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2021 PRC CPD Units Required for Nurses

The law has mandated PRC to require earning CPD units for nurses and other professionals for renewal of license cards.

Effective March 1, 2019, nurses need only 15 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units in the 3 year renewal period. That’s only 5 units per year.

Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) started to require CPD units for renewal after Republic Act 10912 or the CPD of 2016 was enacted. PRC then issued Resolution No. 1032 or Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for CPD Law.

Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing issued Resolution No. 21 series of 2017 which provides the Operational Guidelines for the nurses.

Initially, the nurses were required 45 CPD units for the 3-year renewal cycle or 15 units per year. But due to public backlash, stakeholders had to reconsider the guidelines and come up with some amendments.

During the Senate committee hearing, Senators Antonio Trillanes IV (principal author of CPD Law), Ralph Recto, and Miguel Zubiri urged PRC Commissioners and CPD Council members to look into the implementation of the law after numerous complaints received by their offices regarding the measure.

Professionals, especially nurses and teachers, decried that it is unnecessary and burdensome, primarily due to the expensive costs of seminars and training one has to undergo to earn CPD units.

CPD Amendments and Exemptions

On February 27, PRC and CPD Councils came up with IRR Amendments through Resolution No. 2019-1146 which take effect March 1. Here are the salient points in the amendments:

PRC provides a “transition period” for professionals to comply with the unit requirements. During this transition period, the following shall be observed:
a) OFWs are not covered by the CPD requirement.
b) Newly licensed professionals shall not be covered by CPD requirement for the first renewal cycle after obtaining their license.
c) The various CPD Councils shall reduce the required CPD credit units to a minimum, which shall not be more than 15, as provided for under applicable laws.

Professionals who lacked CPD units but were able to renew through an Affidavit of Undertaking shall only comply with the required number of units as amended pursuant to this Resolution equivalent to not more than 15 credit units.

Maximum flexibility

PRC is still very flexible in the implementation of the CPD requirement. It allows renewal of the license or Professional Identification Card (PIC) without full compliance. Yes, nurses lacking or without CPD units may renew license cards until December 31, 2021.

Professionals need to execute an Undertaking to complete the required CPD units on their next compliance period. The undertaking is embedded in the renewal form.

Why require CPD?

Nurses have to expand their knowledge and technical competencies as stipulated in PRC Operational Guidelines. These would help them in light of the complexities of the healthcare needs and demands for better delivery of safe nursing care services.

This is also in line with meeting the ASEAN Core Competency Standards, where there is a need to continuously update themselves in order to meet these challenges.

Nurses need to attend programs accredited by the CPD Council to earn units. These may include Formal learning, Nonformal learning, Informal learning, Self-directed learning, Online learning activities, Professional work experience.

CPD programs are offered by accredited nursing organizations such as the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), Association of Nursing Service Administrators of the Philippines (ANSAP), CCNAPI, and AngNars.