To say I am disappointed and saddened in equal measure is probably the biggest underestimate I can make about this forum subject to date. As a CPD auditor for IPEM , RSCi and the RCT it would be useful to get some insider knowledge and a qualified opinion, rather than people making sweeping statements about what they ‘think’ the RCT’s role is for its members (both now and in the future) and the value of membership, or not.
As people have already said, membership is not mandatory, however in some instances employers are now asking for membership, or eligibility to be on the register as part of job applications. It’s been almost 17 years since the launch of the RCT (then the VRCT) and in 2015 the RCT register obtained official approval via the PSA, and wrote to employers asking that they consider the register as a governance and assurance way forward for members within our profession. In January 2018, the government report on regulation for all healthcare professions reached its final date for consultation and this is know going to the next stage.https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/professional-regulation/regulatory-reform/
Whether RCT gets any additional ‘mandatory’ status or not should not deflect from the need to be professional in our work, activities and approach to increasing our knowledge, sharing with others and our focus on patient care. Recording this for our annual appraisal meeting, job performance review or for an official state/voluntary register is the same information.
Some members have also commented about parity with nursing, doctors and the other many state regulated professions. The HCPC methods of assuring CPD has been adopted by IPEM and the RCT in equal measure and passing the CPD audit is neither an arduous task, or beyond the reach (or scope) of every day work for all our colleagues.
Guidelines simply state that.;
1. we keep a record of CPD
2. There is a good spread across the year (no more than 3 month gaps)
3. There is good mix of activities …. 5 types are listed ranging for ‘professional activity’ to ‘self directed learning’ and there are hundreds of examples of what you can use.
4. there is reflection about how the CPD benefits you as a person (in terms of new things learnt, challenges faced or further knowledge required to better understand things
5. How the CPD activity has benefited the dept, patient or employer.
There are more and more examples coming through of what (and how) the CPD return should look like, and after all its only a summary that is required. In addition the RCT have arranged webinars to help anyone submitting their return this year, and auditors are sharing their knowledge too to help members through the process.
As an auditor that oversaw the 2015 (sample) and 2016 CPD returns it was obvious the we all need help and guidance in how to record our CPD and how to meet the requirements. In both years there was a 50% failure rate in simple things such as
a) more than 3 month gaps
b) only 1, or 2 types of activity; instead of the 3 that is required
These simple failings meant the CPD submissions will fail. After all you wouldn’t take your car for an MOT with bald tyres or worn wiper blades (would you ??)… then lets make sure we know what is required and how we can best meet these simple requirements.
I sat down with a colleague at work last week and spent no more than 1 hour compiling his annual CPD return, (his first ever) and it’s ready for RCT submission. We listed all the activities he’s done and anything that we thought would be suitable. And reading, and contributing to the forum and sharing ideas and thoughts with peers on EBME.co.uk is also one of them!!!!!
One of our biggest challenges is how best to write our thoughts and reflections on the 2 factors that also cause us to fail CPD audits ; (benefits for you, and also your employer/service). As soon as you put your mind to it, then it does become easier. Take care not to cut and paste the same statements as we look for that too, and try to think of 2 key factors.
1. What has, and how have I improved?… if not why not?
2. What has reduced, and has it saved time, reduced variation, money, service costs etc.
Don’t forget that there are patients at the centre of all we do and it wouldn’t go amiss to mention the influence you have had on servicing their equipment, care, treatment or saved time and improved their lot.
My fingers are crossed for May’s CPD audit day, and Im really hoping that RCT members do us proud (and I’m a member) and we assure the auditors, our employer, patients, and the public that we are as professional in our approach to our job, education and life long learning as our colleagues in nursing and other state regulated professions.