About The Program

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) mandates that Fellows, including Fellows of Faculties, and Affiliates of the RCPA in active medical or dental practice in Australia or New Zealand, participate in the RCPA CPDP. International members are required to participate in the RCPA program or an equivalent formally structured program in their country of domicile.

The College does not accept CPDP certificates or ‘sign offs’ from other Colleges’ CPD programs as satisfying RCPA requirements in Australia or New Zealand. Those who participate in CPD programs offered by other colleges may re-document some activities as relevant, but must consider their scope of practice when planning and recording CPDP activities for the RCPA, particularly with respect to categories C (Peer review) and D (Quality and outcome measures).

Participation in the RCPA CPDP is also required for Faculty of Science Fellows who are in clinical diagnostic practice. Approved programs offered by recognised scientific or academic organisations may satisfy requirements for this purpose.

The CPDP is developed, promoted, monitored and evaluated by the Board of Education and Assessment. Significant changes to the program are endorsed by the Board of Directors.

Full details may be found in the RCPA CPDP policy and manual.

The program requirement is for 60 hours per annum, including 15 hours in each of the following categories:

A. Group activities and meetings

B. Personal study, teaching and research

C. Peer review

D. Quality and outcome measures

Each category of the CPDP includes a range of activities from which participants must select at least two, in addition to any mandatory elements, that are relevant to their scope of practice.

Participants working part-time are required to complete the full number of hours for the program.

Submissions must be finalised no later than 31 March for activities undertaken in the previous calendar year so that certification may be provided to the relevant registration authority for each corresponding year.

Exemptions are normally only granted for prolonged absence, up to 12 months, on the basis of illness, parental leave, bereavement or other compassionate grounds.

Australian and New Zealand pathologists who are not engaged in pathology practice (eg, haematologists or anatomical pathologists who are involved in clinical, academic or managerial work rather than lab-based pathology) may elect to become a ‘non-practising’ Fellow. This status removes the obligation to submit CPD but Fellowship remains otherwise unaffected. You can find further information on the Tips and FAQ page.

We encourage all Fellows to complete a Professional Development Plan (PDP), but it is compulsory for all medical Fellows registered in Australia, and all medical and dental Fellows registered in New Zealand, effective from 2020. View the guidelines document and an example PDP.

Fellows having difficulty meeting the requirements of the RCPA CPDP may contact the RCPA CPD Administrator for assistance by email cpdp@rcpa.edu.au or by phone (+61 2 8356 5858) at any time.

The RCPA CPDP is designed to meet the registration requirements of the Medical and Dental Boards of Australia, and the strengthened CPDP requirements of the Medical Board’s Professional Performance Framework. Please see the following links for details:

Medical Board of Australia registration standard: Continuing Professional Development

Dental Board of Australia Continuing Professional Development Registration Standard

Medical Board of Australia: Building a Professional Performance Framework

For medical practitioners in Australia, recording CPD compliance is part of your annual medical registration renewal. If you are in both clinical and laboratory practice, then you should comply separately for these two areas, fulfilling the relevant College requirements. You must also meet the Medical Board’s Recency of Practice Standard.

The RCPA will randomly audit 5% of Fellows’ submissions each year, requiring documentation as determined by the substantiation requirements set out in the RCPA CPDP Information Manual. If the outcome of the audit is unsatisfactory, the Fellow will be audited in subsequent years to ensure compliance.

The Medical Board of Australia may also audit the CPD records of specialists as set out on the MBA website. If you are maintaining your documentation in accordance with RCPA requirements, no additional detail should be required by the MBA. If you have been audited by the RCPA, you are not required to submit to the MBA any documentation for categories in which you have already been audited, other than a statement from the College of successful audit. If you have been satisfactorily audited by the MBA, then the RCPA will not require you to undergo any additional audit for that year.

The RCPA is obliged to report non-participation and failure to meet recency of practice standards to the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Agency unless the member is exempt. This may impact on registration status. Please contact the RCPA if you require advice or assistance in meeting the standards.

The RCPA CPDP is designed to meet the registration requirements of the Medical and Dental Councils of New Zealand, and the MCNZ proposed strengthening of recertification requirements. Please see the following links for details:

Medical Council of New Zealand: Recertification for doctors with a general and vocational scope

Strengthening recertification for vocationally registered doctors in New Zealand

Dental Council, New Zealand, Continuing Professional Development

MCNZ may audit the CPD records of specialists, however if you are maintaining your documentation in accordance with RCPA requirements, no additional detail should be required by them. If you have been audited by the RCPA, you are not required to submit to MCNZ any documentation for categories in which you have already been audited, other than a statement from the College of successful audit. If you have been satisfactorily audited by the MCNZ, then the RCPA will not require you to undergo any additional audit for that year.

New Zealand medical practitioners must have access to a process for undertaking multisource feedback. This may be provided an employer or a third party. A suitable program approved by the RCPA is the Colleague Feedback Evaluation Tool (CFET) offered by CFEP Surveys. For more information and access to the tool, please visit https://www.cfepsurveys.com.au/colleague-survey. This may be included in Category C, code 41 of the RCPA CPDP.

New Zealand medical practitioners must have access to processes for doctors to participate in collegial practice visits (sometimes referred to as Regular Practice Review). For pathologists, this opportunity is available through the IANZ accreditation process. This may be included in Category C, code 44 of the RCPA CPDP.

New Zealand medical practitioners must have an annual conversation with a peer, colleague or employer, to review their goals, achievements, continuing professional development needs, and opportunities. For guidance to ensure the greatest benefit from this process, please download the document RCPA guidance for the annual conversation with a peer, colleague or employer. This may be included in Category C, code 42 or 43 of the RCPA CPDP.

The RCPA will randomly audit 5% of all New Zealand Fellows’ submissions each year, requiring documentation as determined by the substantiation requirements set out in the RCPA CPDP Information Manual. If the outcome of the audit is unsatisfactory, the Fellow will be audited in subsequent years to ensure compliance.

The RCPA is required to report non-compliance to the Medical Council of New Zealand unless the member is exempt. This may impact on registration status. Please contact the RCPA if you require advice or assistance in meeting the standards.

Fellows and Faculty Fellows who live in countries other than Australia and New Zealand and who are not registered for medical or dental practice in Australia and/or New Zealand, may participate in the continuing professional development program of a specialist college or professional organisation in their country of domicile. They will be deemed to be compliant with the RCPA CPDP requirements if the program is approved by the RCPA Board of Education and Assessment. Recognised international programs will not be subject to audit by the RCPA.

The RCPA will only support applications for registration in Australia or New Zealand if the applicant can demonstrate at least twelve months of compliance with RCPA CPDP requirements.

Fellows or Faculty Fellows who live in countries other than Australia and New Zealand, and who are registered for medical or dental practice in Australia and or New Zealand, must participate in the RCPA CPDP program or apply to the Board of Education and Assessment for possible special dispensation.

There are two methods of CPDP submission.

You can enter activities as they occur throughout the year:

Enter Log Book Secured

Or you can enter an Annual Submission when you have completed the year's activites:

Annual Submission Secured

Personal Development Plan (PDP): The College encourages all Fellows to complete a Professional Development Plan, but it is compulsory for all medical Fellows registered in Australia, and all medical and dental Fellows registered in New Zealand, effective from 2020. View the guidelines document and an example PDP. If you use the Log Book function, the relevant activity code is Category B, code 21.

Other CPDP links you may find useful:

Recording Spreadsheet Secured

Search Activities Secured

Finalise your Log Book Secured

CPD Summary Secured

Certificates and Statements (CPD 2020 and greater) Secured

Certificates and Statements (pre CPD 2020) Secured

Tips and FAQ Secured

A spreadsheet template for recording activities is provided for Fellows submitting an annual return, along with a form for manual submission of activities for Fellows experiencing technical difficulties with online submission.

We encourage all Fellows to complete a Professional Development Plan (PDP), but it is compulsory for all medical Fellows registered in Australia, and all medical and dental Fellows registered in New Zealand, effective from 2020. View the guidelines document and an example PDP.

 

INFORMATION

If you have any queries regarding the RCPA CPDP, please consult the Tips and FAQ page or contact cpdp@rcpa.edu.au.

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Copyright © 2020 RCPA. All rights reserved.

22-Jan-2020
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