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Guidance for CPD diary users

We provide an on-line diary scheme, which facilitates the recording of, and reflection of activities for consultant physicians, staff and associate specialist physicians, trainee physicians and physician associates.

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Please note that the below guidance is for Consultant/SAS Physicians. Physician Associates may wish to refer to guidance here.

CPD diary cycle

The CPD diary runs on an annual cycle, from 1 April to 31 March each year. At the end of each CPD year, you can print or export a PDF of the annual CPD appraisal report certificate detailing your CPD credits. This can be presented at your annual appraisal to demonstrate completion of required CPD. 


CPD recommendations (31/03/2023)

The GMC requires doctors to carry out CPD that covers the whole scope of their practice, but does not require doctors to record a certain number of credits annually.  The GMC emphasises that at a doctor’s appraisal the quality of the CPD and their reflection on that CPD are particularly important. We believe that providing guidance to physicians about the amount of time that they should devote to their professional development is helpful and also believes that a CPD record that includes an indication of the time a physician has committed to their professional development can be useful for appraisers. We also recognise that some physicians prefer a credit-based approach to CPD. Therefore, we continue to make recommendations regarding the amount of CPD it advises physicians to undertake and for the 2023-24 diary year, the recommendation is that physicians undertake 50 hours of CPD, of which 25 hours should be external CPD, although this is not mandatory. 

‘We are in the process of updating the CPD Diary guidelines and CPD Diary itself to reflect the above guidance’

CPD Diary guidance for Physicians       Reflecting on CPD: Guidance for physicians


Includes information on:

  • how the CPD diary works (including annual credit recommendations)

  • participation

  • eligibility

  • how to record CPD activities

  • regulations


CPD requirements and the impact of COVID-19 for Physicians (2020/2021)

*Please note the CPD year runs 1 April to 31 March


The following is an update summary. Full guidance can be found below.

Livestreamed events, archived events and e-learning options

Alongside the providers of CPD, we have adapted to the circumstances of the pandemic and the loss of live events. There has been a rapid expansion in approval of livestreamed CPD and where these events have also been made available ‘on demand’, we have automatically approved archived access for 4 weeks after the event. There is also an option for providers to seek approval for on-demand access beyond the 4-week period and you can find more about our newly approved e-libraries and e-platforms here.

Changes to external and personal credits

We have acted to reduce the complexity of the rules governing CPD credits and we are in the process of making changes to the CPD Diary to reflect this. Unlimited external credits can be gained from live events, live-streamed events, e-learning, courses and approved archived events.

We are working to remove the cap of 10 approved distance learning credits. Self-certified distance learning can now be added as external via the ‘Distance Learning’ tab under ‘Add Self-Certified Entry’. On the Physicians’ CPD app, ‘Self-Certified Distance Learning’ is present as an option of ‘Class’ when you add a self-certified entry.


We will also be extending the cap on personal credits per CPD diary year on the system from 10 up to 20 credits. However, a maximum of 10 personal credits should be claimed for examining activities. 

*2021/22 CPD diary year

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