We have many doctors asking us how to prepare themselves to enter the Australian Health System. A big part of preparing yourself is to understand your requirements as an Australian General Practitioner.
Whether it be before, during or after gaining AHPRA registration, it’s always good to have an idea on what you can be doing to be prepared.
For this reason, our team puts together weekly blogs on topics you might need more information on! This week’s blog, we’re talking about AHPRA’s CPD Standards.
WHAT IS CPD?
CPD stands for Continued Professional Development.
AHPRA defines CPD as how health practitioners maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence, and develop the personal and professional qualities required throughout their professional lives.
Our definition is a little simpler- it is activities and courses identified by approved CPD providers to extend your medical knowledge.
WHEN DOES AHPRA’S CPD STANDARD APPLY?
These standards will apply once you hold AHPRA registration.
Keeping in mind, you don’t need to meet this standard when you apply for registration in Australia for the first time as a medical Practitioner. However, if you have a gap in practice of more than 1 year, AHPRA may request you complete a minimum of 1 years’ worth of CPD points.
When you apply for renewal of your registration, you will need to prove that you have met this standard.
WHEN SHOULD I START DOING CONTINUED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES?
If you are not currently registered with AHPRA, when you decide to start your CPD activities is completely up to you.
In our experience we find doctors who have completed regular CPD activities prior to starting their practice, have a higher understanding of the expectations of an Australian General Practitioner.
Additionally, this will support your application with AHPRA in the future.
HOW MUCH CPD DO I NEED?
If you have already been granted registration in Australia, you will have a minimum requirement for CPD each year.
The minimum requirement is applicable to the level of registration you hold. We have broken down the requirements below:
Limited or Provisional Registration –
Doctors with Limited or Provisional Registration are required to complete a minimum of 50 hours CPD per year. This will include any CPD outlined in your Supervision Plan SPPA-30, Training Plan, ALPS-30 or Work Performance Reports.
General Registration –
Doctors with General Registration are only required to complete a minimum of 50 hours CPD, which must include the following:
- One practice-based reflective element; clinical audit or peer review or performance appraisal, as well as participation in activities to enhance knowledge such as courses, conferences and online learning, or
- meet the CPD requirements of a specialist medical college that is relevant to their scope of practice.
Specialist Registration –
Doctors with Specialist Registration or General & Specialist Registration are required only to meet the CPD requirements set by the relevant specialist medical college for every specialty in which they hold specialist registration.
- Note, there may be CPD activities undertaken that fulfil the CPD requirements of more than one specialist college or specialty and can only choose a self-directed program of CPD if that program meets the requirements for CPD set by the relevant specialist medical college.
Even if you have not yet been granted registration in Australia, it is still a good idea to familiarise yourself with the CPD standards and get yourself into a habit of completing activities regularly!
1CPD HOUR = 1 CPD POINT, RIGHT?
The time it takes to complete a CPD activity won’t not necessarily equate to the same amount of points.
AHPRA set a certain number of hours per year that are required to be earned to ensure Medical Practitioners are keeping on top of their discipline.
You’ll find many of the approved CPD providers such as RACGP and ACCRM have a points system attached for the purpose of their particular CPD programs. However, CPD activity statements generally include both points tally and a summary of hours to make it easier to confirm you have met the minimum hours of CPD required.
Here’s an example:
DO I NEED TO SHOW EVIDENCE OF MY COMPLETED CPD?
In most cases yes. You should retain records of your CPD activity for audit purposes.
The length of time that you need to retain your records will depend on your type of registration.
If you are a member of the accredited CPD provider, you should have the availability to record all CPD you complete, so long as you are logged in when completing the CPD activity.
WHERE CAN I FIND CPD ACTIVITIES TO COMPLETE?
Both ACRRM and RACGP offer CPD activities; however, in most cases you will need to be a member of the applicable college to gain access. As an example, RACGP offers the QI&CPD Program: https://www.racgp.org.au/education/qicpd-program/
There are other CPD providers that offer accredited workshops and courses available in each state. To find out more about these providers, search online or send us an email and we can give you further guidance.
Our team can also help you put together a CPD plan if you would like help choosing what CPD activities to do!
HOW CAN I COMPLETE CPD ACTIVITIES?
CPD can be done in person or online. Popular methods of study are via online modules, face to face courses or workshops, and reading activities.
The biggest point to make is to make sure your CPD provider is accredited so your CPD will count!
AHPRA’s CPD Standards are here: https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Education/Continuing-Professional-Development.aspx
If you are looking for further guidance on CPD activities to be completed either before you gain registration or after, this is something our team can help you with. Contact us directly on [email protected].
People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions.