The new CPD scheme – a few myths busted

It’s still a while till the CPD scheme officially begins, (September 2018 I believe), and so still plenty of time to get to grips with it, but there are a few misconceptions floating around, that would be better nipped in the bud.

So here goes, a little more clarity….

You CAN do your peer review with a mate down the pub

How many times have I heard this now, with regard to the Peer Discussion Review?  “What’s to stop people just going down the pub with a mate and signing off each other’s CPD?”.  Well, I’ve heard it at least ten times, and the answer is “Nothing if you conduct the review properly”.  I have it on good authority that

1) a “mate” doing your peer review is fine, as long as they are a “critical friend”,  and in fact that would be definitely preferable to an intimidating stranger or senior colleague who  might make you clam up – indeed I heard the new phrase “critical friend” recently at the BSO, and that’s the kind of role the reviewer needs to be playing here

2) the pub as an environment is not specifically ruled out by the Council. Yes, let’s face it, pubs aren’t what they used to be.  We’re not talking about doing the review over 6 pints of Stella in the Queen Vic while simultaneously participating in a darts tournament and flirting with an attractive patient you’ve just bumped into.  I don’t know what pubs are like where you are, but down Hove way you’re more likely to be enjoying a beetroot and goat’s cheese tartlet with a rocket and bresaola salad, listening to subtle ambient jazz, and basking in muted Farrow and Ball tones and a stylish decor several notches higher in the taste ratings than your own home.  I can hardly imagine a more comforting and neutral environment than this in which to do the review.  So while a pub is not exactly recommended, it’s more about the attitude and decorum with which you conduct the peer review.


Well this looks a civilised place for a peer discussion review

You CAN do a straight swap peer review with one other person

Yes, if you’re enjoying yourself, in no hurry to get home, and tempted to have a double shot latte and try the rhubarb and Amoretti trifle, there’s nothing to stop you being peer reviewer straight back to the person who reviewed you.  The Council have checks and balances in place to spot collusion and fraud, they trust us to be mature and responsible about this, and they will still audit a certain percentage (maybe about 20%).  Also, you get CPD points for BEING a peer reviewer.

You don’t absolutely HAVE TO do 30 hours CPD a year, but it probably helps

I was somewhat confused about this.  You WILL still have to declare your CPD hours every year, when you fill in your annual renewal form.  This is partly so the Council can let you know how many hours you still have to do, and give you a nudge if you’re falling behind on your hours.  You will also probably have to declare which specific core activities you have done (e.g. objective feedback, consent and communication, peer review) but this is partly just to let GOsC know how people are doing and whether there is going to be a stampede for certain resources at a late stage.  The Council EXPECT, SUGGEST and STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you spread the 90 hours evenly over the three years, and I think it would be advisable to try to do 30 hours each year, but if you declare 29 hours in the first year, well, I think that will probably be fine.

The issue is that in practice, if you do the whole 90 hours in one short period, you’re not really fulfilling a requirement to “keep up to date” which is implicitly stated in the standards and requirements.  So yes, if you have some life misfortune that renders you unable to do CPD for a year or two, that wouldn’t necessarily be held against you, but you would need to explain just why you had  such a long stretch without doing the necessary background CPD that you need in practice.    This would definitely have to be dealt with in your peer review.  Just saying you’d done a 100-hour course in the first year so you decided to take the next 2 years off will probably not be acceptable.

You don’t really PASS or FAIL your peer review

As long as you have your peer review before the 11th hour of the last day of the last week of the 3 year cycle, you have some breathing space.  If it doesn’t really pass muster, your reviewer will probably identify the shortcomings and you will have time to redress them.  It makes the process more fluid than the current rigid and somewhat paternalistic CPD system.  Try and get it done in good time.

The best place to find out about things is the CPD website

Yes there is now a valid and reliable source of information with lots of guidance and FAQs and you can find it here.

You DON’T have to be observed by a peer

There seems to be a belief afoot that we have to be observed in practice.  No, no, no, no, no. It is true that patients LOVE the idea that we would have a regular inspection, and say it increases their confidence in us, however as anyone who is privy to a teacher the morning of their Ofsted inspection knows, many people do find being observed doing their day job quite stressful.  It is ONE option, and at certain points in my career when my confidence was sky-high I would have quite relished the opportunity, sold tickets even, but I’ve been working on my own for a few years now, and wouldn’t necessarily rush for this.  Other options include

  1. NCOR’s PROMS (I’m going to be trying this soon, and I understand it’s very easy, very useful for the profession, not exposing and you get feedback on how well your patients have done)
  2. Clinic audits
  3. Discussing case reports with colleagues
  4. Giving patients questionnaires for direct feedback

This is not an exhaustive list, and I think you could devise your own form of objective activity should you want.  But for those who like a bit of help, there are going to be forms and templates and guidance aplenty for whatever suits you on the website (did I mention it earlier?), and it’s likely there will be an “objective” option to suit everyone.  The Council think it’d be a good idea to do this at the beginning of your 3 year cycle, as you then identify your strengths and weaknesses and needs, but that is not mandatory.

You CAN’T strictly use animal CPD courses as CPD

No the CPD is all about osteopathy on humans.  If you are signed up to some all-consuming equine osteopathy course, though, there might be elements of it which have transferable principles, and as long as you can sensibly and honestly explain how those elements could apply to humans and help your practice with people, you might be able to submit those.

GOsC are trying to be LESS, not MORE paternalistic

Yes, less big brother, more kind big sister or even critical friend, if that’s not a contradiction in terms.  They want to trust us, to give us more control, not less, and help us have a mature attitude to our CPD.

Read previous posts here:

The new CPD scheme in more detail

The early adopters view of the new CPD scheme


One thought on “The new CPD scheme – a few myths busted

  1. Pingback: It’s Day One at the Sutherland Cranial Conference | osteofm

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