Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

OP98. Continuing Professional Development: Guidance for Psychiatrists

Price: £0.00

Published: Mar 2015

Status: current

Number of pages: 24

Download free PDF version

This report is only available online – there are no printed copies available to buy.  Please use the link above to view and download a PDF file of the report.

You may also be interested in the book: Management for Psychiatrists (4th edn)

All doctors in non-training grades who have a licence to practise and wish to remain on the General Medical Council (GMC) register must participate in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities to meet the requirements of revalidation. The GMC requires documented proof of CPD as an essential part of successful appraisal and revalidation.

This report is the College’s new guidance for psychiatrists on CPD.

It strengthens important areas and clarifies issues that the College’s Professional Standards department knows from its helpdesk needed to be addressed. In terms of underlying principles, the two major amendments are promotion of reflection as part of the CPD process to improve practice and emphasising the responsibilities of the peer group in assuring the College of the quality of colleagues’ CPD.

This guidance applies to all psychiatrists, consultants, speciality doctors, associate specialists, senior clinical medical officers, staff grade doctors and other doctors in similar posts.

Please note this report replaces all previously published guidance on the subject of CPD, including CR157. Good Psychiatric Practice: Continuing Professional Development (2nd edn) from 2010 and CR90. Good Psychiatric Practice: CPD from 2001.

Other 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.
  • 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 (rather than cheapest or most convenient) way.
  • Being in good standing with the College for CPD cannot be carried over during periods of extended leave. The psychiatrist can either make up the required credits within the CPD year or accept that they will not be in good standing for this period.
  • Reading, if accompanied by evidence of appropriate reflection can count for up to 5 of the maximum 25 credits allowed for e-learning.


  • Introduction
  • Peer groups for CPD
  • CPD activities: requirements
  • The role of reflection in CPD
  • Recording CPD
  • Planning and review of CPD activity
  • Quality control of CPD activity
  • Responsibilities of employers
  • Special circumstances
  • References and further information
  • Appendix 1. Peer group meeting record
  • Appendix 2. Reflective note guidance


Login - Members Area

If you don't have an account please Click here to Register

Make a Donation


Further information on the College’s CPD programme.


You can gain half of your annual CPD requirement (25 hours) by using our
e-learning site CPD Online.
Find out more.


Quick link to the CPD Online site.