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The new CME/CPD cycle from 2017-2019 will commence on 1 January 2017. These FAQ and answers are based on the Principles and Guidelines on Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of the Hong Kong College of Otorhinolaryngologists for the cycle 2017-2019. Please feel free to contact our College Secretariat for further enquiry if necessary.

Question 1: What is new about this CME/CPD 2017-2019 cycle?
This is 3-year cycle in which the 15 active CPD points are mandatory. There are some changes in the accreditation categories.

Question 2: What are the changes compared with previous CME/CPD guidelines?
Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching activities are now accepted as a form of CPD, subject to the presence of a quality assurance process e.g. post-teaching evaluation. One active CPD point is accredited per activity or lecture.

Question 3: What are Active CPD and Passive CME activities?
Passive CME activities refer to passive participation in meetings e.g. attendance of lecture or conference.
Active CPD activities refer to all other activities as listed in the guidelines that involve active participation e.g. Morbidity and Mortality meeting, Grand Round, Journal Club meeting, Clinical Pathology Meeting, X-ray meeting, College held CPD seminar, teaching, presenting, chairing a meeting, conducting examination, self-study, publications, audit, research, postgraduate course leading to postgraduate qualification, hands-on clinical attachment program etc. Fellows should acquire a minimum of 15 active CPD points per cycle.

Question 4: What are the simple and easiest ways to gain CME/CPD points?
Some useful tips to gain CME/CPD points are listed as follows:

  • Attendance of ENT lectures (one passive point per hour) or non-ENT related lectures (0.5 passive point per hour).
  • Attendance of a local or overseas ENT conference/meeting can be awarded a maximum of 20 passive points per meeting.
  • Study an ENT or Non-ENT journal paper, book chapter, audiovisual materials or internet publication and submit a written summary of no less than 100 words will be awarded one active point per article. Correctly answering the test questions after attendance of ENT lectures or the CME Quiz after reading medical journals with scores over 75% will be awarded one active point.
  • Attendance of College held CPD seminar or discussion forum will be awarded one active point per hour.
  • Presenting in the College held CPD seminar will be awarded five active points.

Question 5: How should CME/CPD points be reported to the College?
Remember to mark a record of your activities by (a) signing the record of attendance provided by the activity organizer (please remember to write down your name in BLOCK letters clearly); (b) providing the documented proof to our College Secretariat, such as certificate of attendance, letter of verification from activity organizer, or a copy of your presenting article or manuscript showing author, title and publication names etc; (c) submitting your answers to the test questions or CME quiz via the web, mail or fax.

Question 6: Can I earn all 90 points in a year?
Yes. For our College, there is no requirement on the minimum number or a limit on the maximum number of CME/CPD points to be achieved each year. You can earn all 90 points in one year and remain lazy for two years though it is not recommended.

Question 7: Can I carry extra points to the next cycle?
No. CME/CPD points accumulated in excess of the requirement for one cycle cannot be carried forward to the next cycle.

Question 8: What if I fail to acquire 90 points in a cycle?
You will be considered as non-complaint to the requirement with possible serious consequence. There are two categories of non-compliance- Remediable and Non-remediable non-compliance.
Remediable non-compliance refers to having acquired more than 60 points but less than 90 points. Fellows in this category have to submit an explanation and a proposal for a remedial program within two weeks to the Education Committee of the HKCORL for endorsement. They have to make up the deficiency within 12 months and they have to undergo regular and remedial CME/CPD activities at the same time.
Non-remediable non-compliance refers to having acquired less than 60 points in a cycle without acceptable reasons; a recommendation to the HKAM for Fellowship suspension will be made.

Question 9: What if I were sick during the cycle and could not get 60 marks?
A Fellow who falls behind CME/CPD because of acute / prolonged illness or permanent disability can be exempted from the CME/CPD requirements, on condition that he is not in active practice.
An illness can be accepted as “prolonged illness”, provided a sick leave of at least 6 months has been formally granted within a 3-year cycle (pro-rata count may apply in case the cycle is less than 3 years);
Partial exemption will be considered on a case by case pro-rata basis depending on the extent of the illness and its impact on practice. The guiding principle of exemption is that when a Fellow is not in active practice because of the illness, CME/CPD requirement of that total period of “not in active practice” will be exempted for CME/CPD in that cycle, while pro-rata count of CME/CPD requirement will be applied to the period(s) during which the Fellows are in active practice.

Question 10: Is there any exemption to a fellow who has retired from active practice in and outside Hong Kong?
The Academy will consider application for CME/CPD exemption from a Fellow only if he has formally submitted a written declaration to the Academy / College that he has retired from active practice in and outside Hong Kong.
A Fellow holding multiple Fellowships cannot claim retirement from active practice for one specialty while still practising in the other specialty / specialties. A Fellow can apply for suspension of a Fellowship for which he chooses not to continue with CME/CPD.
A retired Fellow who subsequently wishes to resume active practice will be required to have obtained at least 90 CME/CPD points within 36 months counting back from the date of application in order to resume medical practice. A pro-rata number of the 90 points required must be obtained within the period between the date of retirement and the date of application for resuming practice. Should a retired Fellow resume medical practice before he can fulfil the CME/CPD requirements as aforementioned, he will lose his status as a retired Fellow and his Fellowship will be suspended accordingly.

Question 11: What if I fail the remedial program?
A recommendation to the HKAM for Fellowship suspension will be made.

Question 12: Will I be informed regularly of the number of CME/CPD points gained?
You can check your CME/CPD points from the Academy iCMECPD website at www.icmecpd.hk. Personal login and password for iCMECPD are required. If you have not yet registered your login name, please contact the HKAM Secretariat at 2871-8888 or visit their website (http://www.icmecpd.hk/forgotpwd.asp)

Our College Secretariat will also send reminder letters to all fellows one year before a current CME/CPD cycle expires, informing their individual CME/CPD points acquired. For some Fellows who are at risk of failing the requirement, our secretariat will remind them on regular intervals.


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