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 2022 Biennial Education Survey showed there was a level of dissatisfaction with the Continuing Professional Development Program due to its inflexibility and lack of relevance to many members’ circumstances. As well as the above, the AMC’s regulations for CPD Homes required further reforms to be introduced.  The new structure aligns with the strengthened CPD component of the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework, and changes to the Medical Council of New Zealand’s recertification requirements.

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 RCPA Information manual 2024 and 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.

CPD recording spreadsheet 2023 and prior years 

CPD recording spreadsheet 2024

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: Pathology - Management and Leadership
    - PDP Word template 1

PDP example: Microbiology – Infection Control and Genomics
    - PDP Word template 2

PDP example: Anatomical Pathology - Cytopathology
    - PDP Excel template 1

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

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

Fulfilling your Program Level Requirements

Under the CPD Homes regulations, practitioners are required to do at least one activity per year relevant to Culturally Safe Practice, Addressing Health Inequities, Professionalism and Ethics (the ‘CAPE’ requirements).

To help you to complete these requirements, Fellows have suggested the resources below. If you find other relevant resources, please get in touch with us ( so we can add them to the list.

Culturally Safe Practice


Addressing Health Inequities


Note that this category can be fulfilled by doing your Professional Development Plan (mandatory requirement for Australian and NZ practitioners) and/or Structured Annual Conversation (mandatory for NZ practitioners, recommended for all)


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, for new RCPA Fellows, Faculty Fellows and Affiliates CPD will be optional will be waived from CPD for the CPD year in which they become an RCPA Fellow, Faculty Fellow or Affiliate. It will be mandatory for the next CPD year and onwards.

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?

Under the system introduced in January 2024, Category B (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 C (Measuring Outcomes) 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 A). 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 A (Educational Activities) requirements. They include:

If you would like to boost your Reviewing Performance credits, you could consider contributing collaboratively to the development of new resources or revision of existing ones.

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 RCPA CPD team ( if you have any questions.



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Go to the 'Submitting/Searching CPD' menu and press 'Logbook Entry and Search'. The export buttons appear towards the bottom of the screen. Note that you will only see the 'Export Attachments' button if you have uploaded an attachment.


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.

1. Adding Activities
On the 'Enter Log Book / Search Activities' page use the 'Add New Activity' button to create Log Book  entries.


Choose the appropriate category and activity (choose 'Other' and describe if it you cannot find a suitable one).
Then enter the date, time taken, a brief description, program requirements (if relevant) and attach supporting documents if necessary. 


2. Viewing activities
On the 'Enter Log Book / Search Activities'  page, use 'From Date', 'To Date', and 'Activity and Category Type' to filter activities that you have entered. 


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 queries or suggestions regarding the RCPA CPDP, please contact

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