Have you considered self-directed CPD? 


Kate Furniss, Operations Manager (Education and CPD), encourages registrants to consider undertaking self-directed CPD:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) falls into two categories: provider-led CPD and self-directed CPD. Put simply, self-directed CPD is any learning you carry out, relevant to your professional practice or development, which is not delivered by a GOC-approved CPD provider. If this activity allows you to develop new skills, maintain and revalidate existing ones, or reflect on your practice and meet patient needs, that counts as self-directed CPD.

What are the benefits of self-directed CPD?

Self-directed CPD puts you in control of your professional development. It’s an accessible way of learning and you can undertake it at any time during the cycle, so it fits best with your scope of practice and development journey.

What’s more, with so many registrants pressed for time, self-directed CPD can be an affordable way of developing your skills which you can fit around a busy schedule.

A broad range of activities count towards it, and you can carry it out across all domains - Professionalism; Communication; Clinical practice; Leadership and accountability; and (if applicable) the Specialty domain. It also gives you the chance to benefit from learning with colleagues from outside of the optical sector.

So what are some examples of self-directed CPD?

Self-directed activities can include working towards an academic or vocational qualification, formal learning such as attending webinars from outside the sector, or professional activities like lecturing, teaching, mentoring or supervising.

There are things you may do every day that you don’t realise might count.

For example, have you recently read an optical journal or article?

It may seem like a minor activity, but as long as it’s contributed towards your professional development and you can apply it to your professional practice, that’s self-directed CPD which counts towards your CPD points totals. 

A registrant-led peer review (rather than a provider-led one) also counts as self-directed CPD.

How do I record self-directed CPD?

You must log self-directed CPD via your MyCPD account and complete a reflection statement. We advise you to do this as soon as possible after the activity takes place, to ensure that the learning is still fresh in your mind.

You should reflect on how the CPD was relevant to your professional development needs, as well as summarise your learning and how this will impact your practice and that of those around you in the reflection statement. Any notes taken during the activity may be a source of evidence and can be uploaded to MyCPD.

The amount of self-directed CPD being carried out is slowly edging up – figures from January 2024 show 8% of all points logged are self-directed, up from 5% in the summer of 2023. However, we’d encourage more registrants to undertake it – remember, if you’ve learnt something useful which you can apply to your professional practice, that activity could count as self-directed CPD.

So why not take advantage of self-directed CPD today?

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