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Revised registration standards for all medical practitioners and new cosmetic guidelines take effect on 1 October 2016

29 Sep 2016

New standards and guidelines for medical practitioners take effect on 1 October: two revised registration standards and new cosmetic guidelines.

From 1 October, registered medical practitioners must ensure they comply with the revised continuing professional development and recency of practice registration standards. The revised standards were published in February 2016 to support a smooth transition. Both standards have been reformatted and reworded to help medical practitioners and applicants understand and comply with them. Specific changes are summarised below.

The new guidelines for medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures apply to all medical practitioners, including specialist plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons and cosmetic physicians regardless of their qualifications.

Continuing professional development

The revised CPD registration standard has not changed significantly. All registered medical practitioners must continue to participate in regular CPD activities.

Medical practitioners with specialist registration must continue to meet the requirements set out by their relevant college. Medical practitioners with general registration (who do not have specialist registration) must continue to complete a minimum of 50 hours CPD per year.

For medical practitioners with provisional registration or limited registration, the standard more clearly sets out the requirements to ensure their CPD is linked to their training position and/or supervision plan. The revised standard requires international medical graduates to complete a minimum of 50 hours CPD per year.

FAQs for international medical graduates with limited or provisional registration have been published.

Recency of practice

The recency of practice standard has changed. Medical practitioners need to practise a minimum number of hours to meet the standard. The standard also explains requirements for returning to practice after an absence and requirements for changing scope of practice.

To meet the standard, medical practitioners must practise within their scope of practice, at any time, for a minimum total of:

  • four weeks full-time equivalent in one registration period, which is a total of 152 hours, or 
  • 12 weeks full-time equivalent over three consecutive registration periods, which is a total of 456 hours.

Full-time equivalent is 38 hours per week. The maximum number of hours that can be counted per week is 38 hours. Medical practitioners who work part-time must complete the same minimum number of hours of practice – this can be completed part-time.

Most practitioners who are currently practising will meet the revised standard.

The change may affect medical practitioners who are currently practising infrequently, or who have had a recent absence from practice or who are currently taking a temporary break from practice.

There has been an eight month lead time before the revised standard took effect, to give affected practitioners time to prepare for these changes.

If you cannot meet the minimum hours of practice in the revised standard, this will not necessarily prevent you from returning to practice as a medical practitioner. The standard sets out the requirements for medical practitioners who don’t meet the standard, including those with non-practising registration and medical practitioners who are not registered and wish to return to practice after 1 October 2016.

FAQ and a fact sheet on returning to practice are available to assist medical practitioners.

Updated forms that reflect the revised registration standard are available on the Board’s forms page.

Guidelines for medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures

The Board’s new guidelines for medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures aim to keep patients safe, without imposing an unreasonable regulatory burden on practitioners.

The new guidelines require:

  • a seven-day cooling off period for all adults before major procedures 
  • a three-month cooling off period before major procedures for all under 18s and a mandatory evaluation by a registered psychologist, general practitioner or psychiatrist 
  • a seven day cooling off period before minor procedures for all under 18s, and when clinically indicated, evaluation by a registered psychologist, general practitioner or psychiatrist 
  • the treating medical practitioner to take explicit responsibility for post-operative patient care and for making sure there are emergency facilities when they are using sedation, anaesthesia or analgesia 
  • a mandatory consultation before a medical practitioner prescribes schedule 4 (prescription only) cosmetic injectables, either in person or by video consultation, and 
  • medical practitioners to provide patients with detailed written information about costs.

The guidelines provide explicit guidance on patient assessment and informed consent, and require doctors to provide clear information to consumers about risks and possible complications.

More information, including the Guidelines and FAQs, is available on the Board’s website.

Page reviewed 29/09/2016