather than on inputs and a time-served approach.
Supporting information for appraisal and revalidation pp5-6 (GMC, 2012)
The Royal College of General Practice recommends:
Annual reflection on continuing professional development (CPD) learning activities across a balanced programme appropriate to your scope of work.
That you normally demonstrate at least 50 CPD credits per annum on average, irrespective of the number of sessions you work.
One CPD credit = one hour of learning activity demonstrated by a reflective note on lessons learned and any changes made.
Each learning activity only needs one reflective note even if it lasts several hours.
When a learning activity consolidates what you know, but you learn nothing new, your reflective note should say so, and the time taken should be credited.
Once you have demonstrated 50 CPD credits, there is no need to obsessively document or write reflective notes on every learning activity you undertake (prioritising reflection on your key learning from the past year is recommended).
In order to avoid professional isolation, it is recommended that over the five year cycle, you should provide evidence of some learning activities taking place with colleagues outside your normal place of work.
Guide to supporting information (RCGP, 2016)
Be selective; think ‘reflection’.
Your appraiser is primarily interested in your ability to reflect with insight on your practice.
Honest reflection on a small number of well chosen items, in which you demonstrate your learning and actions to improve patient care, is preferable to bland reflection on many.
Information and reflection about your competence in the following specific areas is helpful in demonstrating fitness for purpose as a GP:
CPD – with brief reflections on 50 hours – what (if anything) was learned, and how it has been applied to practice.
Consider keeping a learning log on a simple word document, recording brief reflections and updating every couple of weeks.
No need to attach attendance certificates or minutes from meetings etc.
If you have worked less than 12 months because of maternity leave or ill health then CPD can be pro rata.
Preparing for your appraisal (NHSE SSW, February 2017)