Microsystems  Acupuncture

Introduction to Continuing Professional  Development. (CPD)

The Microsystems Acupuncture Council (proposed)[ MAC] consider continuing professional development [CPD] as one of the fundamental cornerstones in the development of acupuncture practitioners knowledge and understanding of themselves and their chosen acupuncture Microsystems, the continuing and evolutionary development of patient care and the novel and organic development of the wider acupuncture profession.

Currently there are a growing number of professional associations and professional councils that have developed into either voluntary self regulated professions e.g. Acupuncture or statutory self regulated professions e.g. Osteopathy. There are also a larger number of growing professions, which are in the process of doing so, e.g. massage and bodywork etc. The currently regulated professions, both voluntary and statutory, all have CPD requirements as either mandatory or voluntary.

Broadly CPD requirements are divided into four systems within the professions. They are either;

  • 1. Hourly based.
  • 2. Credit based
  • 3. Contact based
  • 4. Outcome based

All registered members of the MAC must undertake annual CPD.

Outcome  based CPD

The MAC recognises that CPD can be undertaken in many and varied ways by its members, and does not recommend a minimum or maximum number of hours, amount or type of CPD that must be undertaken. The MAC considers any CPD that is undertaken by its registrants, should be outcome based in line with the HPC. Any CPD activity that is undertaken by its registrants must demonstrate that;

  • 1. Be useful to the practitioner and / or patient.
  • 2. Is relevant to their practice.
  • 3. Helps further professional development.
  • 4. Has a structure that means they can meet the MACs’ 5 standards;
  • 5. Has a safety element.

The 5 standards that registrants should meet;

  • 1. Maintain an up to date continuous record of CPD.
  • 2. Demonstrate that learning activities are relevant to their current or future practice.
  • 3. Contributes to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • 4. Benefits the service user / client / patient.
  • 5. On request they are able to present a written portfolio.

What is CPD?  

Most practitioners already undertake many CPD activities, however most have not yet developed the habit of recording these activities routinely, from looking up a patients medical condition to chatting with fellow health professionals, it happens continually in professionals regular working lives.

As practitioners we may already undertake many things that could be described as CPD activities. However as much of it is not recorded in any structured manner and so we perhaps do not learn as much as we could from them. CPD should be viewed as a system to encourage and foster a culture of continuing personal and professional development within our profession. CPD for practitioners should be undertaken in a five-stage system.

  • 1. Reflecting
  • 2. Planning
  • 3. Undertaking
  • 4. Evaluating
  • 5. Recording

“Continuing Professional Development (CPD) refers to learning that occurs throughout your

professional life, is planned and recorded, supports you in your work and development as a

practitioner and also benefits the care of your patients.” (Ref; BAcC)

CPD generally falls into 5 areas;

  • 1. Work based learning
  • 2. Professional activity
  • 3. Formal / educational
  • 4. Self-directed learning
  • 5. Other

Any proposed CPD program must allow for the fact that individual practitioner’s educational needs will differ, and that they undertake their learning in differing ways. CPD can encompass learning from all activities that support your work, most of which will be practice based and part of daily life, others not; it can be anything such as;

    • Looking things up – auricular points; medical conditions; patient medication etc.
    • Asking for advice - supervision groups; a phone call to a fellow practitioner.
    • Reflecting on what did or didn’t work with patients – perhaps keeping a journal.
    • Reflecting on working with other healthcare professionals

It could also include activities that support your health and well being such as:

    • Tai chi
    • Qi gong
    • Yoga

MAC  CPD validated  courses.

The MAC does not validate CPD courses.

Recording  CPD

There is a need for CPD to be recorded in some manner the use of a pro-forma form can aid and assist this for registrants. The MAC requires its members to be able to demonstrate and record that they have been undertaking CPD.

Tutors CPD

Tutors that are involved in the educational establishments should ensure that their CPD is 50% educational and 50% clinical. Tutors must have peer review undertaken annually.

Assessment and  evidence

When registrants undertake their annual re-assessment for practice, they will be required to provide written evidence that they have undertaken appropriate CPD. The renewal of the membership to the MAC will require that the assessing organisation, group or tutor check and validate this evidence.

Evidence submitted by registrants must demonstrate that any CPD undertaken meets one or more of the five outcome requirements for CPD set above. The MAC may from time to time request written evidence from MAC members that they are undertaking appropriate CPD. Failure to supply this evidence could lead to a practitioner being suspended or removed from the register.

The MAC has developed guidelines for registrants on how best to begin to develop and undertake their own PD portfolio; these can be downloaded or sent to registrants upon request.

Appendix 1

This list is not intended to be exhaustive and the intention is that the registrants will make a professional judgment as to which type and frequency of activity will allow them to meet the Standards. CPD is based on on-going learning and development and focuses on the individual's learning achievements and how these have been reflected in their clinical practice and service delivery, either directly or indirectly. (Reference HPC)

Work based learning:

  • Learning by doing
  • Case studies
  • Reflective practice
  • Clinical audit
  • Coaching from others
  • Discussions with colleagues
  • Peer review
  • Gaining, and learning from, experience
  • Involvement in wider work of employer
  • (for example, being a representative on a committee)
  • Work shadowing


  • Job rotation
  • Journal club
  • In-service training
  • Supervising staff or students
  • Visiting other departments and reporting back
  • Expanding your role
  • Analysing significant events
  • Filling in self-assessment
  • questionnaires
  • Project work or project management
  • Evidence of learning activities undertaken as part of your progression on the Knowledge and Skills
  • Framework

Professional activity

  • Involvement in a professional body
  • Membership of a specialist interest group
  • Lecturing or teaching
  • Mentoring
  • Being an examiner
  • Being a tutor
  • Branch meetings
  • Organising journal clubs or other specialist groups
  • Maintaining or developing specialist skills (for example, musical skills)
  • Being an expert witness
  • Membership of other professional bodies or groups
  • Giving presentations at conferences
  • Organising accredited courses
  • Supervising research
  • Being a national assessor
  • Being promoted

Formal / educational

  • Courses
  • Further education
  • Research
  • Attending conferences
  • Writing articles or papers
  • Going to seminars
  • Distance learning
  • Courses accredited by professional body
  • Planning or running a course

Self-directed learning

  • Reading journals / articles
  • Reviewing books or articles
  • Updating knowledge through the Internet or TV
  • Keeping a file of your progress


  • Public service
  • Voluntary work
  • Courses

[Home] [Mission Statement] [Main Tasks] [Membership] [Group Members] [Grandparenting] [CPD] [Apel] [Education] [Meeting Minutes] [PDF Documents] [Documents] [Standards] [Constitution] [Contact Us]

 Website Design by KJ-H Presentations  www.kj-h.biz                                       Last updated March 2012