The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria is the regulatory body for the practice of Medicine, Dentistry and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria, established by an Act of Parliament in 1963, now Cap M8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

In pursuance of its statutory obligations and functions, the Council has approved Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme, to improve, renew and update the skills and ability of all doctors to ensure that appropriate and high quality health services are being rendered to patients. A Workshop was organized to affect the kick-off of the programme for Stakeholders by the Council Secretariat on the 26th and 27th of July, 2007 at the Yar’Adua Conference Centre, Abuja.

The ultimate goal of this programme (CPD) is to improve health care delivery to Nigerians in order to meet up with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations as adopted by the Federal Government of Nigeria. It is also aimed at empowering Nigerian Physicians and the health sector team to deliver quality service to the populace.

The world is now a global village and therefore citizens of the world resident in Nigeria as well as Nigerians must be able to access quality health care without traveling abroad.

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria accordingly, hereby, reminds all medical doctors and dental surgeons of the importance that all doctors must participate in suitable continuing professional development programmes in order to update their knowledge and skills to enhance their ability to render appropriate services to patients. Council has directed that participation in the continuing professional development programme is a mandatory requirement for license renewal by all doctors. To this end, the attention of all doctors is hereby called to the following details:


The programme shall cover Basic Medical and Dental Sciences as well as Clinical Sciences in the following specialties and sub-specialty areas among others:


1.         Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

2.         Basic Life Support (BLS)

3.         Advance Life Support (ALS)

4.         Disaster Management

5.         Management of Acid Injuries.

Dental Surgery:

1.         Dental Emergencies

2.         Facial Trauma

3.         Oral Manifestations of Systemic Diseases

4.         Common Oral Diseases

5.         Differential Diagnosis of Dental Pain

6.         Advance in Restorative Dentistry.


1.         Foreign Bodies in Ear, Nose, and Throat

2.         Management of Epitasis

3.         Management of Tonsillitis

4.         Common Emergencies in Orto-Rhino-Laryngology (ORL).

Family Medicine

1.         The Family in Health and Diseases

2.         The Place of Family Physicians

3.         Management of Terminally ill-patient.

Internal Medicine

1.         Hypertensive Cardio Vascular Accidents (CVA)

2.         Asthmatic Attacks

3.         Management of Chest Pains

4.         Diabetic Emergencies

5.         Basic Electrocardiogram (ECG)

6.         Physical Examinations

7.         Management of Poisonings

8.         Cardio Vascular Emergencies.

Obsetetrics & Gynaecology

1.         Management of Obstetric Emergencies

2          Abortions

3.         Adolescent Reproductive Health

4.         Post-Abortion Care

5.         Malaria in Pregnancy

6.         Prevention of Mother to Child HIV Transmission

7.         Basic Screening for Gynaecological Malignancies

8.         Contraceptive Technology - Update.


1.         Recognizing Basic Mental Illness

2.         Neuropsychiatric Emergencies

3.         Basic Clinical Psychology

4.         Substance Abuse.


1.         Update in Pharmacology

2.         Pharmacovigilance

3.         Rational Drug Use.

4.         Antiretroviral (ARV) therapy.

Public Health

1.         Update in Management of three Killer Diseases in Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV.

2.         Management of Epidemics

3.         Principles and Implementations of Primary Health Care (PHC)

4.         Principles of Infection Prevention and Control.


1.         Basic Radiological Anatomy

2.         Radiological Findings in Trauma

3.         Radiological Findings in Infection.


1.         Principles of Management of Common Fractures 

2.         Principles of Management of Dislocations

3.         Assessment and Initial Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries.


1.         Classification and Management of Emergencies in New Born

2.         Paediatric Emergencies

3.         Child Survival Strategies

4.         Basic Management Principles of Preterm.

Pathology (Laboratory Medicine)

1.         Competency in Common Laboratory Procedures

2.         Quality Control and Assurance in Pathology

3.         Laboratory Management.

4a.       Update On Testing

             i.         Confirming Diagnosis

             ii.        Detecting Complications

             iii.       Monitoring Therapy

             iv.       Screening/Prevention of Diseases.

4b.      Interpretation of Testing.


1.         Management of the Multiple Injured Patients

2.         Management of Acute Abdomen

3.         Urinary Retention

4.         Basic Technique in Cut-down

5.         Management of Burns

6.         Screening for Breast Conditions

7.         Management of the Terminal conditions.

Management and Administration

1.         Basic Management Principles

2.         Human Resource Management

3.         Logistics Management

4.         Group Practice

5.         Work Planning

6.         Health Service Marketing

7.         Medical Auditing

8.         Supervision, Monitoring and Evaluation of Skills.

Cost and Management Accounting

1.         Billing System

2.         National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)

3.         Simple Financial Policies and Procedures.

Ethics and Law

1.         Bioethics

2.         Court Appearance

3.         International Standard of Care

4.         Reproductive Rights.

Information Technology

1.         Basic Computer Literacy

2.         Basic Computer Skills e.g. Word Processing, Spread sheet.

3.         Electronic Data Processing


1.         Telemedicine



Regulating Body:

CPD activities shall be centrally regulated by the Education Committee of the MDCN with overall anchorage of responsibilities by the MDCN.


·        Setting standards of CPD programmes for all stakeholders.

·        Accrediting the Providers / programmes  (content, quality, scoring)


The following institutions and organizations are authorized to organize Continuing Professional Development programmes:

1.     The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria

2.     Accredited Medical and Dental Training Institutions.

3.     Accredited Teaching and Specialist Hospitals.

4.     Accredited State General Hospitals.

5.     Accredited Voluntary Agency and Private Hospitals.

6.     The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria

7.     The West African Postgraduate Medical College.

8.     The Nigeria Medical Association

9.     The Nigeria Dental Association

          10.     The Guild of Medical Directors.

          11.     The Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria

12.     The Federal and State Ministries of Health

13.     The Foundations

14.     Professional Societies and Bodies

15.     Accredited Overseas Professional Societies and Institutions.

16.     Any other institutions or Organisations that may be approved by Council form time to time

Beneficiaries of CPD Programmes:

The following groups of doctors who either participate or serve as resource persons in approved CPD programmes will be given credits as appropriate.

  • Resource persons and participants who participate fully at any accredited programme, such as Workshops, Seminars, Scientific Conferences, Update Lectures and Website Learning.
  • Teachers in accredited medical Schools and Postgraduate training programmes
  • Doctors who are purely on registrable postgraduate training programmes.
  • Doctors attending structured training programmes with evidence of attendance.
  • Any doctor can participate in any programme of his/her choice or relevant to his/her practice.


The total credit unit to be obtained annually is 20 and a total of 40 units for biannual license renewal. A credit unit is equivalent to one (1) contact hour on any particular subject under qualified, approved tutelage.  

The provider of such a service should be able to plan and deliver a maximally useable knowledge or information on the subject matter within one hour of engagement. This may be in the form of a didactic lecture, tutorial, grand/ward round, clinical meeting, seminar, skills acquisition, practical sessions and workshops. Journal reviews (journal club), scientific publications, peer review of journal articles, web learning, examinations (examiners) etc. also receive credits as determined by the regulating body. For a practical class or hands-on-skills training, it is recommended that a 2-hour engagement should constitute one credit unit. In all, the program or subject matter should be appealing, practically-oriented and in a friendly atmosphere so as to encourage users/recipients’ participation. In any session of CPD activity, monitoring for user-compliance could be ensured by filling attendance form at the beginning of a program and collecting such forms at the end of it or by administering pre and post tests.


CPD activities have been grouped into 7 broad categories. For annual/biannual re-licensing, a doctor must participate and obtain credit units from any three (3) or more of the following groups of activities:

1. Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

2. Grand-round or Clinical meetings

3. Self-learning activities e.g. via online etc.

4. Journal clubs, Research and Publications

5. Courses: Revision and Update courses

6. Miscellaneous: e.g. Accreditors, Examiners, Resource persons etc

7. Management / ICT, Medical Informatics and Medical Education.

These activities are further subdivided into core (medically or clinically oriented) and non-core courses (e.g. Management/ICT etc.). A participant has the choice of obtaining the appropriate credit unit requirements from any three or more of the 7 broad groups.

For any CPD course or activity to be accredited, the nature and content of the said activity as well as the Providers’ and the Resource persons’ profiles must be sent to the Accreditors for scrutiny and approval.

CPD Providers are encouraged to reach out to doctors in the rural areas. Doctors in turn must develop a positive attitude towards continuing professional development and make efforts to attain the set goals of obtaining the required credit units.


Accreditation of a Provider shall not take more than three (3) months from the time of initial application to the granting of license by the MDCN, and such accreditation shall be for two (2) years only and subject to renewal thereafter. The Provider must satisfy the set criteria and guidelines for accreditation as determined by the MDCN. The CPD Provider shall send the profile of his organization as well as state the purpose and mission of the organization, the planned educational processes for implementation of its objectives, the monitoring and evaluation processes that will lead to improvement of services as well as the organizational framework of his/her outfit.

Institutions such as Teaching Hospitals, Medical Schools, Postgraduate Medical Colleges or other MDCN recognized Health institutions interested in CPD-Provider status, must show evidence of some internal organizational framework and a designated schedule officer responsible for coordinating the CPD program within its larger setup.

The central CPD unit of the MDCN has the ultimate responsibility for the accreditation of the Resource persons engaged by CPD Providers while the zonal CPD unit will make the recommendations guided by the central committee’s regulations.

Resource persons engaged by CPD Providers must also indicate their willingness to function as resource persons for that Provider. All such indications shall also accompany the CPD Provider’s application or notice to hold a CPD activity at any given time.

CPD Venue:

It is expected that venues for CPD activities should have the following facilities:

-          Conducive learning environment

-          Efficient Audio Visual facilities

-          Efficient Public Address System

-          Decent toilet facilities

-          Good catering services


1. The MDCN shall have the overall and oversight responsibility of ensuring high quality CPD programmes, adherence to the regulations governing the CPD programme by CPD Providers, rate of uptake of courses mounted etc. The MDCN shall perform these functions through the zonal CPD accrediting units set up for the purpose.

2. The accredited CPD Providers are expected to install internal mechanisms to monitor and evaluate their activities to ensure sustained quality, acceptability, relevance and continued improvement of their programs.


Issuance of certificates for CPD activity is the sole responsibility of the CPD Provider but Council’s logo will be embossed on the certificate. The certificate will also carry the Provider’s Accreditation Number allocated by the Council. MDCN will not be a party to the signatories on the attendees’ certificates. However, the CPD Provider attendants’ list must reach the Council within 48 hours of the conclusion of the CPD activity.

For those attending international conferences and seminars, there will be consideration for accumulating credit units with the proviso that the certificate and the course content of such programs are scrutinized by our local accreditors.

There will be exemption in terms of credit accumulation for doctors and dentists who are 70 years and above.  Those afflicted by debilitating ill-health for up to six months will also be exempted from accumulating CPD credit unit as long as they show evidence of ill-health during that period.


To facilitate application processes for the accreditation of would-be CPD Providers,    prompt supply of needed information from Providers to Council will be necessary if delays are to be avoided.

To achieve this, certain basic requirements must be observed, these include:

Company Profile; office locations, equipment/facilities and appropriate personnel.

Course content/mode of presentation

User-friendly environment with basic amenities.


The following questionnaire to address these concerns is attached below:

Questionnaire to be filled by CPD Providers.

1.     Name of Institution……………………………………………………….

2.     Office address………………………………………………………………

3.     Telephone No…………………………………………………………

4.     E-mail………………………Website….…………………………………..

5.     Category……………………………………………………………………

-         Government

-         NGO

-         Private

-         Registration with Corporate Affairs Commission

-         Limited Plc, Business name

6.     List of Directors

7.     Staff list (Admin Support)

8.     Type of accreditation requested

-         Basic Medical Sciences

-         Medical/Dental subspecialty

-         Administration/Management

-         Information

-         Law/Medico-legal etc

_          Electronic


      9.           Experience/Evidence of previous performance

          10.            List of prospective persons to deliver the CPD, qualifications and evidence of expertise (photocopies after sighting originals)                                                                                                                                     

11.            Accreditation fees payment (photocopy and receipt number)

12.            Photograph of the CEO (whom shall be a Medical Director)

13.            Signature of directors

14.           Terms of contract/agreement

          15.           Accreditation Number assigned


The actual needs of each zone and that of the participants shall be considered in planning CPD programs. CPD Providers will carry out health needs assessment of both their zones and health providers so that their CPD programs will be both relevant to their community and readily patronized by the doctors in the zone. Programs common to all or different zones will also be considered and encouraged.


Where the need for practical or hands-on skill sessions arise, proper arrangements for such sessions maybe made in collaboration with agencies or institutions equipped for such sessions or sharing such common interests. Notification for such arrangements must be communicated to the MDCN.


Resource persons required to deliver lectures at a CPD activity should be notified ahead of time and must accept in writing their willingness to do so.


Independenceof operators of CPD at all levels must be ensured. NGOs interested in CPD programs can come in as collaborators only (not as primary Providers)


Employers are encouraged to finance the CPD activities of doctors in their employment as this forms part of continuous in-service training and retraining for enhanced performance. In this regard, it is noted that there is often a budgetary allocation for refresher courses and updates annually. Both employers in public and private establishments should support these activities.

For CPD Providers, financial support for their programs can be sourced externally, for example, from NGOs, pharmaceutical companies etc. This may be through paying of their registration, accreditation and/or re-accreditation fees. Providers must ensure that they maintain their independence as far as the mission, objectives, course-content and delivery of their programs are concerned without undue interference from any of their sponsors. CPD Providers are enjoined to consider that their primary consideration is not profit-making but being positive agents of change in the health sector. Quality delivery of programs must be aimed at and it is anticipated that number of participants admitted to any program will be matched by adequate number of resource persons and other facilities.


Fees payable to council shall be as follows:

1. Application forms (CPD Providers)         -      N20, 000 each

2. Renewal (annual)                                        -    1/2 of Accreditation fee (yearly)

3. Accreditation fee                                         -       N250, 000:00 

4. Re-accreditation                                        -        to be determined by the


Providers are to note that rules may change from time to time as determined by the Council.

Fees payable by participants:

This would vary from Zone to Zone and also per individual Providers.


The following inter-relationship is expected of the MDCN/CPD Providers to enhance a smooth and successful CPD programme.

a.     Provider shall apply for Registration and pay the stipulated fee to MDCN.                                                                

b.     Providers should be given clear guidelines by the MDCN.

c.     The independence of Providers must be maintained at all times.

d.     The Education Committee of the MDCN shall put a ceiling onfees paid by Providers to resources.

e.     There shall be no excessive charges

f.      There should be a balance between quality of program and cost implication.

g       Fees payable by participants may vary from region to region as may be determined by circumstances.

h.      Providers must give a long period of notice to participants

i.       The minimum number of participants needed to run a program will be clearly spelt out in the guideline.

j.       Where participants are scanty in a zone or state, they may merge With other zones or states.

k.      Dentists should also undertake courses in Medicine and Management Sciences.


Section 14 of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act deals with practicing fee and so states;

14(5)  Every fully registered medical practitioner who has paid his practicing fee or who is exempted from payment of practising fee under this section and who produces evidence of having participated in a Continuing Professional Development Programme as prescribed and duly accredited by the Council within a period of 2 Years immediately preceding the application shall be entitled to be issued with an Annual Practicing License. ( ?? Bi-annual Practicing Licence)

 “14(6) Any medical practitioner or dental surgeon who in respect to any year and without obtaining the Annual Practising License practices as such shall be guilty of offence and shall be liable on conviction:

(a)      in the case of a first offence, to a fine not less than N20,000:00 only, and

(b)       in the case of a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than N50,000:00 and

 if the practitioner is in the employment of any person, that person shall also be guilty of an offence and punished in like manner as the medical practitioner or dental surgeon”.