They include all activities that enhance professional competences and lead to better delivery of health care services, and usually include a focus on one or more critical skills or values, such as the implementation of best practice recommendations for clinical care or community practice, quality improvement, new and improved procedural skills, improved communication skills, bioethics, leadership and management, patient safety issues, medicine safety issues, and medical computer applications.
These activities can be varied, and are generally divided between group and individual activities.
The group activities include not only the well-known group lectures or conferences/seminars, but also workshops, formal journal club discussions, etc.
The individual activities accepted by many national and international organizations commonly include journal reading (especially if accompanied by a self-assessment at the end); pharmaceutical teaching activities; preparation and presentation of a lecture, paper, poster or other scholarly work; or clinical research activities.
The CPD activities for individuals are, by nature, more difficult to quantify and validate, but they are recognized to be of value in professional development, and are therefore included as recognized CPD, although often with some limitations.