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Why is CPD important in nursing?

Keeping up with training helps nurses deliver the best care to patients

Why is CPD important in nursing?

Why is CPD important in nursing?

Continuing professional development (CPD) has always been important in nursing. It helps nurses and midwives keep up-to-date with training so they can deliver the very best patient care. And it helps you to fulfil your potential as an employer – attracting and retaining the best people, while tracking performance, and offering targeted support to maintain safe and effective practice.

But CPD is also now an absolute ‘non-negotiable’. It forms part of the revalidation process, which enables midwives and nurses to maintain registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) – essential to practice in the UK.

Launched in October 2015, Revalidation is designed to improve public protection by ensuring that staff continually demonstrate their ability to practise safely, effectively and in line with the Industry Code of Professional Standards  throughout their careers.

What’s involved with CPD for revalidation?  

For revalidation, all nurses on the NMC register must complete 35 hours of CPD.  As part of this, professionals have a personal responsibility to proactively collect evidence and maintain records proving that they’ve met requirements for keeping up-to-date and maintaining their ability to practise safely and effectively.  

Participatory learning   

Twenty of the 35 hours’ training must be participatory learning – defined by the NMC as 'any learning activity in which you personally interact with other people.' This can include attending a conference, taking part in a workshop or working in groups. The group don't have to be in the same room – participatory learning can take place virtually, such as in online discussion forums.   

Participatory learning has to be 'directly related' to nursing practice. While there are no strict guidelines on what this means, activities like note-taking and safeguarding training, which are directly relevant to nursing, count. But training in health and safety or IT, which are not directly applied within care, would not.

Non-participatory learning   

The other 15 hours of CPD should include any other type of learning that takes place alone – like reading, e-learning or reviewing publications.   

How you can help - Evidencing CPD   

With CPD now integral to validation - which underpins your people’s ability to practise - activity must be recorded properly.  

You’ll want to get up to speed on the Code, while supporting nurses and ensuring they are keeping evidence of their CPD activities for revalidation with their confirmer. CPD records must include:   

  • Details of the activity  
  • How it relates to nursing practice  
  • When the activity took place  
  • The number of participatory and non-participatory hours  
  • How the activity relates to the Code 
  • Evidence of the activity (like a certificate or recording)  

That’s a lot of information to record for 35 hours of CPD activity per nurse. 

At a time when all healthcare professionals are stretched to the limits, it makes sense to offer nurses and midwives the option to use an online portfolio to record CPD activity systematically.  

By offering access to OneFile's CPD tracker, you can enable nurses and midwives to build a living portfolio to prove their CPD activities. Nurses can take photos, videos or audio recordings using any device and upload content to their CPD account wherever they are. This makes it quick and easy to record compliant CPD evidence.   

To find out how OneFile works and how it can be used to record different CPD activities, download our free guide.   

Download guide

This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.