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Message from the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom - CPD requirements and the impact of COVID-19

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for consultants/SAS physicians


Message from the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom


All physicians who are registered to use the online CPD diary scheme are required to complete a minimum of 50 CPD credits per year (one CPD credit is awarded for each hour of CPD completed). The CPD Diary year runs 1 April to 31 March – this is just because our system is fixed and does not allow for flexible reporting.

Within this minimum requirement, 25 credits must be external, and up to 10 can be personal credits. Although, please note the update in a recent communication we sent out in light of Covid-19:

CPD requirements and the impact of COVID-19 

We are writing to you to provide clarification and reassurance regarding the CPD credit requirements in the current climate. We are aware that some of you will be in the unfortunate position of having had your CPD activity cancelled or postponed due to the developing COVID-19 situation as we reach the end of the 2019/20 CPD year. In addition, the situation for the next CPD year, 2020/21, is now looking uncertain. 

With regard to the current CPD rules, we should like to emphasise the following

  • The Federation annual credit requirements (50 overall with 25 external) are recommendations only. The GMC as the regulator does not require a fixed number of CPD credits. 
  • Within the Federation guidelines if there is a shortfall in one year this can be addressed in other years as long as the 5 year recommendations are met (250 over the 5 years, half external.)

However, in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we propose varying these requirements. We will support a flexible approach to CPD requirements for the remainder of the current CPD year and, in addition, for the next CPD year. Of greater importance than the number of credits obtained will be that Physicians show evidence of engagement with the CPD process. This will of course will be judged by appraisers, but we hope that appraisers will very much take this statement into account when assessing CPD. 

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