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Apply for CPD Approval of Your Event

Courses and Masterclasses.

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is how doctors update their knowledge and skills throughout their working lives. This includes all elements of good medical practice - clinical and non-clinical. If you have developed your Live Educational Event (LEE)  to meet the needs of doctors seeking External (Maintenance of Knowledge and Skills) CPD credit it may be eligible for CPD approval.

Read: RCPI Guide to CPD Approval 


Typical Live Educational Events that attract  External CPD include:

  • scientific meetings
  • specialty relevant courses
  • workshops
  • seminars

While many approved events focus on medical/clinical topics, we also approve events focusing on non-medical topics such as medico-legal, risk management, leadership, quality improvement, patient safety and personal development.

At least one person on the organising faculty for your event must be a doctor who holds Specialist Registration with the Irish Medical Council.  This person's details must be entered in the "Medical Organiser" section of your application form, and you must submit a Medical Organiser Declaration with your application.


External CPD is the category doctors use to record their maintenance of knowledge and skills and usually consists of educational activities that take place outside their normal working environment.


To be eligible, your event must:

  • take place in Ireland or be delivered online for Irish doctors using a tool such as Zoom or Panopto
  • target doctors who are not engaged in postgraduate specialist training
  • include learning objectives that have measurable outcomes and use action verbs such as ‘evaluate’, ‘identify’, ‘review’
  • meet our policy on Industry Sponsorship and Support in respect of sponsorship arrangements
  • have a designated Medical Organiser who holds Specialist Registration with the Irish Medical Council
  • not take place in the past
  • not contain the name of a sponsor or product in its event and session/lecture titles
  • not contain a sponsor’s corporate message, product name or logo on any of the educational material, which includes the event programme, poster presentations, slides, handouts and so on
  • You must provide evidence of attendance to all those who participated in the activity
  • You must keep a record of all those who participated in the activity for a period of 12 months after the date the activity took place. You may be asked to provide a copy of this record in the future
  • You must provide a means for your attendees to give you post-event feedback
  • Once we have received your application we will assign an application reference number
  • When all the required material has been received, we will begin processing your application.  To prevent delay, it is important that you submit all the required material together
  • Administrative staff will validate your application and may revert to you for clarification if necessary
  • Once your application has been validated, it will be sent to a Clinician Reviewer for assessment
  • Lists of validated applications are normally submitted for review on a weekly basis

Live Webinars can be approved for External credits if the activity meets the following additional criteria:

  • Sponsorship may only be acknowledged in text on the landing page
  • Sponsor branding, trade message, company/product name or logo must not be visible on any of the educational material, including slides, downloadable handouts etc., or displayed in the background at any stage of the live webinar

For information: speakers/lecturers may be based in Ireland or abroad

Recorded Webinars:
Any recording of a webinar for viewing after the event, it will attract 1 hour = 1 CPD credit in the Personal Learning CPD category. CPD approval or evidence of participation are not required for Personal Learning.

  • Activity organised and/or hosted by a single industry sponsor-   €1,500
    (e.g. a pharmaceutical or medical device company)
  • Activity organised and/or hosted by a professional/commercial education provider  - €1,500
  • Activity with multiple industry sponsors  - €500
    Applications for an activity supported by multiple industry sponsors may not be submitted by an industry sponsor or by an agent acting on their behalf
  • Activity supported by an unrestricted educational grant - €500
    Applications for an activity supported by an unrestricted educational grant may not be submitted by an industry sponsor or an agent acting on their behalf
  • Unsponsored activity with registration fee - €250
    Activities supported by an academic institution, hospital, state body or charity can be included in this category
  • Unsponsored activity no registration fee - No charge
    Activities supported by an academic institution, hospital, state body or charity can be included in this category.


The assessment fee is non-refundable so make sure your event is eligible for consideration before you submit your application

Download:  Remittance Advice


It is important to remember that a Live Educational Event cannot be approved retrospectively.  From 1 May 2017, applications for approval of Live Educational Events that take place in the past will not be accepted

  • You must apply for CPD approval at least four weeks before you intend to advertise or invite people to your event. This gives us enough time to process your application and, if necessary, make recommendations before you advertise or send invitations
  • If your event date is in the past or your application is submitted after you have circulated invitations or advertised the event, it will not be possible for us to advise you about any issues that may prevent approval in time for you to rectify them.

Be sure to read the RCPI Guide to CPD Approval 

  • Completed Application Form 2020
  • Medical Organiser Declaration:  Signed by a doctor who holds Specialist Registration with the Irish Medical Council
  • Invitation:   Copy of the invitation in the form that it will be circulated to prospective attendees
  • Website:   url of the relevant web page. If it is necessary to log in to view the page, access details should be provided with the application 
  • Advertisement:    Copy of advertisement design as it will appear in electronic and/or print media
  • Learner feedback form: Copy of  the learner feedback form as  it will be provided to attendees. If an online form is used, screenshot, url and relevant login details must be provided with the application
  • Programme:    Final programme as it will be presented to attendees including:
    • details of faculty members, including their post and relevant experience
    • titles of lectures, workshops and sessions
    • start and end time of individual lectures, workshops and sessions
      If the details above are not included in the programme, enter the details in the space provided on the application form. A provisional or draft programme will not be accepted
    •  Assessment fee at the relevant rate

Please remember that we cannot begin to process your application without all of the supporting material listed above.

If your application for CPD approval is on behalf of an Industry Sponsor (e.g. a pharmaceutical company or a medical device manufacturer), we need additional information to help us confirm the academic independence of the event - please see  "PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY OR MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURER - IMPORTANT INFORMATION" below


No.  Each instance of an event must be individually assessed.  

If you hold regular or recurring events, we will be able to assess them all in one application if you provide a schedule of confirmed dates, venues and topics with your application.


A CPD certificate of attendance issued by one Irish postgraduate medical training body will be automatically accepted by other training bodies as evidence of a doctor's participation in that activity.

You need only apply for CPD approval to one training body.


You may wish to have your activity included in our list of activities approved for CPD. To be eligible for inclusion in the RCPI Website listing the activity must meet the following criteria:

  • Be open to all doctors who have interest in the topic
  • Is not aimed specifically at employees of your organisation/institution
  • Completed application form and all supporting documents submitted 4 weeks before you advertise the activity
  • Name of the person to contact for registration enquiries and their email is entered in the relevant section of our application form.
    • The contact for registration cannot be a sponsoring Institution

An online course may attract CPD credit if it meets the following criteria: 

  • Course provides some type of learner interaction or self-assessment 
  • Course objectives describe what the participants may learn or achieve by participating in the course 
  • Course provides access to appropriate bibliographic sources that allow for further study and that reinforce and clarify specific activity topics 
  • Site allows the doctor to download evidence of activity and/or completion, e.g. a certificate of completion of a module 
  • Doctors should ensure a balance between CPD credits garnered from online learning and from attending live educational events 

Our  CPD approval process is conducted on a course by course basis for interactive educational activities that attract CPD in the External category.  

Websites for the purpose of presenting enduring educational material such as reference documents, articles, publications, passive reading resources, or chat groups, are outside this process as those activities fall into the Personal Learning CPD Category, attracing 1 hour = 1 CPD credit in that category.

 Internal learning sites used by employers, for their employees only, fall into the Internal CPD category and therefore are not required to seek CPD approval. Activities hosted on these sites attract 1 hour = 1 CPD credit in the Internal CPD category.

Ready to apply?

Course and masterclasses.

Sponsored Events

Check our guidelines

Doctors cannot be unduly influenced by industry in the care they provide to patients so it’s important we have strict guidelines to ensure there is no conflict of interest at educational events sponsored by industry (e.g. pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers).

Guidelines for event organisers:

  • you cannot have an industry sponsor or product name in the event title, or in the titles of any part of your programme
  • display tables or material related to an industry sponsor or their products cannot be placed in the education area
  • your educational programme and materials, including slides, abstracts and handouts cannot contain any advertising, trade message, company or product name, or logo
  • you can provide a separate handout alongside your programme acknowledging the contribution of your sponsors

Live Webinars/Online sessions:

  • Sponsorship may only be acknowledged in text on the landing page
  • Sponsor branding, trade message, company/product name or logo must not be visible on any of the educational material, including slides, downloadable handouts etc., or displayed in the background at any stage of the live webinar
  • A separate slide may be displayed for disclosure

Be sure to read our Policy on Industry Sponsorship and Support.

Pharmaceutical Company or Medical Device Manufacturer - Important Information

Guidelines for events directly organised by a pharmaceutical company or medical device manufacturer

If your application for CPD approval is on behalf of an Industry Sponsor (e.g. a pharmaceutical company or a medical device manufacturer), we need additional information to help us confirm the academic independence of the event.

You’ll need to:

  • Make sure all paid speakers (and speakers with any other conflicts) have a conflict of interest slide in their presentation that shows the nature of their conflict
  • Submit an individually signed and  completed Conflict of Interest Disclosure form from each member of your  organising committee, the presenters, chairs and speakers at your event with the application form
  • The Medical Organiser cannot be an employee of an Industry Sponsor. Remember to complete and return the Medical Organiser Declaration with your application
  • We cannot approve presentations from employees of an industry sponsor

It is important that the Medical Organiser Declaration and Conflict of Interest forms are included with your initial application as we cannot begin to process your application without them

We may request copies of contracts with organising faculty members or speakers, and details of honoraria paid to them

Courses and Masterclasses.

Next Steps

  • The use of the RCPI crest or logo is not permitted under any circumstances
  • Event organisers should not specify the number of credits assigned to the event on printed or other published material until such time as confirmation of approval has been issued by RCPI
  • Wording such as "applied for CPD approval" (while the application is in process) or "CPD approval" (after approval has been confirmed) as appropriate may be used in material associated with the event
  • Room hire for events at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland at No. 6 Kildare Street does not constitute a professional association between RCPI and the meeting organiser and published material for such events must never imply such an association

You must:

  • keep a record of attendees
  • collect learner feedback forms from your attendees
  • keep the record of attendees and feedback forms together safely for a period of 12 months after the start date of  your activity - we may contact you at a later date asking for copies of these documents
  • send attendance certificates to your attendees, preferably as email attachments, as soon as possible after the event
  • you must put the attendee name on the certificate before sending
  • the attendance certificate must display the full name and contact details of your organisation and the statement "This CPD recognition is accepted by all Irish Postgraduate Training Bodies"
  • ensure that no industry sponsor company name, logo or corporate message appears on the attendance certificate

Download:  Example External CPD Evidence Template

Read:  Evidence for External CPD


If any changes to the programme, the date of the event, or the venue are made after approval has been issued, you must inform us of these changes. Be aware that changes after approval has been issued may invalidate the approval.

Send your changes to us at professionalcompetence@rcpi.ie 


Some approved events will be randomly selected for audit. If your event has been selected, we will send you notification in good time, and a Clinician Reviewer and a member of our administrative staff will attend your event.


Doctors who present/speak at your event are entitled to claim for their attendance, so you should provide them with the same evidence of attendance as given to your attendees.

In addition, your presenters can claim an additional 5 CPD credits in the Research or Teaching CPD category for the first-time preparation and delivery of their presentation if you provide them with confirmation of their input into your event. 

 See:  Evidence for Research or Teaching

Download:  Research or Teaching Evidence Template

  • Internal meetings, such as Grand Rounds, case conferences and journal clubs that take place within your hospital or institution, fall into the Internal CPD category and do not require CPD approval.  In-houses courses organised specifically for employees by an employer would also fall into the Internal CPD category


  • Courses and educational activities designed specifically for Interns, Higher Specialist Trainees (SpR) or Basic Specialist Trainees do not require CPD approval. Doctors who attend this type of meeting may self-determine whether or not to claim External CPD for engaging in this type of activity
  • General: Registration time, breaks, lunch or dinner, award or prize-giving ceremonies, announcements, opening/closing speeches and so on
  • Product Promotion: activities organised primarily to promote a product or service or which might be deemed as promotional
  • Unmoderated poster viewing: Poster viewing sessions may only be approved for CPD if a medical moderator is present at all times
  • Business Committee meetings: For example, an Annual General Meeting or business meeting
  • Other Specialities: Events aimed specifically at Surgeons, General Practitioners, Opthalmologists, Anaesthetists, Radiologists, etc. are not within our remit. You should contact the relevant Irish Postgraduate Medical Training Body for details of their CPD approval process. 
  • Allied Professions:  Sections of an event aimed specifically at allied professions (e.g. nursing, physiotherapy etc.) are not in our remit.  You will need to seek approval from the relevant governing body

If your event does not take place in Ireland, you should contact the European Accreditation Council for CPD (EACCME) for information on European accreditation, or the relevant local association or college in the country where your event will take place.


You must keep a record of attendees/participants, and all learner feedback received for a period of 12 months from the date the activity took place.

Information for Employers

If you are organising an event or course for doctors in your hospital or workplace, it may fall under the Internal (Practice Evaluation and Development) CPD Category, and if so, it is not necessary to apply for CPD approval.

Typical Internal events include:

  • case conferences
  • journal clubs
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Saving (ACLS), PALS, or similar courses
  • Online courses developed in house that are aimed at your employees

Doctors are required to collect evidence of having attended these activities.

This Guide to Verification of Internal Events gives advice on how to provide evidence of attendance.

Key Responsibilities for Registrants, Training Bodies and Employers describes your responsibility as an employer to facilitate your doctors in maintaining their professional competence.

Doctors having a discussion.

Contact us

We are available to help Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00 GMT.


CPD Approval

Tel: +353 1 863 9700 and press 2

We are always happy to answer your questions and advise you on how prepare your application for CPD approval. Please note, at present, the fastest way to contact us is by logging into our support desk here

  • If you need advice for CPD approval for your activity, call or email with your activity title and proposed date and we will talk you through what you need to do
  • If you need to follow up with additional information or questions about an existing application, simply reply through the email ticket we sent to you
  • Alternatively, you might like to look through our CPD Approval FAQs