Perceived need and barriers to continuing professional development among doctors

Divine Ikenwilo*, Diane Skatun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


There is growing need for continuing professional development (CPD) among doctors, especially following the recent introduction of compulsory revalidation for all doctors in the United Kingdom (UK).We use unique datasets from two national surveys of non-training grade doctors working in the National Health Service in Scotland to evaluate doctors' perceptions of need and barriers to CPD. We test for differences over time and also examine differences between doctor grades and for other characteristics such as gender, age, contract type and specialty.Doctors expressed the greatest need for CPD in clinical training, management, and information technology. In terms of perceived barriers to CPD, lack of time was expressed as a barrier by the largest proportion of doctors, as was insufficient clinical cover, lack of funding, and remoteness from main education centres. The strength of perceived need for particular CPD activities and the perceived barriers to CPD varied significantly by doctors' job and personal characteristics.An understanding of the perceived needs and barriers to CPD among doctors is an important precursor to developing effective educational and training programmes that cover their professional practice and also in supporting doctors towards successful revalidation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number2
Early online date21 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Consultant
  • Continuing professional development
  • National health service
  • Revalidation
  • Scotland
  • Specialty and associate specialist


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