Introduction Achievement of minimum requirements for CPD and auditable evidence will be required for re-validation. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) 2009 CPD audit demonstrated a sizeable minority of paediatricians who had inadequate CPD (27%), inadequate evidence (10%) or failed to submit any evidence (25%). The present study aimed to investigate members' views of the current guidelines and audit.
Method A stratified random sample of 890 paediatricians was selected from the membership and surveyed using SurveyMonkey. 377 (42%) responded comprising consultants (82.8%), SAS grade doctors (14.4%) and “others” (3.5%).
Results Overall the majority of respondents supported the requirements of the CPD guidelines and the on-line record with the most, 79%, supporting 250 credits/5 years and the least, 57%, supporting the minimum 40 clinical credits per year. Most kept evidence of CPD with 92% having evidence of >75% of external CPD but only 48% for internal CPD. Most respondents would not be satisfied by some evidence currently accepted on its own for the RCPCH audit including programmes, handouts, personal diaries, meeting minutes, invoices and study leave forms. A significant minority had negative views. Of 349, 26 disagreed with the credit recommendation of 50 per year, 38/345 with the minimum of 40 clinical credits and 38/348 with the minimum 25 external credits. Approximately three times these proportions had neutral views. 53/333 disagreed with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges standard for Colleges to audit CPD. Only 3/76 who had been audited reported failing to submit evidence. Between 7% and 16% reported difficulty meeting minimum requirements for CPD and open responses indicated concerns due to lack of time and funding.
Conclusion Overall, CPD requirements, including the requirement for keeping auditable records, are accepted by paediatricians. However, a number still hold negative views. Respondents to this survey were far more likely to have submitted evidence than is the case in the RCPCH audit implying that non-respondents are more likely to have negative views on this important pillar for re-validation. There appears to be support for more rigorous requirements for evidence of CPD at audit. External factors such as lack of time and funding for CPD also continue to be a problem.
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