CPD scheme updates and impact on members - key findings

We surveyed members active in the College’s CPD (continuing professional development) scheme in June 2017 to gauge the impact of the changes to the CPD Scheme that were implemented in April 2016, and to gauge effectiveness of the CPD Diary in supporting the revised scheme. The findings are presented here.

The CPD scheme survey opened on 8 May 2017 and closed on 23 June 2017. We received 717 responses from 5,652 active users, a response rate of 12.69% - thank you to all who completed it.

The following presents the findings of the survey including actions the CPD section will carry out as a result of the survey. A full copy of the survey results is available to download below.

CPD scheme

69.8% of those responding to the survey were aware of the changes made to the CPD Scheme in April 2016.

  • Comment: 30.2% of CPD scheme users surveyed were unaware of the changes despite items of communications being disseminated in 2016/2017 directly to CPD Diary members, via the College’s e-Bulletin, as well as posted to the CPD pages of the website, the CPD Diary alerts section.
  • Action: The RCPCH will continue to engage with ongoing communications to help to embed the revised scheme guidance.

The majority of respondents (70.5%) still record credits.

  • Comment: We recognise that credits will be used as a personal measure by doctors and also that some appraisers may still expect to see credits. The revised scheme has now been in place for one year, so we also recognise that the period of change is still ongoing before it is full embedded.
  • Action: RCPCH needs to continue to educate doctors and appraisers that credits are not a requirement for CPD or revalidation, and clarify the misconception that the GMC require credits. 

46.4% stated that they always recorded a reflection (even before the scheme changes) and a further 26.6% stated that they now record a reflection (since the changes were introduced). The majority of those who didn’t record a reflection stated that they “didn’t have time to record a reflection for each entry”.

  • Comment: It is positive that 73% of users surveyed record a reflection to accompany their activity entries. This supports the GMC recommended approach to appraisal and revalidation. It is worth noting that the survey did not query further into the nature of the reflection, i.e. the detail of the entries.
  • Action: The RCPCH will continue to reinforce the value of reflection. The GMC are also improving reflection guidance as part of the wider revalidation agenda

CPD Diary

The majority of respondents (88.14%) used the RCPCH CPD Diary. When queried further into why they use the College’s Diary, the majority stated that “it is easy to use” and “liked having a Diary that wasn’t linked to an employer”.

  • Comment: It is positive that the vast majority of respondents use the College’s CPD Diary (87.9%). Also of note is that a significant proportion like having a system not linked to an employer, or don’t have access to another system for CPD. It is also positive that such a high number find it easy to use.
  • Action: RCPCH should continue to invest in provision of a CPD Diary for its members, ensuring the system is secure, fit for purpose, value for money, and meets members’ needs. RCPCH should continue to inform members that joining the CPD scheme is strongly recommended, but not mandatory, and data duplication is not required, if a user already inputs full CPD data into a local employer system.

The majority of respondents who did not use the Diary stated that they “don’t wish to duplicate records on another system”.

  • Comment: The RCPCH is supportive of not duplicating records and acknowledges that doctors may be required to use a system recommended by their employer, or prefer to use another process other than the CPD Diary.

The majority use the Diary only on a desktop (PC or Mac) (63.2%) and 27.6% use both the desktop and mobile (Web App) versions.

The majority of those that didn’t use the Web App stated that they “preferred to use the desktop version to record CPD” (63.9%) and that they “don’t like recording CPD on a mobile device” (29.8%).The majority of Web App users stated that they use it because they “like recording activities on the go” and they “find it quicker/easier to record CPD on a mobile device”.

  • Comment: The RCPCH acknowledges that whilst a mobile version of the CPD Diary is available for “on-the-move” recording of CPD activities, it is intended to complement and not replace the desktop version of the CPD Diary.

70.1% of users have not experienced any issues using either versions of the CPD Diary

  • Comment: It is extremely positive that 70% of users do not experience any issues when using the CPD Diary. We believe that the majority of issues experienced when using the web app will have been linked to a previously known issue with Apple devices and the iOS annual software updates which impacted on the app's functionality.

The survey asked respondents about CPD Diary functionality which they found most useful. Respondents indicated the summary report of CPD credits, adding a basic activity, report of selected activities by date range and the auto-save function.

The survey asked respondents about CPD Diary funtionality which they may not know about.

In response to the question "I did not know this option was available [on the CPD Diary]", respondents indicated the following:

  • Auto-save
  • Reflection reminder emails (desktop only)
  • Ability to record CPD activities offline for later synching to desktop (web app only)
  • Ability to create recurring activities e.g. for weekly grand rounds, MDT meetings (desktop only)
  • Ability to filter and sort activities by date range, keyword and ‘reviewed’ status
  • Report of activities linked to GMC revalidation domains by date range
  • Add activity via calendar (desktop only)
  • Ability to upload resources to activity
  • Personal Development Plan (desktop only)
  • Report of selected activities by date range (desktop only)
  • Action: The RCPCH will provide further user guidance for features which have been indicated as unfamiliar to users.

Other comments "I would like the CPD Diary to link to external systems"

  • Comment: It is not possible to link to other systems and there are no current plans to implement this feature, due to the sheer number of external systems. However, all data can be exported for upload into other systems.