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
31 January 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 are currently reviewing our policy on applications submitted by formula milk companies. If you are a representative of a formula milk company or are organising an event on behalf of a formula milk company and intend to apply for RCPCH CPD approval, please first contact the CPD Approvals team at cpd@rcpch.ac.uk for further information.

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.


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.

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