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Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CPD is defined as the education of health care professionals following completion of formal training. CPD consists of any educational activity which helps to maintain, develop or increase knowledge, problem-solving, technical skills or professional performance standards all with the goal that physicians can provide better health care.

CPD includes "formal" activities, e.g. courses, conferences and workshops, as well as self-directed activities such as preceptorship and directed reading.

CPD should enable individual doctors to maintain and improve standards of medical practice through the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour.

Overview of CPD in the UK

CPD is one of the "inputs" to achieving improvements in the safety and quality of care provided for patients and the public. The GMC is not concerned with the details of CPD, only in the assessment of doctors as "fit to practice"; the responsibility for being "fit to practice" lies with the individual doctor. Revalidation is the regulatory assurance of this and revalidation requires a doctor to show that s/he is up-to-date and fit to practice. The individual practitioner needs to remain up-to-date in "all areas of their practice". The content of a practitioner’s CPD should form the basis of their PDP and this will consist of internal, external and personal CPD sessions.

The assessment of CPD is problematic but one useful model is for the practitioner to write a reflective account, for example, formulating a service improvement which might be challenged through an audit cycle. The GMC will require documented proof of CPD as an essential component of the information needed for successful appraisal and revalidation.

The purpose of revalidation is to assure patients, the public, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed doctors are up to date and fit to practice. Effective CPD schemes are flexible and largely based on self-evaluation. This lets doctors develop what they do in the context of their individual professional practice, whilst providing documetary evidence for external scrutiny.

Any CPD system must take a holistic view of health professionals' learning, with opportunities stretching from the classroom to the point of care. It shifts control of learning to the participant and has the flexibility to adapt to the needs of individual clinicians, enabling them to be the architects of their own learning. If co-ordinated nationally, and across the health professions, a CPD system offers the promise of:

  • advancing evidence-based, inter-professional, team-based learning
  • engendering coordination and collaboration among the professions
  • providing higher quality for a given amount of resources
  • leading to improvements in patient health and safety

CPD is intrinsically linked to appraisal and revalidation. Clinicians should be aware of "The Good Medical Practice Framework for Appraisal and Revalidation", published by the General Medical Council (GMC), which they should use to:

  • reflect on their practice and their approach to medicine
  • reflect on the supporting information they have gathered
  • reflect on what that information demonstrates about their practice
  • identify areas of practice where they could make improvements or undertake further development
  • demonstrate they are up-to-date and fit to practice

Download a PDF of this framework document

The Royal Colleges, together with the Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations, have produced a general CPD Summary Guide for Surgery. They also offer an on-line portfolio to record CPD activities with which to inform the annual appraisal process and to set the next year’s PDP. It is linked to an e-logbook for recording operative procedures.

CPD Summary Guide for Surgery


CPD for Urology

BAUS has issued CPD for Urology (March 2013) which sets out the principles of CPD in the specialty, including:

  • Principles of a CPD programme in Urology
  • CPD programmes for Urology
  • CPD and annual appraisal
  • Approval and quality control of CPD activities
  • Responsibilities of employers

Download the CPD for Urology

The above document also contains a web link to the Revalidation Portfolio on the Royal College of Surgeons' website (requires a login to access the portfolio).

Reading and e-learning, together with reflective learning, are encouraged as part of CPD. BAUS members can obtain 3 credits by reading each CME article in the Journal of Clinical Urology (JCU) and completing an MCQ on those articles - look for the CME article on each issue's title page and register for CME credits with the Journal.

Click to go to the MyBAUS journals page (requires members' login), click the CME access button, follow the link provided to register for CME credits and proceed to answer the multiple-choice questions. 


Applying for BAUS CPD Credits

BAUS has re-launched the process for applying for CPD Credits. Event organisers should read the following documents and follow the links for downloadable forms:

To facilitate the process of returning CPD information, Forms A and C can be completed on-line and sent directly to BAUS as e-mail attachments. A copy of Form B needs to be completed by each delegate, but does not need to be sent to BAUS; the totals, derived from all returns of Form B, should be summarised in Form C and returned electronically as described above. When each form is complete, select the "Click here to Submit..." button to e-mail the information to BAUS.

PLEASE NOTE: mobile devices (phones/tablets) should not be used to complete and return these forms to the BAUS CPD Committee

Email BAUS with a membership enquiry


References and Useful Links

The following website links (click the imnage) give access to reference information on appraisal, revalidation & CPD: