Self-directed CPD

CPD falls into two categories: provider-led CPD and self-directed CPD.

Provider-led CPD refers to learning delivered by a GOC-registered CPD provider (see our information for existing providers page for more about what CPD providers have to do in order to be registered with us).

Self-directed CPD describes any other learning relevant to your professional practice or professional development. If you undertake a registrant-led peer review (rather than a provider-led one) this also counts as self-directed CPD.

What counts as self-directed CPD?

Any type of learning that is relevant to your professional development. Examples could include working towards an academic or vocational qualification; lecturing; webinars from outside the optical sector; or volunteering in wider healthcare. What matters is that you learn useful things from it which you can apply to your professional practice.

How many points is self-directed CPD worth?

Fewer points are available for self-directed CPD than for provider-led CPD. This is because we have mechanisms to quality assure provider-led CPD that we do not have for self-directed CPD. Every piece of self-directed CPD is therefore worth one point, regardless of the time taken to complete or complexity. The only exception to this is registrant-led peer review, which is worth three points.

Do I need to log details of the self-directed CPD I undertake?

Yes, you will need to log details of all of your CPD (whether self-directed or provider-led) on your MyCPD account. You will also need to fill in a short reflection statement for each piece of self-directed CPD you undertake, setting out what you learned from it and how it is relevant to your professional practice. Watch our 'Getting Started with MyCPD' webinar if you need help with logging points. 

Can I make up my CPD points total entirely from self-directed CPD?

No. You will need to make sure at least 18 of your CPD points are from provider-led CPD in order to meet your total requirements.

Do I have to wait until I’ve got 18 provider-led points before I can undertake self-directed CPD?

No, you can undertake self-directed CPD at any time during the cycle – but if you haven’t already obtained 18 provider-led points, your self-directed CPD will stop counting at 17 points.

Can I obtain points in the specialty domain through self-directed CPD? 

Yes, following the conclusion of our 2023 CPD review, registrants with a specialty, such as contact lens opticians and optometrists with prescribing rights, are able to obtain points in the specialty domain through self-directed CPD.