CPD requirements for Healthcare Professionals

CPD requirements for Healthcare Professionals

13 Apr 2021

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The purpose of Continuing Professional Development in healthcare is to help improve the safety and quality of care provided for patients and the public. As a healthcare professional you are responsible for identifying your CPD needs, planning how those needs should be addressed and undertaking CPD that will support your professional development and practice. Your CPD activities should aim to maintain and improve the standards of your own practice and also those of any teams in which you work.

For healthcare professionals, CPD is one of the main methods used to ensure that you are keeping up to date with the latest developments and techniques within the industry. We aim with this article to outline CPD requirements for healthcare professionals, as required by NHS CPD and HCPC CPD, as well as determining what continuing professional development for a healthcare professional actually is.

What is Continuing Professional Development for Healthcare Professionals?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD), is a way of measuring how many activities are being undertaken by any individual in addition to the on-the-job training that they receive. It is fundamental for any professional development for healthcare professionals and is a requirement for each individual.

Committing to regular CPD activities gives confidence to employers and the general public that healthcare professionals can not only perform their specific job roles, but are working to a high standard and keeping up to date with all regulations within their field.

Most activities can qualify for continuing professional development in healthcare, as long as they are developing the individual’s skillset. Healthcare professionals CPD examples include attending workshops, seminars and conferences, reading around a certain subject, and participating in CPD courses.

A CPD portfolio would typically include a selection of activities in at least 3 of the following categories:

  1. Work-based
  2. Professional
  3. Formal
  4. Self-directed
  5. Other learning 

Continuing professional development in healthcare needs to be undertaken by each healthcare professional. They are required to keep record of all CPD activities that they have undertaken throughout the year to show their employer, or sometimes the HCPC if they request an audit.

HCPC CPD

The Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) are the regulator for a large number of heath and care professionals. They protect the public and keep a register of professionals who meet HCPC standards for training, skills, behaviour and health. All HCPC CPD registrants must meet the following standards: 

  1. Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  2. Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  3. Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  4. Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  5. Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD. 

Whenever you renew your registration with HCPC, you will be asked to sign a form to confirm that you continue to meet their standards, one of which is their standards for continuing professional development. When each profession renews, they randomly select 2.5 per cent of registrants from that profession and ask them to submit their CPD profile. If you are chosen for audit, you need to:

  • Renew your registration and pay the registration fee (as you normally would).
  • Complete a CPD profile by the deadline.
  • Provide supporting evidence that shows how the activities you have carried out meet their standards and the dates they were undertaken. This should also explain any gaps in your CPD of three or more consecutive months.

If you have not undertaken enough CPD or fail to provide adequate CPD records to the HCPC when making the professional declaration, then they might choose to not renew your license with them. It is therefore of the utmost importance to any healthcare professional to keep a full record of all professional development undertaken in their career.

NHS CPD

A career in the NHS means you can expect an annual personal development review and plan to support your career progression. It's actually written into the NHS Constitution that trusts must invest in the skills and development of all their full- and part-time employees. But NHS CPD isn't just important for career progression, it improves quality of care by ensuring all staff have the skills they need to treat patients. It will give you the opportunity to identify any training and development needs with your manager, making it easier to progress through the NHS bands and potentially earn more money.

NHS CPD continues to be one of the leading methods for healthcare professionals to stay up to date with the changing standards in the industry. As stated in the NHS Long Term Plan for England, much of the development of the existing workforce will fall to continuing education (CE) and training (CET) or CPD programmes, unique to each professional group.

If you are searching for NHS run CPD accredited courses to take, you can search on our member directory by clicking here.

Recording your CPD

Healthcare professionals are required to undertake 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) relevant to your scope of practice, over the three years prior to the renewal of your registration. Of those 35 hours of CPD, 20 must include participatory learning. You must maintain accurate records of the CPD you have undertaken which must contain:

  • The CPD method;
  • A description of the topic and how it related to your practice;
  • The dates on which the activity was undertaken;
  • The number of hours (including the number of participatory hours);
  • The identification of the part of the Code most relevant to the activity;
  • Evidence that you undertook the CPD activity

As a participant of any CPD course, you should make sure that the organiser is offering some formal method of logging the number of CPD points/hours you would’ve gained by attending. A certificate of attendance can be used to demonstrate a professionals' Continuing Professional Development participation. A CPD Certificate of Attendance is an official document used to prove that a person has been to any conference or seminar relevant to their specific job role in order to claim the CPD points/hours or credits for his or her participation. It is one of the best ways of logging your CPD activities for your employer.

CPD for Healthcare Professionals

We hope this article was helpful, please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, healthcare CPD courses, and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development.

CPD News Team

For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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