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RCVS makes amendments to its new CPD policy

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By Georgina Mills

The RCVS has made some amendments to its new annual CPD requirements following concerns raised by members of the profession.

In May this year, the college announced it would roll out a new model of CPD for vets and vet nurses (VNs).

This involved moving to a more outcomes-based approach, with a focus on self reflection, the introduction of a new CPD recording platform and a shift to annual hourly requirements rather than over a three-year period.

From January 2020, vets will be required to complete 35 hours of CPD each calendar year and VNs 15 hours. This replaces the previous requirement of 105 hours and 45 hours of CPD over a rolling three-year period for vets and VNs, respectively.

However, concerns were raised about how the scheme would accommodate people’s personal circumstances – for example, parental leave or serious health issues – and how people would make up their CPD hours should these situations occur.

In response, the college has now added to the policy that any member of the profession can take a ‘CPD pause’ for up to six months if they temporarily leave work, without the need to make up the hours when they return. The RCVS says this will reduce the burden on vets and VNs returning to practice after a break.

A second change is that vets and VNs will be able to carry over some of the CPD hours they have accrued under the old system in 2019 into 2020, which it is hoped will help smooth the transition to the annual hourly requirement.

Vets will be able to carry over a maximum of 25 hours and VNs 10 hours of accumulated CPD from 2019. This will only apply for 2020, the first year of the new system, and is only applicable to vets and VNs who have been CPD-compliant from 2017 to 2019 and have a surplus number of hours to carry over.

Explaining the new additions, RCVS director of education, Linda Prescott-Clements, said: ‘We hope that these changes to the CPD policy will support vets and VNs to make the transition to an annual hourly requirement. We received a sample of feedback from some members of the veterinary professions regarding the move to annual hourly CPD requirements and these additions have been introduced to support members during this transition and to mitigate some of the concerns raised.’

The new CPD recording platform, with a working title of ‘1CPD’, will be introduced in January 2020 in the form of an app. It will replace the existing Professional Development Phase and all content from this will move over to the new platform.

The outcomes-based approach, which will encourage individuals to reflect on the impact their CPD is having on their work in practice, will be recommended from January 2020, but become mandatory from January 2022.

Our new tool will support reflection in a fast, effective and cost-free way

Prescott-Clements continued: ‘The process of reflection is particularly important as it facilitates a culture of actively looking for ways to improve. Our new tool will support this reflection in a fast, effective and cost-free way. It’s really important for us to get this point across – CPD is incredibly important for a flourishing profession but it doesn’t need to be expensive, stressful or demanding.’

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