Continuing professional development for veterinarians is expected to commence in the year after graduation and continue until retirement. The World Organisation for Animal Health standard for veterinary services is based on principles of an ethical, organisational and technical nature, and a mix of regulation, self-regulation and quality assurance approaches are used. Few jurisdictions have made a minimum requirement of continuing professional development, measured in hours or units, mandatory in 2004, however, there is an increasing expectation of veterinarians to keep a personal record of their continuing professional development activities. Such records might assist in defending complaints about professional misconduct, and provide a basis for planning and monitoring personal professional growth. Continuing professional development can be obtained by a variety of means through structured and unstructured learning activities. The rapid advances in communication technologies and ready access to available electronic databases at the beginning of the 21st century is rapidly changing the way students learn in veterinary schools and how they will acquire continuing professional development during their careers. Universities, governments, professional associations and special interest groups all have roles to play in the delivery of continuing professional development to the veterinary profession and to ensure a structure is in place to monitor improvements in the delivery of quality veterinary services.