CPD tools - RCGP Essential Knowledge Updates

The RCGP's one-stop solution to information overload for GPs. By Professor Nigel Sparrow, Professor Sean Hilton and Dr Dirk Pilat.

The RCGP is committed to helping GPs access and manage a wide range of new and changing information relevant to primary care.

With such a large amount of information being distributed to GPs, combined with their already heavy workload, there is a danger of the most crucial material being missed.

The RCGP Essential Knowledge Update (EKU) programme provides GPs with a six-monthly, focused update on selected items of the latest information and learning in priority clinical areas, and encourages the effective application of new knowledge in clinical practice to enhance GPs' skills and patients' experience.

For GPs and by GPs

Written for GPs by GPs, the EKUs highlight and deliver a regular and concise synthesis of the most important documents containing new and changing information, in a series of online learning modules.

Each EKU represents a continuous and rigorous literature search of the preceding six months, taking in NICE/SIGN guidelines, gold standards, research papers and articles that are relevant and important for general practice.

Podcast and tests

EKUs now have an accompanying podcast, in which key educational messages are discussed with the authors of the respective modules, adding another dimension to the learning experience.

This also gives RCGP members and subscribers a chance to become acquainted with the topics of the EKU in a different medium, increasing its educational impact.

Each EKU also has an associated Essential Knowledge Challenge (EKC), an applied online knowledge test that enables GPs to test their learning on the corresponding EKU. By testing existing knowledge and highlighting areas for improvement, the EKC is invaluable for CPD.

Applying the knowledge

The primary purpose of EKUs is to help GPs provide excellent care to their patients. Over the past three years, more than 36,000 GPs have used the RCGP's online learning environment, with most choosing to use EKUs and EKCs as part of their CPD.

User feedback shows that GPs consider EKUs and EKCs very helpful for meeting their CPD requirements, as well as addressing areas of clinical uncertainty and continuing educational need.

Feedback also shows that learning is being applied in audits and has changed clinical practice for the benefit of primary care practitioners and their patients.

  • Professor Sparrow is RCGP lead on revalidation, Professor Hilton is chairman of the EKU steering group and Dr Pilat is RCGP medical director for elearning


RCGP EKUs,EKCs and podcasts


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