Implementation of new requirement expected to begin January 2020
A new outcomes-based CPD model for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses is set to be rolled out by the RCVS following a successful pilot process.
Recommended by the CPD Working Policy Party, the RCVS Education Committee and the Veterinary Nurses Council, the model was given final consideration by RCVS Council on 7 March.
The implementation of the new CPD requirement for all members is expected to begin in January 2022. Prior to this date, the RCVS will be running webinars, workshops and roadshows to explain why an outcomes-based model is a more effective and meaningful way of undertaking CPD.
RCVS president Professor Stephen May, who chaired the CPD working Party, said: “There has been increasing recognition over a range of different professions that CPD records based on ‘inputs’ alone, for example, measuring the number of hours attending a lecture, do not necessarily prove that any significant learning has taken place or that this learning will be used to improve professional practice.
“By contrast, research has demonstrated that CPD activities focused on outcomes encourage professionals to reflect on what they have learned, how they will apply their learning and how it will improve their practice, which has a positive impact on professionalism and patient health outcomes. Numerous other professions, including human medicine and dentistry, have moved to this model and the veterinary world has been somewhat ‘behind the curve’ as a result.
“However, as with any significant shift in policy, there has been a recognition that we needed to take the profession with us and not force through change. This is why, in March 2017, we launched a pilot scheme for the outcomes-based model with veterinary and veterinary nurse volunteers, including people who, during the initial consultation stage, had voiced some scepticism towards the concept.”
Some 120 volunteers participated in the pilot, of which 70 per cent were vets and 30 per cent veterinary nurses. Of the 57 per cent of volunteers who provided feedback, 77 per cent said they would be willing to use an outcomes-based CPD model in the future and 41 per cent found it ‘easy’ or ‘very’ easy to implement outcomes-based CPD.
The survey also revealed that 61 per cent of participants thought an outcomes-based model made CPD more meaningful for them, while 25 per cent said it encouraged them to undertake a wider range of activities than before.
Following the feedback, it was also recommended to RCVS Council that a new online CPD recording system should be introduced. The system integrates the current disparate systems such as the Student Experience Log (for vet students), Nursing Progress Log (for student VNs) and the Professional Development Phase (for recent vet graduates) making it a 'one-stop shop' for recording professional development.
Richard Burley, RCVS chief technology officer, explained: “We will be building a new platform, consolidating all professional development-related capability for all members, into a single, integrated solution, seamlessly accessible via our ‘My Account’ online portal, and forthcoming mobile app. We have assembled a new, dedicated, software development team to drive this work and more details about this system will be published in coming months.”
Linda Prescott-Clements, RCVS director of education, added: “Following the approval of the CPD proposals by RCVS Council, a phased roll-out of the new model and the accompanying IT system will take place. This includes recruiting a group of volunteers from the profession later this year to get some initial feedback around the guidance resources and online CPD platform, with members of the profession being voluntarily able to sign up to the new model and IT system from January 2020 onwards.”
More information about the College’s current CPD policy can be found here.
Image (C) RCVS.