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Notional Learning Hours

The Association for Perioperative Practice guide to CPD

Step 1      Make sure you understand your CPD requirements

Step 2      Plan what CPD activities will meet your requirements

Step 3      Record your CPD

CPD is an accumulative process, your start date is from when you first register and then in either two or three year cycles.

Step 1- Make sure you understand your CPD requirements·        

Your CPD must be:-·        

  • Continuous·        
  • Up to date·        
  • Mixture of learning activities current and future·        
  • It must be relevant to the work you are doing and/or plan to do in the near future·        
  • Contribute to practice and service·        
  • Of benefit to the service users·        
  • It must help to provide the highest possible standards of care for your patients and clients·        
  • Written profile

Make sure you understand the hours requirement


You must complete, and record, 35 hours of CPD over each three year cycle, beginning on your start-date for compulsory CPD.


The HPC does not stipulate an amount of CPD that has to be completed, however the HPC does stipulate that it must comprise of more than one type of CPD activity i.e. mentorship.  This CPD activity must be evidenced.

To help you AfPP will provide through their  Notional Learning Hours (NLH): 

  • Concise educational aims and objectives
  • Clear anticipated outcomes
  • Quality controls
  • Provide documentary proof (e.g. Evidence of Learning tool) of your attendance/participation and evidence of CPD activity through NLH
  • Provide NLH CPD hours attached to specific learning activities
  • Provide an Evidence of Learning tool and examples of reflective templates

Step 2 - Plan and choose what CPD activities will meet the requirement

CPD is defined by the NMC as unstructured/informal learning or structured/formal learning.  The HPC breaks down CPD into activities that can be undertaken by the registrant i.e. work based learning, professional activity, formal education, self directed learning, other, with more specific examples within each.

Examples of potential CPD activities

The following are activities that you might consider counting towards your CPD. The list is not exhaustive.

Step 3 - Record your CPD

You must keep a record of all the CPD you wish to count towards your re-registration. You do not have to use the AfPP template provided for your CPD records, but whatever method you use, you should ensure that you record:-       

  • Your name and registration number·        
  • Date of course/activity       
  • Title of course/activity      
  • The name of the organisation or individual running the course/activity ·        
  • Your CPD evidence which will include your reflective account·        

The AfPP notional number of hours you spent doing the CPD

Remember: CPD is not about collecting certificates but evidencing how you have incorporated new knowledge and skills in to your practice.

Check list:-

Check your start date for you compulsory CPD and when you could potentially be required for submit a CPD profile for audit purposes.      

  • Plan how you will meet the minimum CPD requirement.       
  • Decide on a recording format for your CPD activity.       
  • Record your AfPP NLH for your CPD.      
  • Check that your CPD criteria have been met.        
  • Review your activity regularly to ensure you will meet the minimum requirements.   

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