In April 2001 the College introduced personal development plans (PDPs) as the mechanism for achieving continuing professional development (CPD) objectives. We moved from an individual, retrospective points counting exercise to a prospective peer-group based activity centring on individuals' learning objectives (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2001). The current CPD policy is due for review in 2005. It is largely in line with General Medical Council guidance, Continuing Professional Development (April 2004) and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, CPD: The Ten Principles. A Framework for Continuing Professional Development (February 2002), and major revision will not be necessary. Two significant changes will be incorporated in the new policy. The first is an audit procedure whereby a random 5% of returns will be subject to further scrutiny. This is a process audit and necessary for the quality assurance of the system as a whole (Bouch & Jackson, 2004). The second will allow us to complete up to 10 h of our 50-h minimum requirement for attending meetings, by engaging in online CPD activities.
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