Medical Board of Australia - Professional Development Plans & Types of CPD
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

Professional Development Plans & Types of CPD

Professional Development Plans

Professional Development Plans (PDP) are a tool to help make sure the CPD we do is relevant and useful. 


  • help us think about our lifelong learning, knowledge gaps and learning opportunities
  • connect our learning to our practice needs
  • match our increasing skills and knowledge to changes in our practice.

Templates for PDPs may be provided by CPD homes.

Time spent doing – and reviewing – a PDP counts towards the 50 CPD hours required each year, as a performance measurement activity. PDPs should not take long to complete and do not need to be a complicated document. 

Types of CPD 

Through updated CPD, doctors in Australia will do 50 hours CPD each year, split across a range of activities: 

  • 25 hours - reviewing performance and measuring outcomes:
    • doctors decide the best mix of these activities to suit their practice, with five hours minimum of each type 
  • 12.5 hours - traditional learning or educational activities – reading, lectures, conferences etc
  • 12.5 hours free choice of activities – doctors allocate these CPD hours.

CPD content

You need to do CPD that is relevant to your scope of practice. Your CPD home will help with this.

All CPD programs will also include some core content on:

  • culturally safe practice
  • addressing health inequities
  • professionalism and
  • ethical practice.

CPD activities

Here are some examples of different activities in each type of CPD.  This list is not exhaustive, so talk with your CPD home about your ideas about what activities are relevant. There may be things you are already doing at work or for your employer that CPD homes will recognise as CPD and which will count towards your CPD hours.

Measuring outcomes activities could include:

Individual-focused activities

  • audit focused on participant’s own practice
  • root cause analysis
  • incident report
  • individual quality improvement project

Group-focused activities

  • audit (practice, national or international)
  • M&M meetings, case conferences
  • quality improvement project
  • multi-disciplinary team meetings

Not directly focused on participant’s practice

  • assessing incident reports
  • leading, analysing, writing reports on healthcare outcomes

Reviewing performance activities could include

Individual-focused activities

  • professional development plan
  • self-evaluation and reflection
  • direct observation of practice by colleague
  • multi-source feedback
  • patient experience survey
  • workplace performance appraisal

Group-focused activities

  • direct observation of practice in team setting
  • multi-source feedback
  • patient experience survey
  • medical services survey/review
  • multi-disciplinary team meetings
  • peer review group meetings

Not directly practice-focused activities

  • participating in clinical governance/QA committees
  • accrediting/auditing practices, hospitals, training sites
  • medico-legal work (report, expert witness)

Educational CPD activities could include

Individual-focused activities

  • reading, viewing, listening to educational material
  • active learning modules
  • study towards formal qualifications
  • supervised practice

Group-focused activities

  • lectures, forums, panels
  • small group sessions
  • courses and workshops

Not directly focused on participant’s practice

  • teaching, lecturing, examining, assessing and evaluating
  • supervising and mentoring
  • participating in forums/panels/ educational meetings
  • leading/participating in research and publishing or presenting findings
  • editing or reviewing research or educational material
  • preparing patient education materials
  • participating in committees for education or research
  • undertaking college/society educational roles
  • participating in clinical guideline development

Specialist high-level CPD requirements

AMC-accredited specialist medical colleges can propose ‘high-level requirements’ for CPD that are specialty specific and additional to minimum CPD requirements set by the Board.

Specialist high-level requirements ensure consistency in the CPD programs offered by different CPD homes for medical practitioners with certain specialty/field of specialty practice.

Setting specialist high-level CPD requirements is optional. Each AMC-accredited specialist medical college decides what, if any, high-level CPD is necessary to maintain safe practice in their relevant specialty. 

For example, a college may set specialist high-level CPD requirements for basic or advanced life support at least once every three years. CPD homes must ensure any specialist high-level requirements are included in your program.

The specialist high-level requirements for 2023 are below. They may be updated annually, in time to plan for the next year’s CPD.

2023 High-level requirements

 Specialty  College  High-level requirement
Emergency medicine Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
  • Completion of three core procedural skills:
    1x Core Airway Procedural Skill,
    1x Core Breathing Procedural Skill,
    1x Core Circulation Procedural Skill per year (education activity)
Sport and exercise medicine Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP)
  • Completion of WADA/Sport Integrity Australia education in every three years (education activity), and
  • Completion of ANY ONE of the following courses in every three years: Management of Sports Trauma course (MOST), basic cardiac life support course (BCLS), advanced cardiac life support course (ACLS), AFL Emergency Care Course, or immediate care in rugby course (level 2 or 3 course) (education activity)
Anaesthesia The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
  • Complete at least one Emergency response activity per year (education activity)
General practice The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
  • Complete a CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) course every three years (education activity)
Radiology The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR)
  • Anaphylaxis training as part of basic or advanced life support training once every three years (education activity)


Page reviewed 13/09/2022