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Guidance to help doctors with lifelong learning

Ingrid Torjesen

Monday, 18 June 2012

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The General Medical Council has published guidance to help doctors keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their working life.

Continuing professional development: guidance for all doctors is aimed at helping doctors reflect on their practice, prepare for their annual appraisal, and ultimately for revalidation.

Developed in co-operation with doctors, medical Royal Colleges, employers, patients and the public, following widespread public consultation earlier this year, the guidance emphasises that doctors must take account of the needs of their patients and their healthcare teams when considering the learning they may need to undertake.

The guidance describes how doctors should plan, carry out and evaluate their continuing professional development (CPD) activities and requires doctors to reflect on their learning needs based on the GMC’s core guidance Good Medical Practice.

The guidance also describes how doctors should use information from their CPD within their appraisal, which will be the basis upon which they revalidate.

Professor Sir Peter Rubin, chair of the GMC, said: “Continuous advances in medical science mean that all doctors need to ensure they are always at the leading edge of medical practice.

“Lifelong learning is the key to ensuring that doctors keep up to date and this new guidance will support doctors in their efforts to achieve this and in their preparation for revalidation. We hope they will use it to reflect on how their learning and development improves the quality of care they provide for patients and for the service in which they work.”

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