CPD FAQs

If you have an enquiry regarding the RCR CPD Scheme, which is not answered below, please contact the CPD team:

Email: cpd@rcr.ac.uk
Phone: 0207 405 1282, option 5

We endeavour to respond to all CPD enquiries within five working days of receipt.

Enrolment in the CPD Scheme 

How do I enrol in the RCR CPD Scheme?
An individual will be enrolled in the RCR CPD Scheme from the beginning of the year following that in which eligibility for Specialist Registration is achieved.
Clinical oncologists or clinical radiologists who take up staff positions in the UK without a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT), including those who trained or have been employed overseas, should contact the RCR at cpd@rcr.ac.uk to effect their enrolment in the CPD Scheme.

Is my participation in the RCR CPD Scheme mandatory for revalidation?
If you wish to continue to work in your current field you would need to demonstrate to your appraiser (as part of forthcoming revalidation requirements) that you are keeping up-to-date in your field of work. Whilst the College recommendation would be that this can most easily be achieved through participating in the College CPD Scheme, it is not mandatory to be part of a College Scheme. You may wish to undertake CPD outside of the College Scheme, however the requirement would remain that your appraiser would want to see evidence of your CPD, and CPD will certainly form an important component of the supporting information required for revalidation.

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Five-year CPD target

How will the updates to the RCR CPD Scheme from 1 July 2014 affect my five-year CPD target?

The updates to the CPD Scheme will not affect the start or end date of an individual's five-year CPD cycle or the overall target requirement of 250 CPD credits. 

As an example, if an individual's CPD five-year period started on 1 January 2010 and ends on 31 December 2014, the CPD activities undertaken by the individual in the first year would be eligible for CPD credits as per stated in the first edition of the RCR CPD Scheme, the next three years would be eligible for CPD credits as stated in the second edition of the Scheme and the final year would be eligible for CPD credits as per stated in the third edition of the RCR CPD scheme.

RCR CPD Scheme, Third Edition (valid from 1 July 2014) PDF 

RCR CPD Scheme, Second Edition (valid from 1 January 2011) PDF

RCR CPD Scheme, First Edition (valid until 31 December 2010) PDF 

I work part-time. How many credits do I need?
The target of 250 credits applies to all regardless of the number of sessions per week that are worked. Doctors working less than full-time have an equal obligation to provide high-quality patient care and to update their skills as those working full-time and thus should maintain the same commitment to their CPD. Colleges and Faculties, as well as employers, should be as flexible as possible in enabling this commitment to be met for all doctors. 

How does an absence from work for maternity, sick leave or other career breaks affect my target?
There is no waiver for the requirement of 250 points of CPD in five years. Short periods of absence from CPD or imbalance in one year can, and should, be redressed over the five-year period.
You should participate in CPD activities to the greatest extent possible. Any deficit in CPD activity should be made up over the remainder of the five-year cycle. This may be achieved either prospectively (where possible), retrospectively after return to clinical work, or a combination. 
The RCR considers the maintenance of CPD in these circumstances to be essential to an individual’s personal development plan and for appraisal.
Where the absence is for more than a year, advice from the RCR or Faculty should be sought and advice will be provided by the CPD Lead.  

I have retired from my permanent NHS post but am still undertaking some clinical work. What is my CPD requirement?
All individuals practising in the UK, however infrequently or few sessions, should participate in the CPD Scheme.  Doctors must keep up to date with any clinical treatments when undertaking medical-related work. Doctors undertaking medical-related work (eg, medico-legal work) which requires them to be licensed will need to revalidate and participate in CPD.

I have retired from my permanent NHS post but wish to remain on the Specialist Register. Do I still need to obtain CPD credits?
Yes.  All individuals practising in the UK, however infrequently or few sessions, should participate in the CPD Scheme.  Doctors must keep up to date with any clinical treatments when undertaking medical work. Doctors undertaking medical-related work (eg, medico-legal work) which requires them to be licensed will need to revalidate and participate in CPD.

I have retired from all clinical practice and do not intend to remain on the specialist register.  Do I still need to obtain CPD credits?
No. Once involvement in clinical practice has ceased, enrolment in the CPD Scheme can be discontinued. Please contact the CPD Office at cpd@rcr.ac.uk so that the appropriate action can be taken. At the same time, arrangements can usually be made to continue membership of the RCR at a much reduced subscription rate.

I work entirely in a non-clinical role (eg, Principal of Faculty of Medicine, Medical Director, Trust Chief Executive Officer, Postgraduate Dean, Department of Health role). Am I required to participate in CPD?
Yes, if you wish to revalidate. The content of your CPD activities should reflect and support the range of your professional practice.

What happens if I am not able to achieve my CPD target?
The RCR strongly encourages all specialist registered members and Fellows to participate in the Scheme to the fullest extent possible to benefit from further education. All those who are involved in the training and education of specialist registrars are required to be up to date with their CPD targets.  CPD will contribute a significant part of any doctor’s evidence required for revalidation by the GMC.

Can I carry credits forward into the next five-year cycle?
No. If you exceed 250 credits in one cycle you cannot carry the extra credits into the next five-year cycle.

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Approved CPD activities

Are CPD credits awarded for online learning?
CPD credits can be earned by formal participation in distance learning events with CPD approval.  Documentation from the organising body (eg, multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ) test, certificate etc) giving the title and date of the event, and the number of CPD credits achieved (including name of awarding body) must be retained by the individual, with a reflective learning record completed for each hour claimed.  

How many credits have been awarded to Event X? 
This question is most appropriately addressed to the event organiser.  The RCR's CPD Office can only advise if the RCR has made a credit award to the event.

I wasn't given an attendance certificate at a CPD event. What should I do?
Organisers of events that are accredited by the RCR are responsible for issuing certificates based on level of attendance at an event. Participants should always ask for a certificate before leaving an event if one is not offered.

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Recording CPD activities

How does the RCR know how many credits I have?
For most of an individual's CPD period the RCR does not know how many credits have been achieved. Towards the end of an individual's five year CPD period, the RCR will ask an individual to indicate how many CPD credits have been achieved in each category. 

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Doctors abroad

I am considering working abroad for a short period of two to three years, and wish to return to the UK to work following this period.  What are my CPD requirements?
The GMC website can provide information about return to practice and other requirements you will need to satisfy. If doctors wish to return to the UK and are maintaining GMC registration, keeping up with CPD would be strongly recommended. Recording your CPD in a portfolio will help to demonstrate that you are meeting the standards of your area of practice and will act as supporting information to take to subsequent appraisals. Remember you may also be required to be CPD compliant with any new professional body with which you register in order to practise abroad.

I now practise outside the UK.  What are my CPD requirements?
The RCR has no jurisdiction outside the UK and therefore cannot prescribe CPD activities must be undertaken.  However, the RCR encourages individuals to keep their CPD up to date. 

I practise outside the UK, but I wish to continue to undertake CPD and revalidate in the UK. What do I need to do?
If you want to continue with your CPD you should ideally participate in the RCR CPD Scheme or follow recommendations of the Scheme. For information about meeting the requirements for revalidation while you are outside the UK, please consult the GMC website.

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