The General Medical Council requires all doctors to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. When you join the NHS, you will be expected to continue to learn throughout your career and the best way to do this is through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
CPD activities allow you to develop your knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours across all areas of your medical practice. CPD activities include both formal and informal learning activities, such as research, peer reviews, audits, attending courses, conferences, events etc.
Continuing your professional development will…
It is important to record your learning activities, your reflections, learning needs and learning outcomes when evidencing your CPD. One to way to do so is to create an online portfolio – you can typically find this feature within your Royal College’s website or use the GMC’s CPD smartphone application.
The GMC offers a free app to all those practising medicine in the UK. They appreciate that opportunities for learning and development will occur every day, but we do not always have time to write them down, not to mention reflecting on them.
So, the app will allow you to regularly update your CPD quickly and easily.
The app also allows you to:
Appraisals allow you to reflect on your scope of practice, reflect on whether you are up to date in every area and whether your continuing professional development is appropriately matched with your experience, identify personal and professional development needs and ensure that you are adhering to the GMC’s Good Medical Practice.
Your appraiser will be allocated by your ‘Responsible Officer’ and this varies from Trust to Trust. It is likely that you will have more than one appraiser.
During your appraisal, you will also create a Personal Development Plan (PDP) to help you plan your short-term and long-term career goals.
It is an individual plan designed to help identify and address your educational and professional development needs.
For each learning need, you should ask yourself what you want and need to learn, what you will do to achieve it, what resources you will need and target dates for completion. The advantage of developing a good PDP plan is that it will allow you to achieve your potential by identifying your gaps in your knowledge and skills.
If you hold GMC Registration with a licence to practise, you will legally be required to revalidate, every five years, through a regular appraisal which will look at your CPD points and your efforts to meet your PDP. This will all be based against the GMC’s guidance for doctors – Good Medical Practice. If you successfully revalidate then you will continue to hold your GMC Registration with a licence to practise.
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Gmc-uk.org. (2018). Get the MyCPD app. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/standards-guidance-and-curricula/guidance/continuing-professional-development/get-the-my-cpd-app [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].
Gmc-uk.org. (2018). Continuing professional development. [online] Available at: https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/standards-guidance-and-curricula/guidance/continuing-professional-development [Accessed 20 Nov. 2018].
Health Careers. (2018). Personal development planning. [online] Available at: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/career-planning/developing-your-health-career/personal-and-professional-development/personal-development-planning [Accessed 22 Nov. 2018].