Tips and FAQ

This page contains Tips and Frequently Asked Questions related to the RCPA CPD program and its use on the web site.


The new structure has been designed to align with the strengthened CPD component of the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework, and planned changes to the Medical Council of New Zealand’s recertification requirements.

The new RCPA CPD Framework will support Fellows to complete CPD that is focused on practice improvement and includes peer or self-review of performance and quality/outcome/audit measures to promote patient safety and demonstrate ongoing competence to the relevant scope of practice.

To read more about the MBA’s research and evidence for strengthening CPD, view the Building a Professional Performance Framework document. To read more about the MCNZ’s evidence base for recertification, view Recertification – evidence to support change.

For information about changes to the program, please see General Requirements on the About the Program page.

Submissions must be finalised by March 31 for the preceding year’s record.

Recording CPD activities

The CPD recording spreadsheet is useful for all Fellows submitting an annual return, to help them keep track of their hours per category as the year progresses.

The following IQA documents, focused mainly on Reviewing Performance and Quality, provide a variety of templates (some with sample entries) which Fellows may find useful for their purposes. Note that while some mention specific disciplines, structures can be adapted for any scope of practice.

Formal Case Review Sheet

Quality Log Issue

MDT Case Presentation

Internal 2nd Opinion

External 2nd Opinion

Case Audit Worksheet

Protocol for Random Audit Template - Histopathology

Professional Development Plan (PDP)

The College encourages 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. Note that while some documents mention specific disciplines, structures can be adapted for any scope of practice.

PDP example: General Pathology - Management and Leadership

PDP example: Microbiology – Infection Control and Genomics

PDP example: Anatomical Pathology - Cytopathology

PDP Word template 1

PDP Word template 2

PDP Excel template 1

Structured Annual Conversation

The RCPA encourages Fellows to arrange an annual conversation with a peer, colleague or employer, to review their goals, achievements, continuing professional development needs, and opportunities. This process may prove useful in constructing Professional Development Plans (PDP).

Suggested template for recording Annual Conversation or reviewing Professional Development Plan

The College’s CPD requirements for new Fellows commence from 1 January in the year following the granting of Fellowship. 

Effective from 1 Jan 2023, new RCPA Fellows, Faculty Fellows and Affiliates will be waived from CPD for the CPD year in which they become a RCPA Fellow, Faculty Fellow or Affiliate. 

Though there is no College CPD requirement for trainees or retired Fellows, both categories of Member are welcome to participate in the program. This participation is ‘self-managed’ in that only Members who are required to complete CPD will be sent regular reminders by the College. If you are not currently participating in CPD but would like to do so, please contact

It is RCPA policy that all registered medical and dental Fellows must individually participate in External Quality Assurance (EQA) activities where suitable activities or programs exist for the applicable scope of practice. Individual enrolment in such programs is not required, but some examples of suitable programs offered by the RCPA QAP for individual participation are as follows:

  • Anatomical pathology diagnostic proficiency modules
  • Gynaecological and non-gynaecological cytopathology
  • Chemical pathology patient report comments
  • Haematology morphology
  • Immunopathology case study module
  • Serology specimen-free program
  • Training and Competency Assessment Modules


Which category applies?

Category C (Reviewing Performance) may apply for individual enrolment in a QAP program where your own work is being reviewed. Participation in quality assurance activities, including QAP self- assessment programs, may be included in category D (Quality and Outcomes Measures) where there is a quality improvement focus. There is overlap however, and participants may choose whichever category they believe to be most appropriate.

QAP also offers some educational modules for personal study (Category B). Examples include the Biosecurity eLearning Program and the Synovial Fluid Educational Program.

For further details, please see the QAP website.

The RCPA offers online educational modules and case studies that can add to your category B (Personal Study) requirements. They include:

If you would like to boost your category C (Reviewing Performance) credits, you could consider contributing collaboratively to the development of new resources or revision of existing ones. If you have any ideas, please contact

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. There is no variation in fees accompanying non-practising status.

As CPD participation is generally a condition of re-registration as a practising specialist, it is the responsibility of the Fellow to notify AHPRA or the MCNZ of their non-participation in the College’s CPD program. Both registering bodies offer a non-practising specialist registration status.

Fellows intending to re-enter pathology practice at some future date are strongly advised to maintain their CPDP participation and compliance where possible, as stringent conditions apply to recommencement of practice. These conditions align with the Medical Board of Australia’s Recency of Practice Standard and the section on Absence from Practice in the College's CPD policy.

Fellows not intending to return to practice may elect to cease membership of the College, but should note that this precludes further use of RCPA post-nominals.

Please contact the CPD Administrator ( if you have any questions.



Please ensure Pop-up Blockers are disabled when downloading certificates. If you cannot view the certificate please adjust the pop-up settings in the web address section at the top of the page. For Firefox please visit this webpage, for other browsers visit webpage.

Download speeds may also be affected by your local network. Contact if you cannot print your certificate.


The Export function is only available on the desktop version. If you do not see the export button you may need to maximise the window.

An Excel file is created listing all activities you have completed for the date range you have selected. You can also export based on specific categories or codes.

The system also allows attachments (previously attached as part of a CPD activity record) to be exported by pressing the “Export Attachments” button.


The From Date will default to 1 January of the current year, and the To Date to today’s date. Adjust these to select the period you wish to view.

The activities can be arranged in ascending or descending order by Date, Activity Name or whether they have an attachment by simply clicking on their Sort icons at the top of the columns.

Use the 'Add New Activity' button to create Log Book entries.


View your activities by selecting the date range and filtering by the categories.



From the 'Enter Log Book / Search Activities' page you can Edit, Clone and Delete activities you have added. Once you have finalised your Log Book entries you cannot Edit, Clone or Delete activities.


From the 'Log Book Entries' page you can have the option of several buttons-

  • SUBMIT - Saves your entry and takes you back to the activity page for you to view the entries.
  • SUBMIT and CLONE - Useful for entering regular activities such as weekly meetings. Saves your entry and automatically leaves your category/code selection on the screen. You can then adjust the date and enter a description, and SUBMIT the entry (or SUBMIT and CLONE if you are entering multiple dates for the same activity).
  • SUBMIT and ADD ANOTHER - Saves your entry and clears the selections allowing you to make a new entry.
  • CANCEL - Does not save your entry; takes you back to the activity page.


If you have any suggestions for enhanced functionality, please contact



If you have any queries or suggestions regarding the RCPA CPDP, please consult the Tips and FAQ page or contact

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