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College to pilot an outcomes-based approach to CPD

At its meeting on 10 November the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Council approved a pilot of a new outcomes-based approach to measuring and recording continuing professional development.

In June the College held a six-week consultation with the profession asking them for their views on its proposal for an outcomes-based approach to CPD, which would concentrate less on hours logged and more on interactive, reflective learning and measuring the impact that CPD has on the individual’s practice and patient health outcomes.

The proposed model for CPD had four key components: planning, doing, recording and reflecting. While an overall majority of the 3,357 people who responded to the College’s consultation agreed with the proposed changes to the CPD requirement, certain elements received less support than others. The lowest amount of support was received for the ‘reflection’ component with 35% of respondents disagreeing with it.

With this in mind the RCVS Education Committee, at its October meeting, decided that a pilot of a new outcomes-based approach should be held during 2017 with a group of volunteers, before making a recommendation to RCVS Council.

Professor Stephen May, who chaired the Working Group that developed the CPD proposals, explained: “Because of the concern voiced by members of the profession responding to the consultation we decided that, at this stage, it would not be appropriate for the RCVS to move straight into this new way of doing CPD but that it would be more appropriate to hold a pilot. The idea is that we will explore some of the concerns around reflection and around the extra time and paperwork that people felt that a more reflective approach may lead to.

“We have taken all these comments into account and are now seeking to work with individual volunteers on this pilot. It is important to note that we are not only looking for volunteers who agree with what we are doing but also those who are apprehensive about it or even some who see it as something they do not support. We want to explore the full range of views and how we can move forward in changing our approach to CPD.”

The pilot is expected to be launched in February next year and the College is now looking for volunteers who both support the proposals and have a ‘healthy scepticism’ about them. Volunteers will receive help and support throughout the trial and will also be invited to attend an introductory CPD meeting at the RCVS offices in February.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Jenny Soreskog-Turp, RCVS CPD Officer, on

Further information, including the CPD Policy Working Party’s response to the consultation and the full interview with Stephen May, is available at

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