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.
Fellows having difficulty meeting the requirements of the RCPA CPDP may contact the RCPA office for assistance by phone or by email email@example.com 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’ returns each year, requiring the individual submission of 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.
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 their country of domicile specialist college or professional organisation continuing professional development program. 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.
If you have any queries regarding the RCPA CPDP, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.