CPD approval of distance and online learning - how to apply

As part of our accreditation programme, RCPCH CPD approval is a recognised mark of quality for your distance learning (DL) or online learning.
Last modified
22 November 2019

Benefits of CPD approval

RCPCH CPD approval demonstrates that your programme meets essential quality criteria, including clear aims and objectives, faculty and presenter information, defined learning content and a suitable evaluation process.

Benefits include:

  • publicity for the organiser to over 5,000 paediatricians via the online CPD Diary
  • consistency of structure between resources
  • improved user understanding of the value of a learning resource for their professional development.

The RCPCH CPD approval process is in line with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges standards and criteria for CPD activities framework guidance.

How to apply for CPD approval

We encourage all providers to read the guidelines document before submitting an application for CPD approval. This sets out the approval process, fees involved, providers responsibilities, wording to be used and other terms and conditions.

Please submit a completed application form below no later than eight weeks prior to the planned launch or prior to inclusion of RCPCH approval on all relevant materials via email to cpd@rcpch.ac.uk.

Applications from formula milk manufacturers or those acting on their behalf are no longer accepted. For further information, please refer to the statement below.


See the guidelines for providers document below.

Disclaimer for CPD approval

It is the responsibility of the individual course participant to make a professional judgement about the relevance, quality and appropriateness of RCPCH CPD approved courses for their own learning and CPD. RCPCH CPD approval does not imply an in-depth quality review of course content or speaker expertise. It does ensure course programmes include clear aims and objectives, faculty and presenter information, defined learning content and a suitable evaluation process.

Applications from formula milk manufacturers

On 13 February 2019, RCPCH declared that it would no longer accept any funding or direct payment from formula milk companies (FMCs). RCPCH respects the discretion of its partner organisations to exercise their independence to engage appropriately with formula milk companies and does not seek to influence their collaboration, but it will always recommend that its partner organisations reject any inappropriate marketing of formula milk products at their events or alongside their activities. 

What does this means for RCPCH CPD approval or endorsement of courses, eLearning and other educational products?

We will no longer accept applications for CPD approval or endorsement from FMCs and their subsidiaries or organisations acting on their behalf, as this constitutes direct funding/payment. We will accept applications from non-commercial organisations or doctors for CPD approval or endorsement whose educational activities are (co-) sponsored by FMCs, on the understanding that the fee for the service is not paid for from the FMC sponsorship. As with our existing CPD approval and endorsement processes, we would expect organisers to reject any inappropriate marketing of formula milk products, or any other commercial products, at their events and not allow any promotional activities to be included in the educational programme or teaching areas.

For further information, see our statement and FAQs.

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and free online access medical education (FOAM)

MOOCs including FOAM are becoming more popular as they are free, readily accessible and provide a range of interactive activities including user forums that can help build a learning community. The RCPCH recognises that the quality of these courses varies considerably and the learner should consider the educational value to their own learning and development.

When using MOOCs (or any online course) for CPD purposes the RCPCH suggests the following:

  • MOOCs may contribute to ‘personal’ CPD.
  • Alternatively, when incorporated within interactive group learning, ‘internal’ or ‘external’ categories may be more appropriate.
  • Broadly, one hour of learning from a MOOC equates to one credit, however credits should be claimed based on personal reflection on learning value and application to practice.

Applications for RCPCH CPD approval of MOOCs will be considered for resources with up to 10 hours of learning content. See distance learning approval guidelines for providers above for further details on the application process and fees.


cpd@rcpch.ac.uk or tel 020 7092 6107