Medical Board of Australia - Professional Development Plans & Types of CPD
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Professional Development Plans & Types of CPD

This page provides information about:

  • Professional development plans
  • Types of CPD
  • CPD content
  • CPD activities
  • Specialist high-level CPD requirements

Professional Development Plans

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

PDPs:

  • 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

Specialist high-level requirements describe any education, performance review or measuring outcomes activities that must be included in a specialist’s CPD program. The Board approves and publishes high-level requirements for specialists registered in Board recognised specialties and fields of specialty practice.

The high-level requirements are based on proposals from AMC-accredited specialist medical colleges and are linked to the outcomes of training to achieve specialist registration in the relevant specialty.

Any practitioner registered as a specialist must include the relevant high-level requirements in their annual CPD program, regardless of the CPD home the specialist chooses.

While the individual practitioner is responsible for ensuring that they meet any high-level requirements for their specialty/scope(s) of practice, every CPD home must demonstrate and publish information how the high-level requirements can be met within its CPD program(s). 

2023 High-level requirements

 Specialty  High-level requirement
Emergency medicine
  • 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
  • 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
  • Complete at least one Emergency response activity per year (education activity)
General practice
  • Complete a CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) course every three years (education activity)
Radiology
  • Anaphylaxis training as part of basic or advanced life support training once every three years (education activity)

2024 High-level requirements

 Specialty  High-level requirement CPD type
Anaesthesia

A specialist anaesthetist must:

  • complete at least one emergency response activity per year
  • complete at least one of the following activities per year to directly evaluate and reflect on their own clinical practice:
    • structured patient survey
    • multi-source feedback
    • peer review
    • clinical audit

 

education activity

reviewing performance and/or
measuring outcomes activity

Emergency medicine

A specialist emergency medicine physician (including all fields of specialty practice) must:

  • complete three core procedural skills per year:
    1x core airway procedural skill
    1x core breathing procedural skill
    1x core circulation procedural skill

 


education activity

General practice

A specialist general practitioner must:

  • complete a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) course every three years

 

education activity

Pain medicine

A specialist pain medicine physician must:

  • complete at least one emergency response activity per year
  • complete AT LEAST ONE of the following activities per year to directly evaluate and reflect on their own clinical practice:
    • structured patient survey
    • multi-source feedback
    • peer review
    • clinical audit

 

education activity

reviewing performance and/or measuring outcomes activity

Psychiatry

A specialist psychiatrist must:

  • complete a minimum of 10 hours of formal peer review per year

 

reviewing performance

Radiology

A specialist radiologist must:

  • complete anaphylaxis training as part of basic or advanced life support training once every three years

 

education activity

Sport and exercise medicine

A specialist sport and exercise physician must:

  • complete WADA/Sport Integrity Australia anti-doping education every three years and
  • complete ANY ONE of the following courses in every three-year period:
    • management of Sports Trauma course (MOST)
    • basic cardiac life support course (BCLS)
    • advanced cardiac life support course (ACLS)
    • AFL Emergency Care Course
    • immediate care in rugby course (level 2 or 3 course)

 

education activity

education activity 

Surgery

A specialist surgeon (including all fields of specialty practice) must:

  • participate in the Australia and New Zealand Audit of Surgical Mortality (ANZASM) by completing all surgical case forms sent to the surgeon by ANZASM

 


reviewing performance and/or measuring outcomes activity

 

 
 
Page reviewed 27/11/2023