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- launched by the Healthcare Communications Association alongside new CPD Standards Certification

Embargoed 7pm Thursday 10th February 2022: The Healthcare Communications Association (HCA) have launched the first CPD standards for healthcare communications professionals and a new certification scheme to recognise those individual practitioners who achieve these standards annually.

Following extensive research and consultation, the publication of Advancing healthcare communications: HCA CPD standards marks a milestone in further consolidating the professional status of healthcare communications. Commenting on the launch, HCA CEO Mike Dixon explained the importance and significance: “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 continued: “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.”

The CPD Standards Framework has been developed by a committee of pharma industry, agency and charity healthcare communicators. Chair of this Professional Development Committee, Emma Kenny, Partner and Operations Director at AXON Communications outlined the robustness of the framework: “The development of the framework has involved a year of research and consultation to ensure we have learnt from other professions whilst ensuring our standards are tailored, appropriate and realistic for the healthcare communications sector.” She continued: “The standards are designed so they can integrate well with an organisations existing development programme and should have minimal cost implications for those organisations. We encourage all practitioners to embrace CPD as individuals and all organisations to support the development of their people by encouraging the attainment of these standards. Together, we can all contribute to driving standards in our industry to a new high.”

The CPD Standards Framework requires individuals to achieve the following learning hours in an annual cycle:

• At least 32 CPD points (1 hour learning = 1 CPD point) of which:

o at least 6 points need to come from Structured Learning (courses live or online or 1:1 training)

o at least 3 points needs to be ethics or codes of practice learning

The HCA has launched an online CPD Record Platform ( where healthcare communicators can record their CPD activities and on achieving the required standards can apply annually for formal accreditation. This will accredit an individual as HCA Certified to CPD Standards and they will be eligible to use the certified logo to publicly recognise this achievement.

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Last Updated: 15-Feb-2022