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Guidelines for the CPD diary

Find out more about how the CPD diary works.

CPD requirements and the impact of COVID-19

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 are waiving all numerical CPD credit targets. 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.

No requirement to 'make up' credits

We should also like to emphasise that there will not be a requirement to 'make up' credits relating to the time of the pandemic in future years. 

Personal credits

The diary allows physicians to record as many personal credits as they wish and the overall total is included on the annual CPD certificate but only 10 personal credits can count towards the usual recommended total of 50. As stated above the requirement for 50 credits has been waived for the 2019/20 and the 2020/21 diary years, but for technical IT reasons it is difficult to arrange a temporary change to reflect this in the CPD system as the 'rule' is embedded in the system in a number of ways. However, we are requesting that appraisers acknowledge the extent and value of both personal CPD and distance learning during 2 CPD years in question. 

Work in progress

We have a number of other initiatives designed to help colleagues during this difficult time. These include the following:

  • We are adding an additional statement to the annual CPD certificates alerting appraisers to our advice during the pandemic and advising them that physicians may make more use of distance learning and personal CPD during this time. 
  • We are working to increase availability and approval of various forms of distance learning including streamed events, webinars and more e-learning options.

We will endeavour to fast-track COVID-19 applications for approval. 

CPD diary cycle

The CPD diary runs on an annual cycle, from 1 April to 31 March each year. At the end of each CPD year, you can print or export a PDF of the annual CPD appraisal report certificate detailing your CPD credits. This can be presented at your annual appraisal to demonstrate completion of required CPD.

All physicians who are registered to use the online CPD diary scheme are required to complete a minimum of 50 CPD credits per year.

CPD credits

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). Within this minimum requirement, 25 credits must be external, and up to 10 can be personal credits.

Find out more

The 'CPD diary guidelines' document, downloadable below, provides information on:

  • how the CPD diary works (including annual credit and audit requirements)
  • participation
  • eligibility
  • how to record CPD activities
  • the audit of CPD records
  • regulations
  • the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ 10 principles of CPD.

You can also read our step-by-step CPD diary user guide and latest CPD newsletter.