CPD requirements for physicians and the impact of COVID-19

The Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians has today (Thursday 19 March 2020) issued the following statement on CPD

CPD requirements for physicians and the impact of COVID-19

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The Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians has today (Thursday 19 March 2020) issued the following statement on CPD:

We wish to offer 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 be judged by appraisers, but we hope that appraisers will very much take this statement into account when assessing CPD. We’re also in the process of proposing measures that will make it easier to engage with CPD during the current pandemic. For reference, please find the standard guidance on credit requirements below. 


Standard End of CPD year Checklist

Please note that the information below is the standard end of year advice for completion of the diary year in accordance with Federation recommendations so please take the above information regarding CPD requirements and COVID-19 into consideration. Before 30 June 2020, we advise that you have completed the following:

Met the minimum credit requirements

The annual credit requirements recommended by the Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians are 50 credits of which 25 should be external and a maximum of 10 personal. The five year cycle requirements are 250 credits of which 125 should be external and a maximum of 50 personal. 

Check that you have achieved the annual minimum credit requirements by going to the ‘Summary’ page of your online CPD diary. Once fully completed, you will have received two green ticks for the 2019/20 year on the ‘Credits Achieved’ tab. On the Physicians’ CPD app, check the main wheel is displaying as green. We recommend viewing your CPD annual appraisal report which you can email to yourself from the app by pressing onto the main wheel, scrolling down and selecting ‘Reports’ as per our tutorial.

Completed an Annual Reflection

Complete an annual reflection for the 2019/20 CPD year on your CPD over the last 12 months. 

Added/Evaluated CPD Activities Correctly Ensure that you have added all the CPD activities you have completed between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 and that these have been evaluated correctly. An activity that hasn’t been evaluated will state ‘partially evaluated’ or ‘not yet evaluated.’ 


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