RCGP Clinical Courses and Certifications
Here you can access the online clinical courses and certifications available from the RCGP to support the continuing professional development of general practitioners and other professionals.
Prescribing in General Practice
Prescribing is integral to the role of a GP. In 2012 in England alone, there were over 1 billion prescription items dispensed, at a cost of over £8.5 billion. Yet prescribing errors are common, occurring in around one in 20 prescriptions. This course looks at the principles which inform good prescribing and details the more common reasons for prescribing errors.
Supporting Carers in General Practice
Carers provide unpaid support for disabled, sick and vulnerable people and are a valuable resource, saving the UK economy in excess of £119 billion every year in care costs. Involving carers in care decisions and supporting carers to maintain their own health and the caregiving situation can prevent unnecessary admissions or residential care home placement and enable people with health problems to live independently for longer. This course provides information and guidance for GPs and other community healthcare professionals to enable them to build carer involvement and support into their everyday practice.
Taking Action to Support Carers in Practice Teams
This course focuses on supporting carers from a practice perspective, and as such it may be used as group training for practice teams as well as by individuals. It explains the rationale behind increasing awareness and support for carers, whilst also highlighting and signposting areas that can commonly be improved or changed to the benefit of both carer and practice.
The GP Lifestyle - Wellbeing in General Practice
Revalidation began in 2012 and it is expected that the majority of licensed doctors in the UK will have been revalidated by March 2016. One of the requirements to be revalidated includes reflecting on your health and well-being and to provide evidence of fitness to practise. The GP Lifestyle - Wellbeing in General Practice course enables you to reflect and provide evidence on various aspects of your well-being, in a holistic, non-judgemental way and promote ideas for a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. It includes advice on stress management, alcohol, nutrition, exercise and substance misuse.
Revalidation began in 2012 and it is expected that the majority of licensed doctors in the UK will have been revalidated by March 2016. This module outlines the process of revalidation and explains the standards expected from GPs.
Drugs: Management of Drug Misuse (Level 1)
The UK currently has one of the highest prevalence rates of illicit drug use in the western world, particularly heroin and crack cocaine. 30% of adults in the UK aged 16-59 have ever used an illegal drug, which equates to approximately 10 million people. An understanding of how to approach treatment of people who misuse drugs is therefore very relevant for primary care practitioners.
This module describes common drugs of misuse and their effects. The risks inherent in injecting drugs are explained and the concept of harm reduction is introduced, as it applies to GPs treating people who misuse drugs.
Drugs: Identification and Harm Reduction
This module builds on the knowledge acquired in the introductory module. It covers the principles of prescribing opiate substitution therapy, both in terms of maintenance treatment and detoxification. Common comorbidities are discussed, as well as the specific set of problems facing older people who misuse drugs.
Alcohol: Management in Primary Care
This course builds on the information presented in the Alcohol: Identification and Brief Advice course. It covers the physical and mental health problems associated with problem drinking.
It also describes the different ways of helping people to cut down their drinking and important aspects of care during and after detoxification, through the use of reflective case studies.
First5® CPD Group Resource Pack: Heart Failure
Heart failure is an important public health problem affecting an estimated 90 000 people in the UK. making a timely diagnosis is crucial to allow patients to benefit from evidence based treatments. This sessions looks at guidelines around heart failure diagnosis and uses cases from group members own practices to facilitate discussion around 'real life' scenarios and current local processes. This resource was developed with support from an educational grant from MPS.
Urinary Tract Infections: A Primary Care Puzzle
This course covers issues that arise in diagnosing and managing urinary tract infections. It explains the importance and appropriateness of diagnostics and offers advice on how to assess and treat patients with a range of urinary symptoms. It encourages reflection on how to minimise antibiotic resistance and offers 'real-life' cases.
This course focuses on a primary care approach to assessment of patients with a musculoskeletal problem. It covers diagnosis, investigations and treatment. Specific conditions frequently encountered by GPs are described in more detail, including back pain, gout, inflammatory arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and osteoarthritis. The final session looks at musculoskeletal problems which can be exclusively managed within primary care and features useful exercises for patients.
Cervical Screening Update
This update is for primary care and other professionals caring for women undergoing cervical screening. It will serve as a useful introduction and refresher on the topic, to build on the locally-based practical training and assessment advised for all NHS cervical screening sample takers.This course was developed with support from NHS Cancer Screening Programmes.
Early Diagnosis of Cancer
This course highlights the importance of recognising cancer in its early stages and the essential role of the GP in identifying common delays. It includes reflective cases, risk toolkits and practical suggestions on how to improve your practice and helps you to discover ways to diagnose cancer earlier. The course was developed in partnership with Cancer Research UK.
Tuberculosis in General Practice
The number of Tuberculosis cases in the UK has been increasing over the past 20 years. Early diagnosis is vital and GPs play a key role preventing, identifying and treating patients with TB. Using case studies this course will increase your knowledge and skills in identifying patients with pulmonary and extrapulmonary symptoms. It also highlights risk factors, the importance of screening, limitations of vaccination and contact tracing.
Pancreatic Cancer: Early Diagnosis in General Practice
Patients frequently present to general practice with a range of undifferentiated symptoms that may or may not signify serious disease. This course helps GPs to make sense of the early symptoms that could be explained by pancreatic cancer. Using video-based scenarios, it reviews the patterns of symptoms that emerge over time, which can suggest a serious underlying diagnosis, and sets out an approach that GPs can take to ensure appropriate and timely investigation and follow-up in cases of diagnostic uncertainty. Pancreatic cancer is more prevalent than is often recognised and earlier detection of symptoms will improve outcomes for patients.
Brain Tumours in Children
This course on Brain Tumours in Children will enable you to more confidently diagnose brain tumours in children and to understand that presenting symptoms may vary according to the age of the child. Brain tumours are the commonest cancer cause of death in children and adolescents. People often present initially to primary care and this session will help you to improve your diagnostic skills and to safety net appropriately, through the use of case studies.
Alcohol: Identification and Brief Advice
This course is for everybody who needs to use an assessment tool to identify problematic drinking. It is intended for a general audience; you do not have to be a doctor or a nurse to attempt it. The course will enable you to understand the basic principles of alcohol related harm; to use the AUDIT screening tool and to act on its results; and to have an understanding of how to give brief advice where required. The course also explores the health, social and legal consequences of drinking alcohol and uses video clips to demonstrate the use of AUDIT and how to conduct a brief intervention.
Gambling Disorders in General Practice
This course enables you to identify and manage patients with problem gambling. The prevalence and impact of problem gambling is grossly underestimated and can range from lottery addictions to pathological internet-based gambling activities. It is essential as a GP to be able to identify patients at risk and this course is designed to help you improve the care and support you and your practice can provide by offering practical screening tools and the skills to manage problem gambling in general practice.
Multiple Sclerosis in General Practice
This course enables you to update your knowledge of evidence-based care for people with MS. It covers dilemmas in diagnosis, typical presenting symptoms and the multi-disciplinary management of people with chronic MS.
Kidney Health in General Practice
This course introduces the wide-ranging role of the primary care team in kidney health and describes how to improve the detection and management of chronic kidney disease. It explores common dilemmas on both an individual and local population level and provides practical tips on how to implement the guidance, using case studies.
Self Care for Minor Ailments
This course will equip primary care practitioners with the knowledge and skills to conduct a 'self-care aware' consultation for patients with self-limiting minor ailments. The course also includes strategies for the whole primary care team, to improve patient access to evidence-based information about minor ailments and to enhance patient confidence.
Respiratory Health in General Practice
This comprehensive course provides primary care practitioners with an overview of the common respiratory problems seen in primary care. It explores the prevention, presentation, diagnosis, assessment and ongoing management of common respiratory disorders and the promotion of respiratory health.
Violence Against Women and Children
This course will enable GPs and other professionals to improve their recognition of and response to patients suffering from violence. It has been developed with funding from the Department of Health.
This course covers the psychological and physical issues which are commonly faced by veterans and their families, and to outline some of the resources which are available to help them. This course has been developed in partnership with the Royal British Legion and with support from Changing Faces. It was funded by the Department of Health.
This short course will support members of the General Practice team who record patient information on their computer system. It includes details of the wide range of uses of medical records and how data can be stored to maximise its usefulness. The course also discusses retention of records and confidentiality.
Health for Healthcare Professionals - part 2
This is the second course in our Health for Healthcare Professionals series and it further explores the issues around doctors' health and what we can do in general practice to improve care of practitioner patients. Health professionals, like their patients, become ill. Poor practitioner health adversely affects the care of patients, healthcare costs, the lives of the physician's colleagues, family and friends, and the physician themselves.
Improving the health of doctors has many beneficial effects on patients. Yet encouraging doctors to access help to improve their health is not easy. Doctors make poor patients - they tend not to consult their GP and may have 'corridor consultations' with colleagues. They often find innovative ways of obtaining health care and are at risk of inappropriately self-diagnosing, self-prescribing and even self-referring.
Autism in General Practice
The Autism in General Practice course will enable primary care teams to gain a better understanding of the challenges that people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions face on a daily basis. It uses video clips of real patients and carers recounting their experiences to discuss key issues including diagnosis, communication and management.
This course has been developed in partnership with DIPEx, the charity behind the healthtalkonline website. It was funded by an educational grant from the Department of Health's Autism Strategy Team.
Hepatitis B & C: Detection, Diagnosis & Management
This course supports primary care practitioners in detecting and diagnosing hepatitis B and C, and advising people about reducing risk of infection. It describes the clinical management of viral hepatitis and explains how to reduce morbidity and mortality in people with hepatitis through early identification. It discusses the identification and ways of addressing the needs of different population groups and explains how other factors can impact on liver health in combination with hepatitis infection. This online course forms the first activity for the RCGP Part 1 Certificate in the Detection, Diagnosis and Management of Hepatitis B and C in Primary Care but can also be completed as a stand-alone course for your self-directed learning.
Click here to access Hepatitis B & C: Detection, Diagnosis & Management
Mental Health in Older People
This short course aims to provide primary care practitioners with an overview of mental health issues affecting older people. It explores the presentation, diagnosis, assessment and ongoing management of common mental health disorders that affect the elderly
Health for Healthcare Professionals - part 1
This course explores the issues around doctors’ health, and what we can do in general practice to improve the care of our own practitioner patients. Health professionals, like their patients, become ill. Poor practitioner health adversely affects the care of patients, healthcare costs, the lives of the physician’s colleagues, family and friends, and the physician themselves.
Improving the health of doctors has many beneficial effects on patients. Yet doctors tend to not consult with their GP and may have 'corridor consultations' with colleagues. They often find innovative ways of obtaining health care and are at risk of inappropriately self-diagnosing, self-prescribing and even self-referring.
Managing Acute Respiratory Tract Infections
The Managing Acute Respiratory Tract Infections course enables you to improve the care you provide to patients presenting with acute ear pain, acute sore throat, sinusitis and acute cough. It explains why it is crucial to evaluate your everyday prescribing decisions and gives examples of methods you can use to do this, as an individual and within a practice, and encourages you to identify barriers to change It also reviews the clinical knowledge, communication skills and tools needed to assess and treat patients most effectively.
This online course has been developed through a partnership between the RCGP and the Health Protection Agency's Primary Care Unit. It was funded by an educational grant from the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
Sexual Health in General Practice
This course forms part of the RCGP Introductory Certificate in Sexual Health (ICSH). You can also take this course separately for self-directed learning. The course provides a basic grounding in sexual health issues for practising GPs.
The course was developed by the RCGP Sex, Drugs and HIV Task Group, in partnership with the Medical Foundation for AIDS & Sexual Health (MedFASH).
Supporting Couple Relationships in General Practice
This short online course helps GPs to recognise relationship issues in patients and the potential impact these can have on health.
The course recommends appropriate sources of support, including online resources, self-help guides and useful information and services for patients.
Supporting Couple Relationships in General Practice has been developed in partnership with One Plus One, the UK's leading relationship research organisation.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
This online course supports GPs and other primary care practitioners caring for people with common mental health problems. It consists of approximately 2 hours of engaging e-learning activities and formative self-assessments to facilitate learning and reflection. Links to resources and further reading/activities are also provided.
The IAPT course was developed in partnership with the IAPT National Primary Care Programme and the RCGP and is provided FREE of charge.