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Completing your CPD during Covid-19 

If you are currently struggling with the learning with others part, we understand that the UK Professional Associations are running a variety of learning activities online, as is the Royal College of Chiropractors. Alternatively, learning with others can be informal; virtual meetings to discuss cases with colleagues would be accepted.
Moreover, this year's CPD audit will focus on responses we receive to the First Aid questions rather than checks of learning evidence. We will be looking to make sure all registrants have shown reflection and may need to get back to those who haven’t done so.

We expect that all registered chiropractors (whether practising or non-practising) will keep up to date with developments within the profession. This is to ensure that they are practising in both their patients and their own best interests. The CPD scheme is our way of checking that chiropractors are broadening and deepening their knowledge.

Registrants can apply to have all or part of their learning requirement potentially waived if there are exceptional circumstances. We are able to accept applications for a waiver via the online portal - further details can be found below.

The GCC has legislation called the CPD rules that set out the requirements all chiropractors must complete annually - details of which you can find below.

First Aid

In addition to the usual CPD submission, this year we are asking all registrants to answer two additional questions on their summary having reflected on your first aid knowledge and skills. If after that they identify a need for additional learning on first aid, then they should make appropriate arrangements, but it doesn’t have to have been done this CPD year.

If you do undertake First Aid training this can count towards your learning hours, but remember to include it within the learning activities section of the summary.


If you have any any questions about CPD you can email us:

The GCC CPD scheme provides a structure for you to follow to satisfy the statutory CPD rules. The basic requirements of this programme are that each year you:

  • identify your learning needs/interests and produce a personal plan of learning activities to address them,
  • undertake and record at least 30 hours of CPD activity in accordance with your plan, of which 15 hours or more constitutes learning with others; and
  • reflect on one learning activity and answer four questions so we can understandwhat you took away  your and where it will lead you next.

In addition, the CPD activity you undertake:

  • must constitute a learning experience for you (therefore, carrying out your normal working activities does not meet the requirements of the scheme); and
  • must be focused on advancing your professional development as a chiropractor, i.e. improving the care you provide for your patients, and/or developing the chiropractic profession.

Learning with others can include both formal learning, such as seminars and lectures, as well as informal learning, which includes clinical audit.

A few pointers to help you get your summary right first time

  • When you are thinking about what learning you wish to undertake for the year, remember CPD is about your professional learning and how it relates to your patients, so shoudn't be about the business of the clinic, or personal development for you
  • When filling in the reflective statement for one of your learning activities, make sure it is specific to that activities and not a general comment about the learning you have done as a whole
  • We undertaken random sampling and if your response doesn't answer the questions we will be in touch to ask for more information
  • Please read the brief guide for further advice on completing your summary.

CPD for new registrants or those re-joining the register

Our rules require that you only submit 2.5 hours for each full month of the CPD year that you are registered. This means that if you joined the register on 1 January, you will need to have completed 8 months of CPD, which amounts to 20 hours in total. In all cases half of the CPD requirement must include learning with others, so for the example about, the registrant would need to complete a minimum 10 hours with others.

If you are a recent graduate and are on the Royal College of Chiropractors Post-Registration Training scheme (PRTS), you can include much of that as part of your CPD.

First Aid knowledge and skills

For the 2019/ 20 CPD summary we are also asking chiropractors to reflect on their First Aid knowledge and skills and answer two questions, which are:

  1. To what extent would my own first aid skills and competencies enable me to administer appropriate first aid on a patient should the need arise?
  2. What measures have I taken, or do I plan to take, to ensure my current and ongoing skills and competencies are up to date?

At the end of the CPD year we will be reviewing the responses to understand the level of knowledge held by chiropractors on this important topic.

A key aspect of reinforcing and deepening the learning gained from your CPD activity is reflective evaluation. Along with the other healthcare regulators, the GCC is committed to supporting reflective practice among registrants, and the CPD reporting form is designed to assist you with this. We will be providing registrants with separate, wider-ranging guidance on reflective practice in due course.

You might find it helpful to discuss with others - colleagues, peers or those whose role is to facilitate learning and development - the learning and development opportunities that are likely to be most effective in meeting your learning objectives, although this would not form part of your CPD itself.

Such discussions might usefully consider:

  • the learning opportunities that you have used in the past and what you have gained from them
  • your confidence in relation to learning and development generally and the different methods available
  • other aspects of your life that might support or hinder your learning and development
  • the learning and development opportunities that are available or that can be arranged and that will be effective in meeting your learning needs and interests (e.g. conferences might be useful for updating but be less use in terms of applying knowledge and skills in practice)
  • the cost (direct and indirect) of learning and development opportunities - we recommend you make careful choices when investing time and money in CPD products and services
  • any funding that is available for different forms of learning and development and how you can apply and use such funding
  • whether there are any restrictions on accessing different learning and development opportunities (e.g. whether you need to possess certain qualifications or be of a certain age)
  • how to manage practical issues related to learning and development such as location, timing and travel
  • the benefits of you gaining formal recognition or accreditation for specific aspects of your learning and development.

You can find further information on the Continuing Professional Development scheme in our guidance. Submission of a CPD summary is only accepted via the GCC portal.

CPD summaries must be completed onine only, annually before 30 September, which is one month following the end of the CPD year.

We have produced a brief guide to help you in completing the online summary.

While we audit only a small proportion of summaries, we always encourage registrants to upload evidence of the learning with others they have done at the time they fill in the form as it is easier than doing so some months later.

We appreciate that registrants will occassionally have difficulty in completing their summary or learning due to unforeseen events and that's why the scheme allows the Registrar to waive part or all of a registrants learning for one year if they have exceptional circumstances.

For registrants who are going through difficult times that prevent them from undertaking learning activities, our rules allow us the waive all or part of the learning for a CPD. 

What can I do if I haven’t completed all or part of the CPD requirement by the end of the CPD year?

In certain circumstances the Registrar may exercise a discretion to waive all or part of a registrant’s CPD requirement or allow longer for CPD to be completed if exceptional circumstances have prevented you from completing your CPD by the end of the CPD year.

When might the Registrar use his/her power of waiver?

Ill health and bereavement are both generally acceptable. However, all applicants are considered on a case by case basis.

What is not considered as an exceptional circumstance?

The following list gives details of some circumstances that are not generally considered to be exceptional and for which CPD is unlikely to be waived:

  • Work pressure
  • Short-term problems or illness
  • Personal disruptions that are not serious, which includes travel, holidays etc.
  • Financial problems
  • Retirement
  • Disciplinary matters
  • Cancellation of a CPD event.

How do I apply for waiver of my CPD?

If you have not been able to do some or all of your CPD because of exceptional circumstances, you can apply for a waiver via the portal. Once signed in go to My CPD Summary and click the waiver link to complete the details and providing evidence. You will be asked to confirm the number of hours you have not been able to complete, this is because the Registrar will need to know how many hours he is being asked to waive.

What form of evidence is acceptable?

The following table gives details of some forms of evidence that we are likely to accept. In some circumstances that Registrar may ask to see evidence of a specific course that you booked.

Circumstances Evidence which is likely to be acceptable
Long term illness A medical report or letter from the medical practitioner responsible for your care, confirming the nature of the illness, the date you became ill and also when you may be able to undertake CPD and fill in your paperwork again.
Personal circumstances An original medical report along the lines above. Certified copy of Death certificate in case of bereavement
Family illness A medical certificate or letter from the medical practitioner responsible for the care of the patient, confirming the nature of the illness.
Maternity/ Paternity A letter confirming the period of leave from your employer, documentation showing maternity/ paternity pay, or a GP letter.

Each year every registrant must complete half of the learning requirement with others. For most registtrants that means at last 15 hours in total must be with others.

While learning can take place in a formal setting, such as a lecture or seminar, it can also be informal. We accept many different forms of informal learning, and examples would include:

  • case discussions
  • shadowing other chiropractors or healthcare professionals
  • talking to other healthcare professionals to understand their approach.

However, it's important to remember the requirement to keep some evidence to show they have done this learning in case we audit their CPD.

As evidence of informal learning we suggest making a quick note of the key matters discussed, the date, number of hours and those attended. Then ask all of those in attendance to sign the note and email a copy to each one, that way everyone can upload it when they fill in their summary.

We have compiled the following table, which you may find helpful. It outlines some of the commonly noted activities that we can only accept as CPD learning activities if the learning outcomes are specified.

Example Activity

To be a CPD learning activity you must...

Using social media tell us how you are learning and developing through this activity
Spine checks tell us about the time you spent offering spine checks at a community event (for example) – and what you learnt while you were there
Voluntary work tell us about how the learning from your volunteering has contributed to your professional learning and development
Committee work

let us know about your work with a committee and describe how it contributes to your or the wider profession’s learning and development

Teaching ensure your own learning and development is being taken forward; it is not enough to repeat a session/teach a class as usual
Gaining practice building information ensure this is not solely for business (as opposed to learning) purposes, for example finding out how to increase your patient numbers to maximise business growth
Visiting exhibition stands at conferences discuss and/or think about what you are seeing on the stands, rather than just having a look

All chiropractors registered with us must complete 30 hours of CPD each year to stay on the register. This involves filling in a CPD summary and giving information of the learning they have done.

Each year we ask a sample of chiropractors to send in evidence of their learning so that we can check broad compliance with our CPD scheme. We do this by randomly selecting a number of chiropractors and asking them to send us the evidence to show they completed at least 15 hours of learning with others that they gave on their CPD summary.

Frequently asked questions for selected chiropractors

The following questions are for chiropractors who have been randomly selected as part of the CPD audit process.

Why don't you ask for evidence of learning alone?

We recognise that CPD covers both self-directed learning, for example reading books or researching topics, and learning with others. However, since we cannot check information on self-directed learning, we ask for documentary evidence of learning undertaken with others.

What evidence must I send?

All evidence of the time you spent learning with others must be from a third party who was involved with the learning activity you completed. If it was a formal event, such as a seminar or lecture, then it must be from the organisers of the event. If it was informal, such as case discussion with colleagues, then the evidence would need to be from one of your colleagues present at that discussion.

Any evidence you send us must include:

your name as it appears on the register, the date, or range of dates, of the learning activities, the title of the activities, or if the learning was informal, then a brief description of the contents, confirmation of your attendance

Evidence can be in the form of a certificate, signed letter, or an email from the person verifying your CPD. Emails must be sent directly to us:

What can't I send as evidence?

Please note we do not accept the following as evidence of CPD:

course notes textbooks receipts or invoices of any kind.

How do I send evidence?

You can upload evidence of your learning via the portal in the same place that you complete your CPD record summary.

What happens if I don't send in my CPD evidence?

If we do not receive the evidence to verify 15 hours of learning with other people by 30 September, and you do not have exceptional circumstances that would allow the Registrar to waive the requirement for that year, you may be removed from the register.

Each year there will be a small number of cases where registrants have not met the requirements of the CPD scheme, or they have not submitted a CPD record summary at all.

In these cases, we always attempt to open a dialogue with the chiropractor to resolve any issues. However, in instances where registrants do not engage with the process, or their CPD does not meet the expected standard, the Registrar will have little option but to remove them from the register.

In these cases, the registrant will always be given the opportunity to engage with the process so that the Registrar may take as much information into account as possible on which to base his decision.

In the unlikely event that a registrant’s name is removed from the register for failing to comply with the CPD requirements, an option will be open to them to appeal the Registrar’s decision. An appeal must be lodged within 28 days from the date of the removal notice. Further information on the appeals process can be found here.

Report of a study carried out by The Royal College of Chiropractors (RCC) on behalf of the General Chiropractic Council (GCC)

Results, Recommendations & Learning 2018-19

Updating your details

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Find out how to complete your retention and remain on the register

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Changing Status

This section outlines what you need to do if you wish to change your registration status or leave the register.

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Insurance and Indemnity Arrangements

Find out about your required insurance and indemnity arrangements

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New Applicants

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