Chiropractors must keep up to date with developments within the profession to make sure they are practising in the best interests of themselves and their patients. By broadening and deepening their knowledge through lifelong learning, chiropractors are undertaking what is known as Continuing Professional Development, or CPD.
The EAC recommends that every chiropractor undertakes a minimum of 30 hours of CPD per year. There are many ways in which chiropractors may undertake CPD, but it is recommended that a minimum of 15 hours is spent ‘learning with others’. This means that there should be some interaction between the chiropractor and other people as part of their learning activity (for example, attending conferences and seminars).
Chiropractors may complete a learning cycle as part of their CPD. This requires them to identify a specific learning need, undertake activities to meet this need, then reflect on the effectiveness of the outcomes as they relate to their work as chiropractors.
CPD undertaken by chiropractors should aim to either:
Improve the care they provide to patients; and/or
Develop the chiropractic profession.
Learning can be formal or informal. Formal learning is that which may take place in a lecture or seminar room. Informal learning may be practice/clinic meetings or discussions with colleagues.
In some ECU member countries, CPD is compulsory. One example is the United Kingdom, which in July 2014 published useful guidance on Continuing Professional Development for chiropractors.