Continuing Professional Development has come a long way from its humble beginnings as an “add-on” to undergraduate and postgraduate education two decades ago. It has now grown into a profession supported by a great deal of educational literature. As the average professional spends 40 years in practice after formal training, we are finally acknowledging the importance and value of lifelong learning and professional development opportunities as an academic responsibility of university medical schools.
AMEE is an annual conference that attracts between three and four thousand professionals from around the world. With the vast majority of the conference’s presentations, posters and workshops dedicated to UME or PGME, Jane Tipping, MADEd, saw both a need and an opportunity to raise the profile of CPD and its ongoing accreditation courses. She was invited to produce the Essential Skills in CEPD course to help educators from around the world learn from each other’s unique experiences. This was a big step in not only connecting educators in a new way, but also because it acknowledged the importance of CPD as an academic necessity. The AMEE conference is now preceded by a day and a half of workshops and lectures led by representatives from CPD departments across the globe.
The momentum sparked the development of additional internationally viable programming, including the International CPD Foundations program, created by Tipping and then Academic Director of CPD Suzan Schneeweiss. The foundations program seeks to teach those involved in ongoing education methods for creating and implementing professional development programs with impact.
Tipping has continued to work with the executive committee at AMEE, recently developing and now co-chairing an internationally representative Special Interest Group. The goal and likely outcome will be to form an official CPD committee within the organization that will further increase the visibility and credibility of the field.