Quick Reference Guide for the CPD Online Diary

Launched in August 2011 and now with over 8,000 registered users, the College CPD Online Diary is a ‘one stop’ solution to support consultant and career grade doctors in planning and recording their educational and professional development activities.

This guidance will help you get started with using the system, and it also details the main features available.

Logging in
Each time you log in you will be prompted for your Username – which is your GMC number – and Password. If you have forgotten your password you can select the “Forgotten your login details” form and your password reset will be sent to the email address which you originally used to register for the system.

Once logged in and after you have set your Cycle 1 start date (i.e. when you would first like to start recording CPD evidence from) you can change your password by selecting the “My Details” tab on the top right hand side and clicking on “Login Details”.

Note: when you log in for the first time you will be asked to set your Cycle 1 start date – i.e. not today’s date but when you would first like to start recording evidence of your CPD activities from. Should you subsequently wish to change this date, please email the CPD Team at cpd@rcoa.ac.uk with your College Reference Number and the revised start date.

When you have logged in you will see a screen with the following top toolbar options:


Adding a Personal Activity
To add a personal activity (e.g. e-Learning or reading), go to “Activities” and “Add a Personal Activity” and then work your way through the following screen:

Once you have filled in the above screen click on “Add a review to claim credits” and complete the screen below. Please note that all of the boxes marked with an asterix are mandatory and must be completed. You have the opportunity to upload supporting information (e.g. a copy of your e-Learning MCQ pass certificate) where it says “Add a Supporting Resource” – to do this click on “Create New Resource”.

You must next allocate how many credits your personal activity attracted and the College guidance on CPD can be obtained here. Then, click on “Save and link to CPD Matrix Categories” and, on the screen which follows, click on “Expand All”. This brings up the complete list of CPD Matrix codes and you can click on those which apply to the personal activity you have completed. Finally, click on “Save”.

The review screen is particularly important because you must add your personal reflections on all CPD activities completed – what you have gained, and any further learning needs. It is only when the review has been completed that the CPD credits are added to your records.

Note - The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has issued best practice guidance for trainees on how to record reflective comments into e-Portfolio systems. The guidance focuses on the importance of anonymising reflective notes for patient confidentiality reasons and it is also appropriate for users of the CPD systems. It can be viewed at https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Academy-Guidance-e-Portfolios.pdf

Adding an Event which you have previously attended
The CPD Online Diary includes details of over 1,500 events which have been reviewed by the CPD Board. Such events are reviewed when an application is made by the event provider and they will have been allocated a credits award by the CPD Board and, in most cases, the alignment to the CPD Matrix codes will also have been done.

To see if the event you have attended has previously been reviewed by the CPD Board, go to “Activities” and “View Past Events” and then use one of the filter options from the screen below:

If the event is one which has previously been evaluated here, click on it and then click on the “Subscribe” button – to add it to your records. You will then need to review it, in order for the CPD credits (and CPD Matrix codes, where applicable) to be added to your records, and this can be done by selecting the “View Activities and Events Awaiting Review” option. Click on the event name again and click on “Update Your Event Review” and “Add a review to claim credits” and follow the various stages, similar to those detailed above.

If the event does not appear in the CPD Online Diary – this is because the event provider has not submitted details about it for a review by the CPD Board – you will need to add it as a “Personal Activity”, as described above, under the activity type category of “Events and Meetings”. In this situation you will need to manually add the CPD Matrix codes.

Adding an Event which you plan to attend in the future
You can also search for and add to your records a future event which has been reviewed and approved for CPD credits. To do this, click on “Activities” and “View and Subscribe to CPD Approved Events” and then use one of the filter options mentioned above. When you have attended the event, you will need to review it, as detailed previously.

Note: Clicking on the “Subscribe” button means that the event is added to your records. However, you will need to contact the event provider direct to register your attendance.

Learning Outcome Review
There is an opportunity to review an event you have attended against the Learning Outcomes as specified by the event provider. Once you have saved your review (as detailed above) the system will navigate to the “Learning Outcome Review” page:


This is only intended as a review of the event providers' delivery of the event and is not related to the results of your own CPD activity review and so you have the option to skip this page.

Create and add Objectives to a Personal Development Plan
To create a new Plan, go to the ‘Planning’ menu and click on ‘Create a New Personal Development Plan (PDP)’. The system will navigate to the ‘Create a New Personal Development Plan (PDP)’ screen and complete all the fields – i.e. “Title of PDP”, “Start Date” and “End Date”. The start and end dates should coincide with your appraisal year.

Once the Plan has been set up and saved you have the option of creating objectives within that PDP by clicking on “Add Objective”. Alternately, you can revisit and add objectives to a PDP by clicking on “Planning” and “List PDPs” and clicking on the relevant Plan.


Complete a Personal Development Plan Objective
Over the course of the year (or just before your next appraisal) when you have completed an objective, click onto the ‘Planning’ link and select ‘List PDPs’. Click on the title of the relevant Plan and then ‘Edit PDP Objective’. You will need to add some comments in the “Outcome/Reflection” section and when you have saved these you will be able to mark the objective as being complete.

Note: when you add an activity (personal or an event approved by the College) to your records you can link it directly to an objective in your PDP. This is done during the review section. Details of the linked CPD activity will then be included in the PDF report of your Plan.

Add a Special Circumstance
You have the opportunity to add a Special Circumstance – i.e. Career break, Illness, Maternity Leave or other reason – accompanied by the start and end dates. This will then appear in your CPD Activity Summary reports.

Report on a Personal Development Plan
By clicking on “Get PDF” you will be able to generate a PDF report of your plan. You can then save this onto your computer, which can be emailed to your appraiser or uploaded into a hospital’s electronic appraisal system.

CPD Activity Summary (reports for use at your appraisal)
There are two options available under “Reports” “CPD Activity Summary”:

CPD Credits Achieved Report option – produces a summary listing of CPD credits achieved in all categories of educational activities. The report also summarises your credits achieved by internal and external activities, and by clinical and non-clinical educational activities.

Full Report option – an extension of the above report and includes details of all CPD activities completed. The report provides details of the title, date and organiser of each activity and its CPD credits, as well as your review comments made – these will be particularly important during your appraisal discussions.

Note: if you have more than one cycle set up in the system – i.e. if you have been recording CPD activities for more than 12 months – you can choose to generate your activity report either by clicking on the “Filter by cycle” option, selecting from the dropdown list and clicking on “Filter”, or by clicking on “Filter by dates”, selecting a range of dates, and then clicking on “Filter”.

Please note - some users have been experiencing difficulties when trying to save their PDF report because the "File" - "Save As" options are not appearing on their toolbar. If this is the case for you, please right click your mouse on the toolbar (i.e. underneath where the website address is) and then left click on where it says "Menu bar" so that it is ticked. This will reinstate the "File" - "Save As" options so that you can save your PDF report.

CPD Matrix summary (gap analysis/identification to help inform a future Personal Development Plan)
You can use the CPD Online Diary to report on which areas of the CPD Matrix you have covered, so as to help inform a future Personal Development Plan. To do this, select “Reports” and “CPD Matrix Summary” and click on “Expand All”. Those codes from the CPD Matrix which you have covered will be shown and, as above, you can filter this report either by Cycle number of by your own choice of date range.

Within your Diary you can view all the items which you have added to your record.

By clicking on “Diary” the default is a monthly view and you can change this to a day or weekly view. You can add a personal activity to any day by clicking on “+”, or by clicking on “CPD Approved Events” and “Filter” the system will show all events which have been reviewed by the CPD Board taking place during the time period selected. You can then click on the title of the event to see more details about it.


Personal Filing Cabinet
You can use the Personal Filing Cabinet to add resources (e.g. documents or website addresses) to support your CPD. These resources will not appear in the CPD Activity Summary reports.

Further information
For further information on how to use the CPD Online Diary please visit the FAQs section on our website, or contact cpd@rcoa.ac.uk.