Australian CPD Requirements

The following article details some of the specific requirements for different groups of CPD participants in Australia.

CPD requirements for Fellows practising in Australia or overseas (excluding New Zealand)

In Australia, the CPD registration standard is set by the Medical Board of Australia. The RACP provides an accredited CPD program called ‘MyCPD’ to assist Fellows in meeting their mandated CPD requirements.

The annual minimum CPD requirement for Australian Fellows is 100 credits for the calendar year (1 January to 31 December) according to the MyCPD Framework. CPD submissions are due by 31 March of the following year, e.g. the 2018 CPD due date is 31 March 2019. This requirement applies to Fellows practising full-time or part-time.

According to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) the term practice means any role, whether remunerated or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a health practitioner in their profession. For the purposes of the RACP CPD Participation Policy, practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. It also includes using professional knowledge in a direct nonclinical relationship with clients, working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles, and any other roles that impact on safe, effective delivery of services in the profession.

2018 MyCPD Framework outlines the educational value of CPD activities in 5 categories.

2019 MyCPD Framework details the 3 categories of CPD activities. 

CPD Participation Policy (current, from February 2016) outlines the current RACP standards for participation in CPD by Fellows and non-Fellows.

CPD Participation Policy (effective 1 January 2020) outlines the RACP standards for participation in CPD by Fellows and non-Fellows from 2020 onwards.

For more information about the MyCPD program, refer to 'What is MyCPD?'.

New Fellows

Australian Fellows admitted to Fellowship after 30 June do not have a CPD requirement for that calendar year. Fellows admitted on or before 30 June are required to complete at least 100 CPD credits for that calendar year (training can be claimed as CPD activity).

Fellows practising overseas

Fellows practising overseas (excluding New Zealand) are required to complete CPD with the College unless participating in an alternative, accredited CPD program. If you are participating in an alternative CPD program relevant to your scope of practice, please notify the CPD unit and you will be withdrawn from MyCPD.

Post-Fellowship Trainees

Australian Fellows who are admitted to Fellowship on or before 30 June, and are participating in further RACP training, are required to complete CPD for that calendar year. Post-Fellowship training can be claimed as CPD activity.

Dual Fellows

An ongoing exemption/withdrawal from MyCPD is considered when a Fellow participates in a CPD program of an equivalent Medical College accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) or equivalent international regulatory authority.

Dual Fellows may select the accredited CPD program which best meets their scope of practice and may elect not to participate in MyCPD. Please contact the CPD unit if you wish to be withdrawn from the MyCPD program on the basis of completing an alternative CPD program.

Australian Overseas Trained Physicians (OTP)

Overseas Trained Physicians (OTP) are required to complete CPD while undergoing peer review. It is likely that the period of peer review will not follow the same calendar year cycle as the MyCPD program; therefore OTPs are not required to meet the program’s minimum annual requirement of 100 credits each calendar year. Instead, they are required to accrue a minimum of 100 credits over the 12 month period of peer review. 

CPD exemptions

MyCPD participants practising in Australia or overseas (excluding New Zealand) can apply for an exemption for one CPD year for being on leave/absent from practice. Temporary exemptions are granted for one CPD year only for the reasons outlined below:

  • carer’s leave
  • personal hardship
  • long service leave/sabbatical
  • parental leave
  • sick leave
  • other significant absence from practice

Please contact the CPD Unit to request a CPD exemption.

We do not recommend claiming consecutive exemptions (e.g. for both 2017 and 2018), as there are additional regulatory requirements if returning to practice after an absence of more than 12 months. Please refer to the Medical Board of Australia's CPD Registration Standard for further information.

National and international regulatory bodies may have different CPD requirements to the RACP; we recommend that you clarify your individual requirements with the relevant Medical Board for registration purposes.

However we encourage you to continue participating in professional development activities to the best of your ability.

Returning to practice

There are no additional regulatory requirements for medical practitioners returning to practice after a one year CPD exemption.

However, there are additional regulatory requirements for medical practitioners returning to practice after consecutive exemptions (e.g. for both 2017 and 2018).

According to the Medical Board of Australia's CPD Registration Standard:

“A medical practitioner who has two or more year’s clinical experience as a registered medical practitioner and is returning to practice after an exemption of two or more years, is required to complete the following requirements:

  • if they have not practised for between 12 months and up to and including 36 months - at a minimum, before re-commencing practice, they must complete the equivalent of one year’s continuing professional development (CPD) activities, relevant to their intended scope of practice. The CPD activities must be designed to maintain and update their knowledge and clinical judgment;

or

  • if they have not practised for more than 36 months - they are required to provide a plan for professional development and re-entry to practice to the Medical Board of Australia for consideration and approval.”

Please note that the above advice is based on you continuing to hold specialist AHPRA registration in Australia. We recommend that you clarify your individual requirements with Medical Board of Australia for registration purposes as there may be alternative solutions around other registration types.

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