CPD requirements and COVID-19 (2020/21 CPD year)


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

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. 

E-platforms and E-libraries


We have recently started approving e-libraries and e-platforms for external CPD.


CPD diary users

These large e-learning resources may be visited on multiple occasions. After you revisit an e-library or e-platform, we advise that you update the first entry for that resource in your CPD Diary for the year in question. Select the title of that resource, then the ‘Reflections’ tab to add additional reflections and adjust the number of credits. The maximum character count is just over 1000 per question and all text will appear on your Reflection Report. At present if you record more than 10 external approved distance learning credits, the additional credits will appear as personal credits. Work is in progress to address this to allow unlimited external approved distance learning credits.

CPD event and activity providers

To seek approval for your e-platform or e-library, please view our guidance and application form here.

Update on payment and new services


We have changed the way we take payment for CPD approval, released new approval guidelines and have launched some new CPD approval services which may be of interest to you. If you have to change the format of a live event that is held regularly and you are concerned that the modified event doesn't fulfil our criteria for approval, please contact the CPD team.

Payments Up Front
In order to protect the time of our CPD reviewers, we're changing our processes to ensure that payment is confirmed before an application is sent for review. Whilst this won't affect applications that are submitted and paid via credit/debit cards (our recommended method) there may be a delay for those paying by invoice.


As ever, we recommend making payment as soon as possible. If paying by invoice, we also recommend ensuring the bank details are consistent with those listed generated on the invoice and if possible, sending the CPD team a confirmation of payment when available. This change will be implemented on Monday 13th July 2020.

New Live Event Approval Guidelines
We are happy to announce that we have released our our new live event approval guidelines. You also may wish to refer to our live streamed and webinar guidance as well as our guidance on the involvement of pharmaceutical companies/device manufacturers.

Live Streamed Lecture and Webinar Programmes
Given feedback from providers, we have now adapted the fee structure for programmes of live-streamed lectures and webinars taking place on different dates. Provided that events in the programme are no longer than two hours and the total programme is no longer than six hours then we can charge the equivalent of a one day fee.

When filling out the application form, we recommend submitting with the title of the programme under step 1 and adding each event with dates under step 2. Due to technical limitations within our system we would need to manually override the fee so please contact the CPD team before making payment if you are submitting an application for a live-streamed event or webinar programme.

Archived Webinar Approval
As you're likely aware, during the pandemic we have agreed to include approval for archived access to the recorded version of a live-streamed event or webinar for up to four weeks after the event. We are launching an additional service to extend approval of the archived version for up to a year after the event. You can find out more information on the application form here.

Approval of e-libraries and e-platforms
We're also introducing approval for e-platforms and e-libraries provided by established organisations with a track record of excellence in medical education. The guidelines and application form will be published in the near future. Please contact us on the contact details below to register interest.

Extension of the 2019/2020 deadline


We are pleased to announce that we have extended the time available to add/edit/remove entries for the 2019/20 CPD year to Friday 31 July 2020. The previous deadline being Tuesday 30 June 2020. Please note that for technical reasons the deadline extension may not work via the Physicians' CPD app, so in order to take advantage of the extension you may need to make any changes directly to the CPD diary.


For further clarification, queries or concerns, please feel free to contact us at or 020 3075 1309 / 1426


Live streaming and webinar guidance


We recently notified all event providers of our Live Streaming and Webinar Requirements and you may wish to refer to our Live Streamed Events and Live Webinar Guidance document. In order to help users and providers in the current circumstances, we are making some further adjustments, please see our updates below. We also expect to release new event approval guidelines shortly.

Live Streaming and Webinars

During the current pandemic, busy Consultants may not be able to tune-in to your event live. Therefore, when the Federation approves a live-streamed event or webinar during the current pandemic, we will also approve access to the archived version for four weeks after the event date.

Please note that there should be no advertising or promotional material linked to the archived version. The number of credits will be the same as for the live event. Participants accessing the archived version of the event may record this in their CPD diary using the approval code provided for the live event for up to four weeks after the event date.

Archived Webinars
For providers seeking approval beyond the four-week period after their live-streamed event or webinar, we are reviewing our policy to include additional archived webinar approval for a modest additional fee. We hope to communicate more information by the end of June.

Distance Learning Approval

We are continuing to approve distance learning modules as per usual and will be broadening our distance learning approval to include approval of e-platforms and e-libraries. More will follow in due course.


Update on CPD requirements for Physicians

The Federation is waiving all numerical CPD credit targets for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 years. Of greater importance than the number of credits obtained will be that Physicians show evidence of engagement with the CPD process and with reflection. CPD diary users have already been informed of this.

Payment for Approval Applications

Please note that we have new bank details which have been updated on all invoices you generate from the system. Please update your supplier details if required. We also no longer accept payment via cheque.

CPD requirements and COVID-19 (2019/2020 CPD year)


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

We are aware that some of you will be in the unfortunate position of having had your CPD activity cancelled or postponed due to the developing COVID-19 situation as we reach the end of the 2019/20 CPD year. In addition, the situation for the next CPD year, 2020/21, is now looking uncertain. 
With regard to the current CPD rules, we should like to emphasise the following

  • The Federation annual credit requirements (50 overall with 25 external) are recommendations only. The GMC as the regulator does not require a fixed number of CPD credits. 

  • Within the Federation guidelines if there is a shortfall in one year this can be addressed in other years as long as the 5 year recommendations are met (250 over the 5 years, half external.)


However, in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we propose varying these requirements. We will support a flexible approach to CPD requirements for the remainder of the current CPD year and, in addition, for the next CPD year. Of greater importance than the number of credits obtained will be that Physicians show evidence of engagement with the CPD process. This will of course will be judged by appraisers, but we hope that appraisers will very much take this statement into account when assessing CPD. 

We're also in the process of proposing measures that will make it easier to engage with CPD during the current pandemic. We will share further details of these with you soon. 

Standard End of CPD year Checklist

Please note that the information below is the standard end of year advice for completion of the diary year in accordance with Federation recommendations so please take the above information regarding CPD requirements and COVID-19 into consideration. Before 30 June 2020, we advise that you have completed the following:


Met the minimum credit requirements

The annual credit requirements recommended by the Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians are 50 credits of which 25 should be external and a maximum of 10 personal. The five year cycle requirements are 250 credits of which 125 should be external and a maximum of 50 personal. 

Check that you have achieved the annual minimum credit requirements by going to the 'Summary' page of your online CPD diary. Once fully completed, you will have received two green ticks for the 2019/20 year on the 'Credits Achieved' tab. On the Physicians' CPD app, check the main wheel is displaying as green. We recommend viewing your CPD annual appraisal report which you can email to yourself from the app by pressing onto the main wheel, scrolling down and selecting 'Reports' as per our tutorial.

Completed an Annual Reflection

Complete an annual reflection for the 2019/20 CPD year on your CPD over the last 12 months. 

Added/Evaluated CPD Activities Correctly

Ensure that you have added all the CPD activities you have completed between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 and that these have been evaluated correctly. An activity that hasn't been evaluated will state 'partially evaluated' or 'not yet evaluated.'