CPD 2020 policy changes

The RCVS is introducing changes to the CPD policy for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses from January 2020.


Annual CPD hourly targets

From January 2020, there will be a requirement to move to annual CPD hourly targets of 35 hours a year for veterinary surgeons and 15 hours a year for veterinary nurses.

The change supports the need for every vet and VN to undertake regular and relevant CPD. The number of CPD hours required overall has not increased, but the way in which CPD is managed has changed. The move from a rolling 3-year period to annual hours makes it simpler to understand what is required, ensuring everyone achieves their targets each year. It also takes individual circumstances such as parental leave into account, allowing vets and VNs to apply to pause their CPD requirements for up to 6 months, without the need to make up the hours when they return to work.


New CPD recording platform

We are introducing a new online recording platform, 1CPD, for vets and VNs to manage their CPD. This will replace the online Professional Development Record (PDR) from January 2020.

1CPD will make it straightforward to manage CPD requirements. It will be available as an app for iOS and Android, as well as a web version. It will incorporate new features such as image uploads and voice recording, intuitive features that will support the need to reflect on your CPD and the impact it has had on your patients and/or practice. The new platform will be linked to your RCVS ‘My Account’ so you will only need one set of login details to access all your RCVS information.


Outcomes-focused CPD

The new RCVS CPD model focuses on quality, impact and relevance of CPD. Research across a range of professions has demonstrated that CPD activities that focus on outcomes encourage professionals to reflect on what they have learned, how they will apply their learning and how it will improve their practice. This has a positive impact on professionalism and patient health outcomes. Outcome-focused CPD becomes mandatory from January 2022, but we are encouraging veterinary professionals to begin reflective practice as soon as possible.

Vets and VNs chatting

Frequently Asked Questions

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 2020 policy changes

  • Guidance is provided on our current Continuing Professional Development (CPD) page under the heading 'What Counts as CPD?' We don't specify the subjects, activities or type of CPD to be undertaken. Anything that is relevant to you as a professional can be counted as CPD so it does not have to be clinically related or formal learning. Work-based learning such as case or practice discussions can be a great form of CPD.

  • Yes – with the professional judgement allowed in planning the subjects, activities and type of CPD to undertake, it is appropriate that all vets and veterinary nurses on the practising register, whether working full time or part time, in clinical practice or non-clinical practice, should comply with the minimum requirement of 35 hours per year for vets and 15 hours per year for VNs.

  • In certain circumstances including parental leave, a change in family or carer responsibilities or serious illness, you can apply to pause your CPD for up to six months. You can apply to pause your CPD through the RCVS recording platform, 1CPD. If you are not eligible to pause your CPD, please contact the RCVS via email cpd@rcvs.org.uk or call 020 7202 0701.

  • VNs who return to register after a period of 6-18 months will not need to pay a restoration fee.

  • 1CPD will be available in January 2020. It will be available in app format for iOS and Android. It will also be available as a web version if you can’t or prefer not to use the app.

  • 1CPD has been developed by RCVS in consultation with the profession to support your CPD in the most intuitive way possible. It includes features such as voice recording and image uploads which helps support planning and reflecting on your CPD. We strongly encourage you to use it once it launches in January 2020, and it will become mandatory from January 2022.

  • Reflection helps you get the most out of your CPD, and it doesn’t have to be time consuming; the 1CPD recording platform allows you to reflect on your learning by recording a voice memo or writing a short note. Some useful prompts for your reflection are:

    • How did this CPD relate to your learning needs and plan?
    • What are the key things you learned?
    • What impact has the CPD had on you as a professional or in your practice?