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Revalidation requirements: Continuing professional development

As part of your revalidation, you must undertake 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) relevant to your scope of practice as a nurse or midwife over the three years prior to your revalidation date.

This must include 20 hours of participatory learning. You must maintain accurate and verifiable records of the CPD you have undertaken.

When deciding how to spend your CPD hours you could look for an RCN Accredited event/course. All accredited programmes are subjected to a rigorous quality assessment process to ensure they meet the RCN’s standards of excellence. As a delegate on an RCN accredited programme, you can guarantee that the content has gained the RCN seal of approval for health care training and will promote best practice and lead to improved patient care. You can browse accredited events, resources and courses here. When you attend an accredited programme, you will receive an RCN certificate and a model for structured reflection. These can be used as evidence of continuing professional development for your revalidation. 

Mandatory training that is not directly related to your practice (for example, fire training or health and safety training) cannot be included as part of your CPD. However, if you undertake mandatory training that is necessary to your scope of practice and professional development, such as training on equality legislation if you are in a policy role, or safeguarding when working with vulnerable groups, you could include that.

Participatory learning is a learning activity undertaken with one or more professionals where you personally interact with other people. The learning activity does not always need to be in a shared physical environment, it could be in a virtual environment, such as an online discussion group or a professional Twitter discussion. The professionals you engage with through participatory learning do not have to be health care professionals.

Social media may also support your CPD. The RCN has produced a guide to social media which also gives information on Twitter and how it may help you meet some of the participatory hours. 

Twitter Help Centre provides a comprehensive guide to tweeting if you are new to the activity. There are also some very useful blogs and resources from other health care professionals and nurses about using Twitter and demonstrating the value it can bring: 

Celebrities and Trolls...the many myths of Twitter for nurses...busted! by Teresa Chinn and David Foord

A Nurse’s Guide to Twitter by Paul McNamara 

Anne Cooper blogs as a patient and a nurse on a range of topics but social media and Twitter feature quite prominently 

Twitterversity is very useful and easy to follow guide to Twitter for health care professionals.

The RCN has produced a joint position statement on CPD for guidance.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has provided some examples of CPD activities and the types of evidence you could keep.


What counts as CPD for revalidation?

In order to revalidate, you must undertake 35 hours of continuing professional development. Here are some ideas to get you started.