CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, is a mandatory requirement for veterinary surgeons in the UK. This means that there are specific CPD providers to try to provide veterinary training. CPD is a way for us vets to keep working on our skills and make sure we still know what we are doing as professionals!
If you are a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, you will need to comply with CPD requirements. At the moment, CPD requirements are 35 hours per year, or 105 hours over 3 years. This can quickly become overwhelming when you are working full-time!
CPD is also fairly expensive, although most of the times there will be a CPD budget provided by your employer. However, what counts as CPD is pretty much up to you – as the RCVS states, “ any activities you undertake in order to further your professional competence as part of a planned development programme can be counted towards your CPD”. Which is why if you take our English lessons in order to try to improve your communication skills in the consulting room, you can count that as CPD.
There is also one more thing for you to be aware of. If you are doing PDP (Professional Development Phase), you don’t need to undertake any extra CPD for one year because your PDP counts are one year of CPD. However, most new graduates will do a lot more that just their PDP!
As we’ve seen, CPD can be expensive, especially when you no longer have a budget available from your employer. So here are three ways for you to get some CPD for free!
The Boehringer Academy is an online resource that is free for you to register with and that allows you to get access to a series of webinars on all sorts of themes. Webinars and quizzes are available for clinical practice, but not just small animals – there’s a lot to do with equine, farm and exotics and some pretty neat resources, such as a Metacam calculator for guinea pigs.
On this academy you can also track your time, which means you can see how many hours of CPD you are undertaking.
You one for having a soft spot for Cardiology? Then the Cardio Academy by Ceva is one for you! You don’t even need to register to have access to their material, which covers all the essentials about cardiac disease in small animals, including some really good videos with tips of performing and reading chest x-rays.
Bet you’re starting to notice a tendency here, right? Well, that’s because a lot of the veterinary laboratories create online academies as a way to provide CPD to the vets, but this is also a way to advertise some of their products. Dechra is another one and they have another online academy that you can register with for free. Again, they also have a lot of material on small animals but cover other areas, so it’s a useful resource for those that focus on other areas. Their webinars are a lot more focused on the products that they sell, so for instance there’s a lot about methadone, as they were the first lab to make it available to veterinary practice.
Their biggest advantage? The materials are not just in English – you will also find them in Italian, Spanish, Polish, and so on.
Did you know any of these? Have you used any? Which one do you like the most?