Continued Professional Development

The CPD programme is open to all UK and Republic of Ireland Fellows, Affiliates and Members and is designed for all ophthalmologists whether or not they are employed within the NHS.

All healthcare professionals are expected to keep themselves up-to-date through a self-driven series of educational activities relevant to their practice.  For doctors, this is reviewed as part of their annual appraisal process, and records of the learning achieved contribute to the evidence an individual provides for  their revalidation and assessment of fitness to practice. 

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) describes the learning activities doctors engage in to develop and enhance their performance and proficiency.  It covers the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours across all areas of professional practice.

The RCOphth CPD Programme started in 1996 in response to the requirement for doctors to provide documentation showing participation in CPD activities.

There is no regulatory requirement to acquire a specific number of points each year. However, for doctors who wish to be guided by a credit-based approach, a target of 50 points each year, and 250 points over five years, is suggested.

One CPD point normally equates to one hour of educational activity, preferably demonstrated through a reflective note.  It is the responsibility of individuals to ensure that they undertake a range of CPD activities that reflects the needs of their practice and their own learning.

  • Category A: Clinical and Academic: Internal (Minimum 10 points)
  • Category B: Clinical and Academic: External (Minimum 20 points)
  • Category C: Clinical and Academic: Self-directed (Minimum 5 points)
  • Category D: Professional & Managerial (Minimum 5 points)

Individuals are expected to tailor their CPD activity to meet the objectives of their Professional Development Plans (PDPs).

For further information on the CPD Programme contact [email protected].

How does the RCOphth support CPD?

The College provides support for the appraisal of ophthalmologists by: 


The revalidation pages contain information useful to ophthalmologists preparing for appraisal. It also aims to help appraisers understand the significance of the supporting and in setting or reviewing appropriate objectives for a PDP.

More information about revalidation.