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HCA launches first CPD standards framework for healthcare professionals

The CPD Standards Framework has been produced by a board of pharmaceutical, healthcare and charity communications agencies


The Healthcare Communications Association (HCA) has launched the first set of continuous professional development (CPD) standards for healthcare communications professionals.

In addition to this, the HCA has also started a new certification scheme to recognise individual practitioners who achieve the new CPD standards annually.

The CPD Standards Framework lays out guidelines for professionals wanting to further their learning, with an annual cycle of learning hours required for participants to follow. The framework requires at least 32 CPD points – one hour is equal to one CPD point – of which at least six points must be made up from Structured Learning – either in the form of live or online courses, or one-to-one training – and at least three points must be ethics or codes of practice learning.

As part of the launch, the HCA has introduced an online CPD Record Platform – – a portal where healthcare communicators can keep a record of their CPD activities and progress.

Once the required standards have been achieved, users of the platform can apply annually for formal accreditation. This then means that they will attain accreditation as HCA Certified to CPD standards, allowing them to use the official certification logo to publicly recognise the achievement.

The HCA’s new launch follows extensive consultation and research on CPD standards for healthcare communications professionals and underscores an important milestone in reinforcing the professional position of healthcare communications.

HCA CEO Mike Dixon explained the significance of developing CPD for industry professionals: “Establishing CPD for healthcare professionals recognises the importance of continued learning in maintaining and raising standards and quality within healthcare communications and helping to bring greater alignment across the sector.”

He added: “More formally embedding CPD into the professional development of healthcare communications practitioners better aligns our sector with other professions such as legal, financial, medical and even our cross-over discipline of PR. However, due to the very specialised and across-discipline nature of healthcare communications – such as medical affairs, brand marketing and corporate communications – it is right that healthcare communications needs its own specific standards.”

Highlighting the work that went into producing the HCA CPD standards, Chair of the Professional Development Committee, Emma Kenny, partner and operations director at AXON Communications, said: “The development of the framework has involved a year of research and consultation to ensure we have learnt from other professions while ensuring our standards are tailored, appropriate and realistic for the healthcare communications sector.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

11th February 2022

From: Marketing



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