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#HealthXPH: Should Continuing Professional Development be Mandated?

I renewed my physician’s license at the Professional Regulation Commission this year. Thankfully, I didn’t have any worries about fulfilling the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units as I am often a speaker (if not an attendee) at various conventions. I also teach at a medical school and hold a professorial chair in medical informatics. Because of these activities, I had more than enough CPD units. Why this scramble for CPD units? The Republic Act No. 10912, the CPD Act of 2016 made CPD a mandatory requirement for the renewal of the professional identification card. Without this ID, one would be unable to continue practicing one’s profession.

The CPD Act lapsed into Law on July 21, 2016 and took effect on August 16, 2016. Still within the transitory period of implementation, only 60% of the credit units (27 units) required by the law was asked of me when I renewed my PRC ID. By 2019 though, it will be 100% – that’s 45 units.

Cherrie Regalado at says that –

RA 10912 was crafted to ensure that Filipino professionals in regulated professions maintain their competence and help them become more competitive in the international labor market in accordance to the Philippine Qualifications Framework, the national policy defining the levels of educational qualifications, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Qualification Reference Framework.

House Bill 7171 filed in February 2018 seeks to repeal the CPD law because –

 RA 10912 has imposed multiple financial, logistical and psychological burdens on professionals.

More recently, Senate Bill 2073, also seeking to repeal the CPD law was filed. It cites survey findings of the Philippine Regulatory Commission on Facebook –

More than a year since its implementation, the PRC has already received many complaints regarding the operational guidelines of the CPD Act. A poll conducted by the PRC in February 2018 reveal that 95,950 out of the 101,000 or 9 out of 10 Facebook users who participated in the survey agrees to abolish the CPD act.

Filipe et al (Continuing Professional Development: Best Practices. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2014;21(2):134-141) makes a distinction between continuing medical education and continuing professional development.

Continuing professional development (CPD) involves not only educational activities to enhance medical competence in medical knowledge and skills, but also in management, team building, professionalism, interpersonal communication, technology, teaching, and accountability.

Filipe et al divide CPD activities into three: practice improvement, independent professional development, or research/self education. This is similar to the PRC’s general matrix of CPD activities: professional track, academic track and self-directed learning.

Let’s talk about CPD for health professions at the #HealthXPH tweet chat 20 Oct 9 pm Manila time.

T1. Should continuing professional development be mandated by law? Why or why not?

T2. How can we ensure continuing professional development if it is not mandated by law?

T3. Propose CPD activities for healthcare professionals, that are currently not given credit by the Professional Regulation Commission.

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