Continued professional development(CPD) or continuing education(CE) are becoming a requirement in most professions all around the world. This is happening as the need for CE is being recognised as indispensable to maintain a high quality of practice amongst professionals, keeping them informed of the latest information and technologies available within their ever evolving professions. Most professionals have been doing it by themselves as a matter of course. The governing bodies however have sought to make CE a legal requirement.

Laws passed by the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) in April 2006 have made it obligatory for veterinarians registered with them to record their CE activities and also attain a minimum required amount of CE over a period of time. The recorded CE must be submitted yearly with the annual retainer fee. The CE records will also be used in cases where vets are taken to council for malpractice issues. Veterinarians who have done a lot of CE are more likely to be held in high regard.

CPD points are used to measure the amount of continued education a veterinarian has participated in. Every vet is required to keep a detailed record of their CPD activities and achieve a minimum amount of points in any 3 year cycle. Points are allocated for structured as well as unstructured activities.

A minimum accumulation of 60 CPD points in any 3 year cycle. At least 20 points must be derived from strucutred activities with balance coming from unstrucutred activities. It is appreciated that most veterinaians will do considerably more than this.

Courses, articles, case studies, lectures, internet sites, practical sessions etc, that have been accreddited by the SAVC count as structured CPD. Upon completion of the activity a certificate stating the particulars of the event and the number of CPD allocated is issued to the participant.

Two hours of reading through material or participating in activities that are not accreditied by the SAVC e.g. reading two hours from a textbook counts as 1 unstrucutured CPD point.

For more comprehensive information about CPD see the the SACV website.
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