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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Important information regarding the CPD Submissions system

On Monday 21 November we are launching a new database which will allow us to provide Member services more efficiently and effectively. Certain online services will be unavailable in the days leading up to the launch of the database.


From Friday 11 November - Sunday 20 November 2016 it will not be possible to:


  • Register online for CPD Submissions
  • Access the CPD Submission programme on the RCPsych website to add or edit or submit CPD information
  • Generate a certificate of good standing.

If your CPD cycle end date falls within this period, you will still be able to complete the submission process and generate your certificate of good standing either side of the downtime period.


Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience that this may cause you, we will try to minimise disruption during this time and the CPD submissions team will be available on the telephone and email to respond to your queries:


020 3701 2610



Introduction to CPD

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a process of self assessment, self-directed, lifelong learning that complements formal undergraduate and postgraduate education and training. It enables psychiatrists to acquire new knowledge and skills as well as to maintain and improve their standards across all areas of their practice.  It is essential in order to demonstrate fitness to practice and thus be revalidated.
The College helps psychiatrists in this process in a variety of ways:

CPD submission

The CPD Submission programme is open to Members, Fellows, Affiliates and Specialist Associates of the College who can use the programme to demonstrate that they are in good standing for CPD by:
  • being an active member of a peer group that meets at least four times a year; and
  • undertaking at least 50 credits of CPD activity (authorised by the peer group) annually.   
When these minimum requirements have been met, the College will issue a CPD certificate of good standing.
You can register here to use the CPD submission programme. A step-by-step user guide to CPD submission is also available. 

CPD guidance documents

The College has approved new guidance Continuing Professional Development - Guidance for Psychiatrists (OP98) which replaces the previous guidance document (College Report 157).
Key developments in the new guidance include:
  • Psychiatrists involved in any clinical practice will need to undertake at least 30 hours of 'Clinical' CPD each year to be in good standing with the College. This is out of a total of at least 50 hours of peer group-approved CPD activity each year.
  • There is no requirement to undertake specific amounts of 'internal' or 'external' CPD but the peer group should support the psychiatrist to access learning in the most appropriate way.
  • During periods of extended leave (sick leave, parental leave or other career breaks), the psychiatrist can either continue to meet the requirements of the College's CPD scheme or 'stop the clock' and resume their CPD on their return to their work. In these circumstances, a certificate of good standing will not be issued.
  • Reading, if accompanied by evidence of appropriate reflection can count for up to 5 of the maximum 25 credits allowed for e-learning.


Frequently asked questions

In conjunction with the College’s revised CPD Guidance (OP98), please view our frequently asked questions for further information.


Developing a Personal Development Plan (PDP)

The CPD programme should be planned and agreed between a psychiatrist and their appraiser during the annual appraisal, and as part of the psychiatrist's PDP. The PDP should outline a series of development aims and how the psychiatrist intends to achieve these aims, including a summary of CPD activities planned for the coming year.

Getting in touch

You can contact the CPD Submission team via email -
Make a Donation


To access your CPD submission programme please click here.