What can I claim as CPD?

New learning which improves practice can be considered as CPD. Ideally, CPD should include activities both within and outside the employing organisation, where there is one. Self-accreditation of relevant activities and documented reflective learning are key components of CPD. It is the responsibility of individuals to ensure that they undertake a range of CPD to address those needs identified in their PDP and that reflects the local and national needs of their practice and their own learning needs. CPD activities are expected to link into an individual’s PDP with at least 25 credits being directly linked to it as a specialist (and 7 credits as a practitioner).

Personal CPD activities do not have to be formally accredited to count as CPD credits. Individuals are advised to assess the content of meetings and other CPD activities in relation to their own PDP and make a judgement about their value. This self-evaluation is actively encouraged. As a guide, count one credit per hour of ‘real educational time’, three credits for half a day and five credits for a full day. Any single reflective note should not cover more than five credits.

Categories of CPD

Categories assist people to classify CPD and to ensure that a balance of activities is undertaken.

Categories of educational activities which may include new learning are:

a) Learning as part of your job

b) Group work, seminars and journal clubs

c) Conferences

d) workshops and educational meetings

e) Formal courses

f) Private study and reading

g) PH audit, appraisal and reflective practice

h) Training, teaching, examining and preparation time

i) Research

j) Organisational development activities

k) Inspection and review activities.

Credit requirement

To remain in good standing, specialist members are required to complete a minimum of 50 credits per year unless FPH has formally exempted them from this requirement. Practitioner members are required to complete a minimum of 15 credits per year unless FPH has formally exempted them from this requirement. For the purposes of collecting CPD credits, the FPH year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

It should be noted that gaining more credits does not necessarily equate with better learning or higher quality of practice. When auditing CPD returns, auditors only consider reflective notes for the first 100 credits. 

How these credits should be divided

The FPH scheme is flexible as it relates to the individual’s job. However, there are the following limitations on credits:

  • No single category (a-k above) should normally contribute more than 50% of the total hours achieved.
  • Private reading should form no more than 20% of the total claimed and each piece of learning should be supported by a reflective note.
  • Publications and preparation under category (i) are allowed up to a maximum of 5 hours for each item.
  • Maximum of 5 credits to be claimed in any one reflective note (If for example a 3 day conference is attended, an individual may claim up to 5 credits for each day of the conference, however 3 reflective notes must be submitted for each 5 credits demonstrating new learning).
  • Multi-day conferences require separate reflective notes for each day, which should be different.
  • A minimum of 25 credits must directly address needs identified in the current PDP (and 7 credits as a practitioner).
  • All credits claimed must be supported by reflective notes
  • No more than 100 credits should be claimed in any one year. 

Certain major pieces of work, such as the writing of books, external courses and higher degrees, may be apportioned across the categories and spread over a period of more than one year.

Before claiming credits for any CPD activity, consider:

  • Was there new learning?
  • Have I recorded this in a reflective notes?
  • Is the activity linked to my PDP

Specific exclusions from consideration for CPD credits 

Normally, meetings, committee activity, routine operational work and routine academic activities with no significant new learning are not creditable as CPD. For example:

  • Examining for FPH's the Diplomate (DFPH) and the Final Membership (MFPH) examinations (unless participating or preparing a question for the first time or unless new learning can be demonstrated) is an excluded activity for CPD. If there is any new learning that can be demonstrated, the examiner should write a reflective note and claim CPD credits
  • Lecturing which does not involve substantial new learning (for example the same lecture given regularly and minimally updated)
  • Attending routine committee meetings or other business meetings
  • Articles in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in books, reports and official documents where the author has not undertaken new learning and substantial writing.


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