• Vol. 34 No. 11, 714–719
  • 15 December 2005

Continuing Professional Development – Supporting the Delivery of Quality Healthcare



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Patients and the general public have a right to expect that doctors remain up to date and are professionally competent. The ultimate aim of continuing professional development (CPD) is to contribute to high-quality patient care. The General Medical Council in the UK has published guidance in relation to standards for CPD, appraisal and revalidation. Doctors in the UK participate in an annual appraisal, the outcome of which is the development of the Personal Development Plan. This paper describes a framework for effective CPD and includes methods of self-assessment of clinical practice. Contributions to effective CPD come from 3 sources – doctors, CPD providers and accrediting bodies. The CPD system of recording credits currently in use by the Royal Colleges of Physicians in the UK is also described.

In this paper, we will consider the expectations of patients and the general public in the United Kingdom regarding their healthcare, and the advice given by the General Medical Council (GMC) in their publication Good Medical Practice, which has become fundamental in the setting and monitoring of clinical standards in the UK.

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