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What is CPD?

Continuing Personal/Professional Development (CPD) can be defined as the following:

‘Any learning outside of undergraduate education or postgraduate training that helps you maintain and improve your performance. It covers the development of your knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours across all areas of your professional practice. It includes both formal and informal learning activities.’

CPD helps you to keep up-to-date and enhance the skills you acquired at medical school and during postgraduate training reflecting changes in practice, changes in the needs of patients and the service, and changes in society’s expectations of the way anaesthetists work.

How much CPD do I need to do?

The GMC has no required amount of CPD; it is simply your responsibility to ensure you do enough to remain fit to practice and up-to-date.  However, The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) expects every doctor to undertake a minimum of 50 hours of CPD a year across a variety of activities.

How do I start?
The RCoA provides a number of online tools for you to use - 

Try keeping a learning log and recording your thoughts in whatever way suits you best. Review and reflect on any learning experiences over the previous year or over the past three months. Write your thoughts down about what you learned, what insights it gave you and what you might have done differently. Include both formal training events and informal learning, such as:
  • learning from colleagues or shared learning from networking
  • reading about new technologies, new methods of working, legislative changes
  • shadowing or assisting an experienced colleague
  • insights and learning points from coaching and mentoring
  • reflections, insights and learning points from taking on a new responsibility
  • organisational or role change
  • temporary job swaps within the department/organisation
  • insights and lessons learned from mistakes
  • lessons learned from critical incidents or events
  • attending an approved course by a medical collage.
  • attending a specialist medical event, conference or clinical workshop.
  • undertaking a CPD e-learning course/module as run by an accredited online programme (e.g. Royal College, BMJ – see useful links).
  • reading professional books or journal articles.
  • post-graduate teaching, educational supervision, examining and publishing.
  • peer-group meetings – peer reviews and peer tutoring.
  • non-clinical professional development – e.g. management training, communication skills and Information Technology (IT) training.
Make a note of any outcomes of each learning experience and what difference it has made to you, your colleagues, your students (if relevant) or your employer.

Using CPD to support your revalidation

CPD is a vital part of the revalidations process as it helps to demonstrate your commitment to learning. You will need to bring a summary of your CPD activities to your annual appraisal to show that you have met the requirements for revalidation

During your appraisal you will be asked to reflect on your personal performance and your appraiser will help you identify areas to focus your CPD over the four following areas:

1. Knowledge, skills and performance.
2. Safety and quality.
3. Communication, partnership and teamwork.
4. Maintaining trust.

For more information on revalidationplease click here.

Useful Links to e-learning platforms and CPD support for anaesthetists
Alternatively, contact your recruiter if you have any queries on 01590 675 111 or email

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