Your CPD services

One of the College’s strategic aims is to promote excellence and advance knowledge in pathology practice across all specialties. One objective to achieve this is to continue to develop excellent CPD recording and support services.

CPD comprises educational and professional activities that develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and personal effectiveness necessary for professional practice. It is an individual’s responsibility to identify their learning needs and those of their employer through their appraisal process. It's also important for pathologists to update themselves not only on facts, new concepts and new technologies, but also on opinions and consensus in order to improve patient care.

All doctors are required to provide documentation that they are participating in a CPD scheme to keep up to date and fit to practise. Clinical scientists should undertake CPD as part of compliance with standards for laboratory accreditation.

CPD at the College

The General Medical Council recommends that practitioners undertake a minimum of 250 CPD credits (or hours) of activity in any 5-year period. The College recommends that practitioners record a minimum of 50 credits per year.

The College recognises that you are best placed to choose the activity that best reflects your development needs. Practitioners are expected to make a judgement on the value of any activity and may claim 1 credit for each activity hour that they consider they have undertaken.

The College categorises CPD activities in 3 areas.


All activities that relate to the development of individual clinical or diagnostic skills or specialist knowledge should be recorded in this category. Activities may include all meetings and conferences relevant to the specialty, local or regional postgraduate meetings, and any supervised learning (such as visiting a different department to learn a new technique).


All activities that contribute to the understanding of pathology, your education, or the education of others should be recorded here. You do not need to work in an academic post to claim credits in this category. Activities may include formal presentations, lectures, teaching on specialty-related courses, setting questions for professional examinations, publishing, presenting audit and research findings, and postgraduate degrees and diplomas.


All activities that advance your ability to practise clinical skills and relate to employees, colleagues and patients. Activities may include developing national guidelines and audits; clinical review and risk management meetings, local protocol meetings and other multidisciplinary meetings, audits, clinical leadership, and contribution to confidential enquiries.

There are no credit limits within these categories. Your activities should reflect your practice profile; you should ensure that you undertake a range of CPD activities that reflect the local and national needs of your practice and learning needs. Further information on how many CPD credits may be claimed for different activity types may be found in our guidance. Routine clinical activity with no explicit educational content and day-to-day work, such as attending committee meetings, should not be considered CPD activity.

Our CPD portfolio

The College recommends that all members participate in a suitable CPD programme and offers a CPD portfolio service to support members’ local appraisal schemes and the revalidation process for medically qualified doctors. The College’s CPD portfolio provides access to an easy-to-use system for storing and cataloguing the activities and CPD credits that you undertake to improve and enhance your practice.

Using the online CPD portfolio