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Continuing Professional Development – Are You Ready for an Audit?

The Australian Medical Board has a Registration Standard around Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This article begins to explore what this means to junior doctors. Future articles will look more closely at what CPD is and discuss how to comply with this standard.

Richard Whitaker

Every year when doctors renew their registration they will tick a box to say they have complied with the Medical Board CPD registration standard. What does complying with this standard mean if you are a junior doctor? What could happen to you if you do not comply?

What is required of Interns?

 Interns must participate in the education and training programs provided by their hospitals. These programs are accredited by the Australian Medical Council. An Intern will not be granted general registration unless they have satisfactorily participated in the program of their hospital to the satisfaction of the Director of Clincial Training or the Director of Medical Services.

What is required of RMOs?

RMOs must complete at least 50 hours of CPD per year and must be able to provide the Medical Board with evidence that they have done this. This includes any prevocational doctor after internship who is not yet participating in a college training program.

What counts as CPD?

A lot of things can count as CPD. The Medical Board is not very prescriptive about CPD. They do define CPD, however. The few examples they give include completing audits, peer review, performance appraisal (yes, those end of term assessments!), courses, conferences, on-line learning.

This can be a confusing area when you start out, so C-foam will post some further information to make it easier to understand CPD.

What is this audit of my CPD?

The Medical Board can audit your CPD. They can ask you to provide written proof, such as certifications of attendance or completion, to justify the minimum 50 hours requirement. And they can ask you to do this for the previous three years.

How do I record my CDP?

This is another topic that C-foam will come back to shortly. This is a very important area to discuss.

What if I don’t comply with the CPD Registration Standard?

Best just to be blunt with this answer:

You can have conditions imposed on your registration, you can have your renewal refused, your behaviour can be assessed for health, conduct and performance issues, and the Board may elect to take disciplinary action against you.

Summary

If you haven’t already embraced your CPD then now is the time to begin to develop your affinity for it. CPD will be part of the rest of your professional life. It is your responsibility, and the Medical Board and the professional Colleges will hold you accountable, because CPD is crucial to improving patient care.

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