CPD in the Middle East

Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the world's leading and largest CPD accreditation service. With over 35,000 CPD courses, providers and events and more than 27 years’ experience, we advise organisations on how to become CPD accredited. 

Introduction to Continuing Professional Development

In regions of the world such as the Middle East, there is a strong desire to develop and adopt the best practices of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). CPD has seen a substantial rise in recent years and The CPD Certification Service is a key driving force of Continuing Professional Development across the world with CPD members in over 100 countries and growing.

CPD accreditation

CPD has been adopted by many professional bodies across the Middle East, and organisations are increasingly looking for CPD accreditation with the aim of establishing similar standards and practices recognised in the UK.

Continuing Professional Development is a commitment to ongoing lifelong learning, and a powerful tool that professionals from across all industries can apply to their lives to improve knowledge and skills to ensure academic qualifications do not become outdated.

The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading CPD accreditation organisation that assess training and learning for Continuing Professional Development. Becoming a CPD accredited training provider in the Middle East means the training and events you offer have reached an industry recognised standard for learning and development.

Why do organisations become CPD accredited?

Organisations wishing to become CPD accredited can display their commitment through membership with The CPD Certification Service.

Organisations become CPD accredited to present their knowledge as industry experts, as well as support their clients and employees through a recognised approach to professional learning.

The CPD Certification Service provide accreditation for organisations ranging from small consultancy firms to large training providers, multi-national corporations, conference & events organisers, universities, further education colleges, local authorities, councils and Government departments. 

Growth of CPD in the Middle East

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is becoming of increasing importance in the Middle East, with guidelines being set by industry regulators, educational institutions and the professional bodies. Organisations are embracing CPD across the region and in doing so are raising standards of the available professional development.

CPD in United Arab Emirates

The completion of Continuing Professional Development hours in different professions is used to ensure quality levels remain high and CPD can also help individuals maintain their skills and keep updated with best practices.

Professional learning often includes practical and vocational training that relate to a specific job roles, industries or career path. The following offers a brief introduction to CPD within some key areas of the Middle East.

CPD in the Health sector

The United Arab Emirates has seen a recent growth in CPD, in particular the health sector. In 2014 the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) released their Continuing Professional Development guidelines where it outlined the purpose of Continuing Professional Development and the implementation of CPD in different professions and job roles. The CPD guidelines set out by the Dubai Health Authority play a pivotal role in United Arab Emirates health policy.

CPD Guidelines by the Dubai Health Authority

The purpose of the DHA CPD Guidelines is to “Ensure quality, stability and availability of healthcare professionals”. It promotes that Continuing Professional Development be used to advance the body of knowledge, abilities, skills and technology within different job roles across all industries.

The guidelines specifically state “Continuing Professional Development acknowledges not only the wide-ranging competences needed to practice high quality medicine but also the multidisciplinary nature of patient care.”

Importance of CPD

The DHA guidelines state the application of CPD in the workplace shows a mindful decision and commitment towards clients and employees, emphasising the importance of development and maintenance of knowledge and skills.

The DHA believe that “Continuing Professional Development forms an integral part of revalidation and licensure of healthcare professionals. Therefore, healthcare facilities are equally responsible to ensure they have in place adequate plans to assure continual professional development of all staff.”

Similar to the UK, healthcare institutions are responsible for making sure employees are adequately trained and keep CPD records up to date each year.

Common CPD terminology in Dubai

Please see below common CPD terminology used in Dubai and throughout the region.

  • CPD - Continuing Professional Development
  • CME - Continuing Medical Education
  • CDE - Continuing Dental Education
  • CNE - Continuing Nursing Education
  • CPE - Continuing Pharmacy Education
  • CE - Continuing Education

CPD Annual Requirements

In 2017 the Unified Healthcare Professionals Qualification Requirements (PQR) was issued by the Ministry of Health, Dubai Health Authority and the Department of Health with the following minimum annual CPD requirements:

  • Physicians and Dentists - 40 hours
  • Pharmacists - 20 hours
  • Nurses - 20 hours
  • Allied Health Professionals - 10 hours
  • Traditional, Complementary & Alternative Medicine (TCAM) Professionals - 10 hours

CPD in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has seen a particular focus on CPD within the teaching profession, initially implemented in science education, that has now developed in to all aspects of teaching. Teachers have demonstrated a shift from traditional teaching methods to spending more time developing subject knowledge, shifting from coverage of facts and procedures to a more in-depth focus on concepts and ‘hands-on’ engagement.

Teachers Continuing Professional Development programs in Saudi Arabia are undertaken as short training sessions that centre on theoretical pedagogical knowledge, practical, skills, and the content knowledge.

The recent development and growth of CPD in Saudi Arabia is beginning to expand other opportunities for learning. As with the wider Middle East, The CPD Certification Service has a growing number of members based in Saudi Arabia. 

What can be CPD accredited?

Continuing Professional Development accreditation covers a wide range of different learning methods. Our Assessments team review thousands of CPD courses, workshops, seminars, conferences and events every year.

Training Courses

CPD training courses are the most well-known method of completing Continuing Professional Development, vary in length and will often be specific to one subject or offer skills in a particular area of industry


Seminars are a type of short course and typically only a few hours long up to one day. CPD seminars provide an opportunity to focus on a subject matter in detail, conducted in group settings with interactive discussion, to allow individuals to contribute leading to a better retention of knowledge.


CPD workshops are interactive educational group sessions are and similar to seminars, but with a few differences. CPD workshops are less theoretical and tend to offer a more hands-on, practical skills approach to learning.


Webinars are online learning held virtually and attended by an online audience. Often, the main objective of a CPD webinar is to educate and inform professionals in a short and concise manner about new and relevant information.


There are number of different forms of learning that can be considered CPD events. CPD events includes conferences held at venues that may include keynote sessions and breakout learning by topic. Seminars and workshops may also feature as part of wider CPD events.

Online Courses

Online CPD courses are an increasingly popular method of learning, and offer convenience and affordability, in that there is no need to attend an in-person event and course materials can be shared free online.

We provide CPD accreditation to thousands of training providers

CPD Accreditation FAQs

Who is CPD for?

CPD is carried out by millions of individuals across a whole range of industries and professions. Most professional bodies and institutes will provide individuals with Continuing Professional Development requirements, generally as a set number of CPD training hours to achieve each year. Over recent decades, we have seen the commitment to CPD reach far beyond the traditional industries and institutional bodies of the UK to what is now recognised and embraced across the world.

What is accredited CPD training?

External validation demonstrates to attendees the steps taken to deliver the highest possible training standards. The CPD Certification Service provides independent CPD accreditation compatible with international requirements. Our CPD symbols are recognised in over 100+ countries and offer professional bodies, institutional associations, educational providers and consumers reassurance that further learning achieves the qualitative standards required by all parties.

What are CPD points, hours and credits?

The majority of institutions and professional bodies provide Continuing Professional Development targets generally set on an annual basis. These targets are defined by the accrual of CPD activities through attendance in training courses, eLearning and events, as well as other forms of structured learning. Most professional bodies use CPD hours as their measure, and where CPD points or credits are used, these are typically a 1:1 ratio with CPD hours. By this, 1 CPD point would be equal to 1 CPD hour.

How do I log and record CPD activities?

CPD is something that most people will do on an ongoing basis as part of their career. To reflect and keep track of learning, it is important to maintain a regular and up to date record of any completed learning and development activities, as well as future goals or professional achievements in the work environment. A CPD log and record of learning activities undertaken can be kept using an online purpose-built CPD recording tool, such as the myCPD Portal.

What is the process of gaining CPD certification?

CPD certification is a straightforward process and follows an intentionally practical method that has been continuously developed over the past few decades. Certification is focused on providing the highest standards of Continuing Professional Development learning for delegates and attendees. Each CPD training course or event is benchmarked against a proven assessment criteria to ensure the required standards are met across a number of key areas.

How are training and events assessed?

The accreditation process takes an impartial and objective overview of the structure and value of training materials to ensure full conformity to international CPD industry benchmarks and guidelines. CPD is reviewed and assessed against the universally accepted and structured checklist which The CPD Certification Service has developed over the past 25+ years.

What are the benefits of CPD?

CPD is an essential, recognised approach to helping individuals, organisations and entire industries to keep skills and knowledge up to date. CPD supports raising international standards and benchmarks in line with increasing globalisation and consumer demand. For individuals, it enables learning to become conscious and proactive, rather than passive and encourages professionals to maintain consistent levels of high performance and demonstrate commitment towards a particular job role or profession.

What is the CPD Cycle?

The CPD Cycle is a practical tool that helps individuals to structure their Continuing Professional Development learning easily throughout the year, and to identify regular and measurable improvements in work-related skills and knowledge. There are five key stages of the CPD Cycle that are important when planning professional development activities for the year. These include Stage 1 - Identifying Your Needs, Stage 2 – Planning, Stage 3 - Acting/Doing, Stage 4 - Reflecting on Learning, Stage 5 - Implement your New Learning.

What is myCPD Portal?

myCPD Portal is a free online record tool that allows individuals and organisations to log, track and manage their Continuing Professional Development in one simple place. Users can set annual CPD targets, review training records, store attendance certificates and monitor learning progress. This makes it easier to reflect on knowledge and skills that have been obtained throughout the year.

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Our CPD seminar proved very worthwhile, winning an order worth £350k. Our aim was to meet & introduce our products to industry professionals, which is exactly what we did.

FP McCann

Our events are CPD certified, demonstrating our commitment to deliver high-quality training and adhere to a code of best practice.

Healthcare Conferences

Membership of the CPD Certification Service shows our commitment to excellence and to providing CPD for our staff.

Imperial College London