Continuing professional development

CPD is an interactive process to maintain, enhance and extend a practitioner's knowledge, expertise and competence throughout his or her career. It is a process of lifelong learning for all individual practitioners and health care teams that ensures health practitioners' knowledge and skill sets are up-to-date.

The CPD cycle involves reviewing practice, identifying learning needs, planning and participating in relevant learning activities, and reflecting on the value of those activities. CPD helps to ensure that the needs of patients are met and that the health outcomes and healthcare priorities of the community are delivered.

The community has the right to expect that health practitioners will provide services in a competent and contemporary way, and meet best practice standards. CPD is an important component in providing safe and effective services.

All practitioners must become familiar with these requirements. Chinese medicine practitioners must participate in at least 20 hours of CPD per year through suitable CPD activities. Read the CPD requirements and a guideline explaining them, which are available on this website.

CPD is mandatory under the National law. All registered health practitioners must undertake CPD. All practitioners must familiarise themselves with the Board's CPD requirements. To help you understand this standard, the Board has developed CPD Guidelines.

The CPD requirements do not apply to students, or to practitioners who have been granted non-practising registration.

The Board acknowledges that there may exceptional circumstances which necessitate a temporary absence from practice. This includes ill-health, bereavement, or other circumstances.

Maternity leave is one of these circumstances. Accordingly, there can be a pro rata adjustment so that your CPD requirements apply to the period of registration in which you are practising.

You should include information about this with your renewal application for the relevant period.

It should be noted that such breaks increase the need for and importance of CPD in order to maintain competence, especially if re-entering the profession after a break.

When however, you cannot meet the recency of practice standard you are required to submit a proposal for re-entry to professional practice for the Board's consideration. See the Board's 'Recency of practice registration standard'.

No. The 20 hours per year is stated within a mandatory standard and applies to all registered Chinese medicine practitioners.

In the Board's view certain situations, such as part-time practice, whereby there is less learning consolidation and development of experience and expertise, can actually increase the importance of CPD.

Similarly this might be the case with new graduates still consolidating their basic learning, practitioners with limited breadth of clinical exposure, and professionally isolated practitioners (e.g. those who are working in rural, regional or remote locations or are linguistically isolated from the Australian healthcare system).

All Chinese medicine practitioners will be required to make a declaration when they renew their registration that they have met the CPD standard during the preceding period of registration.

You do not need to provide any records at this time. You only need to produce records to support this declaration if you are selected through the Board's random audit process commencing in the near future.

Yes the number of CPD hours to be completed can be calculated on a pro rata basis.

Failure to comply with this standard is a breach of the legal requirements for registration and may constitute behaviour for which health, conduct or performance action may be taken under Section 128(2) of the National Law.

If a registrant is unable to make the required declaration of compliance at annual renewal, the Board may refuse to renew their registration or any endorsement of registration, or may grant renewal of registration or endorsement of registration subject to conditions. Knowingly making a false declaration will be considered by the Board to be a professional conduct matter and as such, may be dealt with by the Board through disciplinary mechanisms available under the National Law.

Limited exemptions apply for temporary absence from practice such as maternity leave.

Proper professional development is achieved through a wide range of activities that practitioners pursue throughout their career. There are many and varied opportunities for CPD. Activities might include:

  • seminars, lectures and workshops
  • short courses
  • conferences
  • studying for further formal qualifications
  • researching and writing for publication
  • clinical research
  • learning journals
  • critical reflection workshops
  • learning sets
  • participation in listserv/online learning opportunities and
  • audio and video tapes (ideally with some sort of critical assessment).

Work-based learning should also be considered and may include a wide range of activities such as:

  • coaching on the job
  • mentoring and peer review
  • clinical supervision
  • job rotation and job shadowing
  • work-based projects.

The Board notes that practitioners who become professionally isolated are at higher risk of lapses in competence or judgment. This includes practitioners isolated by geography. Only a portion of CPD should be self-directed learning with no peer interaction.

No. The 20 hours per year is stated within a mandatory standard and applies to all registered Chinese medicine practitioners and the Board's guideline says that at least 14 hours per year must be formal learning activities.

The Board's view is that practitioners working in rural and regional areas have an even greater need for formal CPD activities as a result of the professional isolation which can occur in these communities. Practitioners in regional areas should incorporate access to formal activities into their professional development plan.

Yes, taking into account the following information.

As for all of CPD activities, you first need to consider your personal CPD needs and desired outcomes and undertake CPD activities to meet these needs. You do not need to get prior approval from the Board for these activities, however, you need to maintain records of any activities in accordance with the registration standard requirements.

No. CPD activities can come from a variety of disciplines but the practitioner needs to be able to show at audit how these activities link to their learning needs in the context of their Chinese medicine practice.

Examples of relevant non-Chinese medicine activities may be:

  • short courses or seminars on the management of diabetes, health education
  • health counseling, new drugs/treatments in western medicine
  • ethical advertising
  • privacy and confidentiality in healthcare
  • health records law
  • effective communication in healthcare or
  • dealing with challenging clients.

Not automatically. As for all CPD activities you first need to consider your personal CPD needs and desired outcomes as they relate to your Chinese medicine practice and undertake suitable activities to meet these needs.

If a registered practitioner appears before a Board hearing panel, especially in relation to matters of competence, the panel may consider the evidence (or lack of) from the practitioner, of adequacy of, commitment to, and participation in, CPD.

A hearing panel may have reference to the CPD requirements of the Board and of any relevant professional associations.

The onus is upon the practitioner who is the subject of an investigation or hearing, to provide documented evidence of their CPD activities and plans. This should include the rationale for, and the participation in, the selected activities.

All practitioners must keep proper and detailed records of their ongoing professional development plans and activities. The Board is flexible about the format as long as it includes:

  1. details of CPD activity (date, a brief description and the number of hours spent in each activity, provider or participants/resources) and
  2. evidence of attendance.
Page reviewed 24/09/2013