• Vol. 33 No. 6, 711–714
  • 15 November 2004

Continuing Professional Development – a Surrogate for Recertification?



Medical practitioners are certified as competent when they graduate from medical schools. They are certified as competent specialists after they have completed the various specialist training programmes. To maintain specialist status, the commonest requirement is mandatory continuing professional development (CPD), and in some places, continuing medical education (CME), which has been perceived by some as inadequate because it is passive, and skills and professionalism are excluded. In order to sustain the standard of medical practice and to assure quality of care, some registration organisations require that recertification be conducted not only through CPD, but written and oral examinations as well. In this manner, the criteria for quality medical care, which are evidence of professional standing, lifelong learning and self-assessment, cognitive functioning and evaluation of performance in practice, are fulfilled. CPD should involve educational activities of the medical practitioner’s choice and be capable of enhancing his or her practice at any particular period of time. Well-structured, well-designed and validated CPD can be considered as a surrogate for recertification.

The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine is a statutory body set up in 1993 with the objectives of fostering the development of postgraduate medical education and continuing medical education, the study and practice of medicine and its specialties, and medical research. It is concerned with the standard of specialist practice in Hong Kong and has been taking the lead in maintaining the standard of medical practice in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

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