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CPD Points

What are CPD points?

An audience at an accreditation ceremonyContinuing Professional Development (CPD) events provide learning opportunities which play a key part in maintaining a knowledge base and performance throughout the surgeon’s working life. Gaining a minimum number of CPD points each year is one way in which surgeons in the UK are expected to comply with the GMC’s revalidation requirements. Typically, CPD points are calculated as 1 point per 1 hour of educational activity.

Internationally, CPD points and CME credits are often used interchangeably. Typically, 1 CPD point would equate to 1 CME credit. Generally, CME is often seen as an ingredient of CPD. The latter may include a wider range of skills required by medical professionals such as effective communication or leadership. Individual countries may have varied criteria for what is accepted as a CME credit, especially for validation or revalidation of surgeons.

Who can apply?

NHS Trusts, surgical specialty associations, higher education institutions, surgical societies, medical charities, private health companies, research organisations and legal firms are among those awarded CPD points by the Royal College of Surgeons. The events include conferences, training events, career updating, outreach events, webinars, masterclasses and case conferences for surgeons and allied professionals. The list of events with CPD points awarded to non-accredited centres can be found here.

The quality mark for surgical education

The award of CPD points by the Royal College of Surgeons of England demonstrates that the learning activity has gone through a two-stage review process and met the criteria for high-quality continuing professional development. The criteria and standards incorporate principles of national and international accreditation of continuing medical education (CME) as developed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the European Union of Medical Specialists.

In order to award CPD points, the Royal College of Surgeons of England assesses applications by looking at the following: learning aims and outcomes, programme structure and content, delivery methods, assessment, teaching staff qualifications, current and past arrangements for participant evaluation, commercial sponsorships and declarations of interest.

Approved CPD activities

The list of activities with CPD points awarded to organisations that are not RCS accredited centres can be found here.

The benefits of CPD awards

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is the leading body for the accreditation of surgical education, recognised both nationally and internationally. The College is a member of the UK’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which is recognised by the European Union of Medical Specialists and the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME®).

Achieving a CPD award from the Royal College of Surgeons of England offers a wide range of benefits, including:

  • A review by leading surgeons with potential feedback on quality enhancement;
  • A quality mark from a leading body for the accreditation of surgical education;
  • The award of CPD points which participants and speakers can use for their records;
  • The use of the strapline ‘The Royal College of Surgeons of England has awarded up to x number of CPD points’ to enhance marketing materials and encourage participation;
  • Listing on the RCS England Accreditation Portal (for non-accredited centres);
  • Advertising discount with RCS England publications.

How to apply?

The application process consists of submitting a detailed application form, a desktop review by our Quality Assurance and Accreditation team, and a final review by an experienced member of our surgical review panel. Provided the application and accompanying documents include all the required information, the application typically takes up to two weeks.

Face-to-face CPD events

To apply, please register with the RCS Accreditation Portal and complete an application under 'Continuing Professional Development.' Alternatively, you can fill in this form and send it to Please ensure your form is submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.

Online CPD activities

For online activities which are not facilitated live (e.g. pre-recorded modules or self-paced courses), please complete and return this form to Please ensure your form is submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.

Application form guidance

To support you with the application process, please see the CPD Application Form with Annotated Guidance or Frequently Asked Questions.


The outline of our fees for CPD activities can be found here. Once the award of CPD points is granted, you will be issued with an invoice which must be paid within 30 days.  For more information about the fees, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Further information

Once awarded CPD points by the Royal College of Surgeons, please pay attention to the following:


The organiser is responsible for the participant registration at the event and/or respective sessions. This register is used to ensure the correct number of points is awarded to each participant. According to the Criteria and Standards for CPD, you are required to retain the participant register for two years and provide them to the College upon request.

Declaration of interest

Please note that as a provision of this award you are required to obtain a declaration of interest from all Faculty for the event, and information on the policy around this can be found here

Participant feedback

The organiser is required to collect participant feedback and retain the evaluation results for two years. The feedback can be collected electronically or as paper copies. The College reserves the right to request the evaluation results at any time, especially if the same CPD activity runs again in the future.


Please remember that the College does not provide the use of its badge, logo or crest for the purposes of the CPD award. You can only use the following wording: “The Royal College of Surgeons of England has awarded up to X CPD points.” Please ensure you do not use any other wording (e.g. “accreditation”, “affiliation” or “sponsored” etc…).
Changes to the activity
The RCS must be informed if any significant changes are made to the structure, programme, educational content or to those delivering the activity. The RCS retains the right to withdraw the award of CPD points for an activity at any time, for any reason, including one or more of the following reasons:

  • significant changes to educational content;
  • significant changes to the presentation format;
  • failure to disclose to the College any conflict of interest on the part of the organiser, provider or speakers;
  • misuse of any branding, wording or insignia of the RCS.


For any queries regarding the award of CPD points, please contact

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