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Principles for continuing professional development launched

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Lifelong learning is a crucial aspect of nursing Lifelong learning is a crucial aspect of nursing

A group of professional bodies and unions launched a set of CPD and lifelong learning principles for health and social care.

The principles, developed by the RCN, RCM and other professional bodies, recognise that people working in health and social care settings operate in a changing, challenging and complex environment. They emphasise that practising safely and effectively, now and in the future, is essential.

‘Nurses are at the forefront of innovation, and nursing and health care staff should all have the chance to further their careers and develop ground-breaking care models and treatments for the benefit of patients,’ said Gill Coverdale, RCN Professional Lead for Education. ‘By setting out what staff and employers should expect, these principles will help develop the knowledge, skills and competencies that lead to an effective workforce prepared to deliver high quality care.

‘These principles come at an important time, as CPD budgets have been cut 80% in the last two years. As demand rises and patient needs change, it is vital the Government invests in developing our health care workforce to meet the challenges of the future.’

The five principles are that CPD and lifelong learning should:

  • be each person’s responsibility and be made possible and supported by employers
  • benefit service users
  • improve the quality of service delivery
  • be balanced and relevant to each person’s area of practice or employment
  • be recorded and show the effect on each person’s area of practice.

‘We believe that the health and social care workforce should have the opportunity to undertake CPD activity and these five principles clearly illustrate how developing new knowledge, skills and evidence-based working will produce an effective workforce, who are well-equipped and prepared to deliver high quality services,’ said Will Broughton, Director of Professional Standards for the College of Paramedics and Chair of the working group.

‘It is our intention to evaluate the impact of the principles next year ahead of a review in January 2021. We welcome feedback from people working across the health and social care workforce that will contribute to further versions of this document.

Thank you to all members of the working group, the organisations who hosted our meetings and for the behind the scene support that got this to finished project.’

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